Dons Crash To Late Miller Double
Aberdeen produced a great first half performance and deserved their 1-0 half time lead provided by veteran Craig Brewster. The lead could have been more but for the acrobatics of Artur Borac in the Celtic goal. Celtic stepped up the pace after the break and Aberdeen were put on the back foot. A warning came when Nakamura crashed a free kick off the bar in the 58th minute and soon after Donati levelled with a well-worked goal. A Kenny Miller double in the last six minutes sealed the win and in between Gordon Strachan was sent from the dugout after getting involved in a fracas with someone in the Main Stand.
Aberdeen kicked off and pressed forward immediately with Severin firing an effort from 30 yards that failed to test Borac. Aberdeen then had a strong penalty claim in the 2nd minute when Chris Clark was sent tumbling in the box. Charlie Richmond, who was well behind the play, was unimpressed and waved play on. Two minutes later Mackie was bundled over 20 yards out and Jamie Smith forced a great save from Borac as he curled the ball round the defensive wall. Aberdeen had made an impressive start, but Vennegoor went close in the 6th minute when he screwed the ball wide of Soutar’s goal.
Aberdeen then raced up the other end and won a couple of corners, which were well defended by the hoops. Aberdeen were well on top and were causing Celtic all sorts of problems. Brewster went down in the 9th minute and looked to have injured his shoulder again. Play raged on and Smith sent in a dangerous cross that just evaded Mackie at the far post. Brewster returned after treatment and Nicholson went close with a header at the far post, but the effort went wide.
Brewster was in the wars again in the 15th minute when he had to leave the pitch to get stitches inserted in a head wound. There was a fracas with Caldwell and Mackie two minutes later, but the referee had a word with both players and the situation was calmed. Diamond then stepped forward in the 21st minute but his effort from 35 yards failed to test Borac. Aberdeen’s domination paid off in the 24th minute when Craig Brewster fired them ahead.
McGeady was caught in possession 20 yards out and Severin released Nicholson who in turn headed for the bye line. Mackie missed his cut back but Craig Brewster was on hand to sweep the ball into the net. Celtic tried to hit back immediately and two minutes later Nakamura delivered a cross that was headed wide by McDonald. Aberdeen almost doubled their lead on the half hour mark when great passing play set up Mackie and Borac did well to block the shot. Hart then picked up a nasty knock in a challenge with McGeady and the visitor’s continued on relentlessly until Diamond eventually cleared.
A free kick in the 36th minute caused the Celtic rearguard problems as Brewster looked to get on the end of it then another cross was just too high for Mackie. Celtic won their first corner in the 38th minute and won a controversial second seconds later but they failed to capitalise. Celtic were reduced to shooting from distance but Donati and McDonald failed to threaten Soutar’s goal with long range efforts. Aberdeen forced a corner two minutes from half time that failed to threaten then deep in injury time Borac spilt a Mackie shot and just prevented the ball from crossing the line. Seconds later Nakamura sent a free kick inches over the Aberdeen bar with the last kick of the half.
Celtic started the second half on the offensive, but in the 47th minute Diamond, who was having a fine game, picked up a knock. It initially looked serious but the centre back was able to return after treatment. Aberdeen then won a free kick 25 yards out and Brewster fired it inches wide, but the referee ordered a re-take and the second chance was wasted. In the 53rd minute Mackie was released on the left but fired his effort into the side netting with Brewster waiting in the middle. An Aberdeen free kick caused Celtic problems but the hoops almost levelled in the 58th minute as Nakamura crashed a free kick off the bar with Soutar beaten.
Donati collected the first yellow card of the game when he cynically tripped Nicholson as Aberdeen tried to break. The Italian turned from sinner to saint in the 61st minute when he levelled for the visitors. McGeady fed the ball into the Aberdeen area and Donati neatly sidestepped Diamond and curled the ball past Soutar. Two minutes later Nakamura sent a shot inches over and McGeady had a similar effort seconds later as Aberdeen were forced on to the back foot. Four minutes later Nakamura fired wide as the Celtic players were given far too much space around the Aberdeen goal.
Lee Miller replaced Brewster in the 66th minute and Foster replaced Smith two minutes later as Jimmy tried to freshen things up for the beleaguered Dons. A free kick three minutes later produced a weak effort from Lee Miller. Celtic were clearly in control now and they looked dangerous every time they went forward. Mark Wilson went close in the 76th minute when he forced Soutar into a fine save from a tight angle. Three minutes later Mackie should have put the Dons back in front when an inch perfect cross, delivered at pace from Foster, was missed completely by the striker. There was controversy in the 80th minute when Diamond was down injured and Celtic continued with a throw in.
The defender failed to recover and was replaced by Touzani a minute later. Hart then made a great recovery tackle on the edge of the box but referee Richmond not only awarded a free kick but also booked the full back. Celtic’s pressure produced a second goal in the 84th minute when Nakamura and Donati set up substitute Miller who fired the ball low past Soutar. All hell broke loose after that as an incident involving Gordon Strachan at the dugout erupted. The referee had to sort out matters and the Celtic manager was sent from the dugout much to the pleasure of the Aberdeen support.
Kenny Miller sealed the win deep in injury time when Kenny Miller picked the ball up 30 yards out, stepped forward and curled a great shot past Soutar. It was hardly deserved, but at least the red army will have been pleased with the effort put in by Aberdeen during the match and particularly the football played in the opening 45 minutes. It gets no easier next week as Aberdeen head to Easter Road, but if they can produce the same type of football for the rest of the season then they will soon be climbing the SPL.