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  • Sinclair's moment of magic gives Celts win over Aberdeen

    Sinclair's moment of magic gives Celts win over Aberdeen

    By: Tony Connelly on 29 Sep, 2018 17:07

  • Scottish Premiership
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    (Sinclair 63)


    SCOTT Sinclair sent Paradise into raptures after scoring the decisive goal to give Celtic a 1-0 win over Aberdeen. The visitors proved difficult to break down but eventually succumbed to Celtic’s pressure midway through the second half.

    Sinclair ensured the Scottish champions took a well-deserved three points thanks to his instinctive back-heel in the second half.

    Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side that defeated St Johnstone in the League Cup quarter-final last Wednesday night as Celtic returned to action in the Scottish Premiership against Aberdeen.

    Jack Hendry replaced Kristoffer Ajer in the heart of defence after the Norwegian picked up an injury in the game at McDiarmid Park. The only other change saw Craig Gordon return to the starting XI in place of Scott Bain.

    Celtic started the game brightly and almost took the lead inside three minutes following some slick passing in the final third. Ntcham slipped a great pass through to Lustig out on the right and the Swedish defender cut the ball back across goal. However, Forrest’s first-time effort was a yard high of the target.

    Garry Mackay-Steven was the main source of the Dons’ attack and almost scored against his former team late in the first half when he cut inside and dribbled through several Celtic players, only to be denied by Gordon who produced a terrific save. He had earlier set up another former Celt in Niall McGinn, who volleyed just wide from the edge of the area.

    Odsonne Edouard and Olivier Ntcham crafted a good opportunity midway through the half, but Ntcham’s return pass into the box had a little too much pace on it for his French team-mate to meet it.

    Celtic’s best chance of the first half came from Edouard who fired off a wonderful shot from around 25 yards out. Joe Lewis was beaten but Edouard’s effort came back off the post. Then, a one-two between Dedryck Boyata and Lustig carved open the Dons defence, but the Belgian defender couldn't keep his header down.

    The real moment of controversy came just before half-time when Scott McKenna scythed down Odsonne Edouard inside the box. It looked like a clear penalty and a red card for the Aberdeen defender, but Bobby Madden chose neither of those options. And Edouard was soon replaced by Scott Sinclair as a result of the injury he picked up from the reckless challenge.

    Celtic continued to show more urgency than their opponents in the second half with a flurry of attacks early on. Forrest muscled his way into the box and ran across the byline before trying to lay Callum McGregor off, but the pass was intercepted. McGregor then tested Lewis moments later with a low driven shot but the keeper did well to save.

    James Wilson forced a good save from Craig Gordon when he tried to curl the ball into the bottom far corner and Stevie May continued to ask questions of the Celtic defence.

    Celtic’s continued pressure eventually paid off when Sinclair gave his side the goal they had been searching for. Forrest’s cross into the box found Griffiths but he couldn't control it. As the ball squirmed away from him and Shay Logan, Sinclair took a touch and, from six yards out, back-heeled the ball into the net.

    Griffiths came close from a free-kick but the keeper dived low to pull off an excellent save. He came even closer in the dying moments of the game when he got the better of Andrew Considine and broke free with the ball but his chipped shot over Lewis bounced the wrong side of the post.

    CELTIC (4-3-2-1) Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Hendry, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham (Rogic 59), McGregor; Forrest (Morgan 77), Edouard (Sinclair 42); Griffiths
    Not Used: Bain, Gamboa, Mulumbu, Christie

    ABERDEEN (4-4-2) Lewis; Logan, Devlin, McKenna, Considine; Mackay-Steven, Ball, Shinnie, McGinn (Anderson 83); Wilson (Cosgrove 61), May (Lowe 69)
    Not Used: Cerny, Forrester, Gleeson, Campbell

    Website Man of the Match: Dedryck Boyata


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