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  • Disappointment as Celts defeated by Dons

    Disappointment as Celts defeated by Dons

    By: Mark Henderson on 12 Sep, 2015 14:42

  • Scottish Premiership
    Pittodrie, Aberdeen
    Saturday, September 12, 2015

    (Rooney 57 pen., Quinn 86)

    (Griffiths 35 pen.)

    PAUL Quinn’s late strike for Aberdeen saw Celtic fall to their first defeat of the league campaign and relinquish top spot to the league to the Dons.

    The Hoops had led at half-time through Leigh Griffiths’ penalty after the striker had been fouled in the box by Andrew Considine.

    But when Dedyrck Boyata was penalised for a challenge on Graham Shinnie, Adam Rooney levelled the match from the spot 12 minutes into the second period.

    And despite going down to 10 men when Johnny Hayes received his marching orders, Quinn finished off Niall McGinn’s free-kick four minutes from the end as Celtic’s afternoon ended in disappointment.  

    New Bhoy Tyler Blackett was handed his Celtic debut as Ronny Deila made four changes to the team who defeated St Johnstone 3-1 before the international break.

    The defender, signed on a season-long loan from Manchester United, started at left-back for the Hoops. Mikael Lustig, Charlie Mulgrew and Stefan Johansen also returned to the side.

    Virgil van Dijk, who has now joined Southampton, Saidy Janko, Emilio Izaguirre and Kris Commons were the players to drop out.

    Top scorer Griffiths retained his usual place as the lone frontman and he almost capitalised on a mistake from Andrew Considine inside two minutes to provide the perfect start for the Scottish champions, but goalkeeper Danny Ward reacted quickly to push his low shot wide.

    In windswept, rainy conditions, the match was being played at a frenetic pace as both sides fought for supremacy, though the Hoops were enjoying the better of the early possession.

    Mulgrew headed over from Gary Mackay-Steven’s corner, before Griffiths cracked a free-kick off the bar via a deflection after Johansen had been felled on the edge of the box.

    At the other end, Considine couldn’t keep his header down from Hayes’ corner as the Dons crept into the contest. A stunning save from Gordon midway through the half prevented Kenny McLean’s header from finding the net but the flag was raised in any event for a foul.

    Blackett was looking assured on his first outing for the Hoops, defending diligently and getting forward to support the attack when required. One lofted cross from the defender found Griffiths in the box but the striker’s spectacular scissor kick never threatened Ward’s goal.

    In the 34th minute, however, the Hoops hitman was rewarded for his persistence as Celtic broke the deadlock. Mulgrew sent a raking ball over the top and Griffiths did brilliantly to take the ball in his stride in the box and evade the clutches of Considine, forcing the defender to haul him to the ground.

    Referee Craig Thomson pointed to the spot and Griffiths confidently converted from 12 yards.  Emboldened by their goal, Ronny Deila’s men thrust forward in search of further reward before the break and a precise cross from Johansen was met by Griffiths but he couldn’t direct his header on target.

    Aberdeen were the team in the ascendency as the second half got underway, however, and there were frenzied claims for handball against Charlie  and a penalty among the home support when Mulgrew cleared Shay Logan’s cross.

    But they got their wish in the 56th minute as Boyata barged into Shinnie on the byline, with Rooney finding the corner from the penalty.

    At this stage, the momentum was with the home side and the Hoops rearguard were forced to deal with a number of dangerous crosses into the box.

    However, the match looked to be swinging back in Celtic’s favour in the closing stages as Johnny Hayes saw a straight red for a rash challenge on Lustig. But aside from a couple of efforts from substitute James Forrest, which Ward saved comfortably, Celtic never took advantage of their extra man.

    Instead it was the Dons who grabbed the winning goal as McGinn’s hanging free-kick fell for defender Quinn who stabbed home.

    That was the cue for a late Celtic rally. Brown shot wide after being supplied by Forrest and when Griffiths rounded Ward and saw his attempt cleared off the line by Considine, he and Celtic knew it wasn’t to be their day.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon: Lustig (Ambrose 73) Boyata, Mulgrew, Blackett; Brown, Bitton; Johansen, Rogic (Forrest 73) Mackay-Steven (Ciftci 77); Griffiths
    Not Used: Subs: Bailly, Commons, Janko, McGregor

    ABERDEEN (4-3-3) Ward; Logan, Taylor, Quinn, Considine; Jack, McLean, Shinnie; McGinn (Flood 86), Rooney (Parker 80) Hayes
    Not Used: Brown, Robson, Pawlett, Goodwillie, McLaughlin

    Website Man of the Match: Leigh Griffiths

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