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Bogey team Aberdeen end Celtics unbeaten run

25 Feb 2014 22:46:52

Bogey team Aberdeen end Celtics unbeaten run

Aberdeen became the first team to defeat Scottish champions and runaway leaders Celtic in the Scottish Premiership in nearly a year pn Tuesday as they emerged with a deserved 2-1 home victory.

The champions arrived at Pittodrie not having tasted defeat in 26 league matches and on a run of 15 straight victories but had been knocked out of the Scottish Cup a fortnight ago by Aberdeen.

Their last league defeat dated back to an away loss to Motherwell on April 28, 2013.

However, after a strong start to the match their hopes of their run continuing were dealt a blow in the 13th minute when Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk saw a straight red for a foul on Peter Pawlett on the edge of the box.

The Dons took full advantage of their extra man and Fraser Forster's run of 1,255 minutes without conceding a goal came to an end in the 41st minute when Jonny Hayes sent a sensational strike past the English goalkeeper before Adam Rooney headed in another in the 45th minute.

Celtic felt they should have had a penalty just after the break when Mark Reynolds appear to handle the ball in the box before substitute James Forrest pulled one back for the visitors in the 62nd minute.

Neil Lennon threw on Georgios Samaras and Amido Balde in a desperate bid to maintain their unbeaten start to the season but Aberdeen held on.

However, despite the defeat they still hold a 21 point advantage over the Dons at the top of the table.

Lennon was furious with referee Craig Thomson's performance.

"I think we've been done by the referee. I don't think it was a sending off as Pawlett was not in on goal. It was a free-kick and a yellow card,"

"Then it was a clear handball in the second half that everyone could see - it was ridiculous.

"We were brilliant and in the second half we were camped in Aberdeen's half and unfortunately couldn't get the second goal that we thoroughly deserved."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes praised his side.

"I think anytime you get a victory against Celtic you've got to savour it as it's never easy," McInnes said.

"I thought we scored two magnificent goals but it's never easy against ten men. I think you've got to credit Celtic and they made the second half a bit anxious for us."

Celtic started strongly with Jamie Langfield making a fine block to deny Charlie Mulgrew's low drive in the first minute.

The keeper was busy in the opening minutes with both Anthony Stokes and Leigh Griffiths forcing Langfield in making saves.

However, their early momentum was brutally halted when Van Dijk was shown a straight red.

Aberdeen made their extra man advantage count as they scored two goals in four minutes just before the break.

Hayes became the first player to beat Forster in 13 league games as he sent a ferocious swerving shot past him to ruin his hopes of beating Edwin van der Sar's British clean sheet record.

Things got even better for the home side seconds before the break when Rooney added a second as he stooped to head Niall McGinn's cross past the despairing Forster.

Forrest came on at half time and he made an instant impact for the Hoops when he stroked past Langfield from close range as he converted Scott Brown's square pass.

Celtic had chances through Stokes late on but the ten men couldn't force the equaliser as their hopes of an unbeaten season came to an end.

Elsewhere, Inverness won the Highland derby 3-0 against Ross County and St Johnstone defeated Motherwell 3-0.


AFP

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