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Match Preview | Aberdeen v Celtic

February 8, 2022 3:22 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Match Preview | Aberdeen v Celtic

 

Competition: cinch Scottish Premiership
Match: Aberdeen v Celtic
Venue: Pittodrie
Kick Off: 19:45
TV Coverage: RedTV International, Virtual Season Ticket and Pay Per View. Audio Commentary is available to RedTV UK subscribers.
Post Match on RedTV: Full match replay available from around 10.30pm and extended highlights from midnight on RedTV.

Stephen Glass sat down with the media on Tuesday lunchtime, via Zoom, to preview Wednesday’s match with Celtic. To watch in full on RedTV, please click here. 

“A home game for us is something that we have enjoyed recently, we need to look at the home form we are sitting on and try and take it into this game. We are aware of our away form and the three games we have just had but they are gone and all we can look at is what is coming next.  It is a home match which has been pretty productive for us recently.

“There has been minimal amounts of switch off in the games and you get punished. The players have felt that against good teams. The aim of the game is not to do that and to hurt them when we get opportunities. We have produced opportunities against them and it is important that we take them when we get them.

“Keeping the morale of this group is not difficult because it is very similar a lot of the time and it is not to say that when we are on a good run the place is certainly more buyout and it feels different. The group never gets too down, it is not something that concerns me with the attitude or the approach to games. At home the boys have been brilliant and I don’t expect anything different tomorrow night.

“Since the game with Livingston the players have been itching to get back onto the pitch. It is always a big game when they come up, it is something we are looking forward to. Like I have said the boys have been brilliant at Pittodrie, the supporters have been great backing them and I am looking forward to more of the same.

“There are some aspects of the approach and the mentality that needs to be different. When you lose games you are open to criticism, we all accept that, the important thing for us tomorrow night is we have a home game and that is what we focus on. We know Motherwell away is coming up, that is a different task but we will be ready for that when it comes. Tomorrow night is the focus.

Christian Ramirez

“If you have a centre forward like that then you need to feed him. He has shown why we brought him to the club. He has shown how capable a finisher he is, he is a good player for the team and we brought in Vicente for a reason as well. We are looking forward to that partnership bearing fruit along with other players. They are good players that fit in the team, they are doing well for us.

Team News

“When Scott Brown doesn’t play and it looks like he is being rested, sometimes he is not available to play, you run the risk of people thinking you are looking clever and pointing fingers at you. Scott was pretty much unavailable at the weekend, we are hoping he is available tomorrow night.

“We lose Adam Montgomery because we are playing Celtic. Other than that we are as we were for the weekend against Livingston.

Wednesday Night

“I think we need to show all of our qualities tomorrow night, like we have done in the home games. The last time up here against them we lost a late goal through one lapse of concentration. We don’t want to be a team that loses game, we have not done that too much at Pittodrie and that is what we want to continue, whatever that takes.

“If teams are going to sit in, it is difficult to break them down, any team on the planet finds it difficult to break down teams that sit in. We have found that difficult especially away from home, a different approach at times might be needed. At home against a Celtic team that feel like they can come and dominate the ball, I don’t think that they are going to be sitting in, I don’t think they go anywhere and sit in. It is a different challenge to any we have struggled against recently.

“In any game you want to impose yourself as quick as you can, definitely when you are at home. Even more against a team that wants to control possession, wants to dictate and wants to influence games really early. How we approach the very start of the game is massive, it is nothing new from the last time they came here, they work in the same manner, they have a consistent playing style, they have got good players that operate at a very high level. It is up to us to stop that and pick the holes in them when we can. It is not a different game to the last time we played them.

Andy Considine

“He is at the stage of being exposed to bits and pieces of training. The physios pick and choose what that is, he is not able to go days in a row doing everything with the group. It is brilliant to have him close to the group. He was doing bits ages ago, like walking close to the group, just to keep himself around and he has been in meetings. He is getting closer everyday, he still needs managed but it is brilliant to have him around the lads.

Upcoming Run of Fixtures

“We are no different to a number of other clubs. We have got a game in hand against St Johnstone next midweek, we have got a tough game tomorrow and we have got Motherwell in the league as well. We have got big opportunities coming up. We had a tough spell earlier in the season when we played Hibs, Rangers and Hearts and we handled it pretty well. There seemed like there was a huge demand and the players really responded. Anytime they have been poked and questioned they have responded and I don’t see this being a different situation.

“Every week is a big week when you work for Aberdeen. It is important that we approach it right and we start tomorrow night. The cup comes up on Saturday and we need to be in the next round of that, pure and simple. It is important that we put on a good show tomorrow and it is important that we find ourselves in the next round.

Reaction

“I would expect a reaction tomorrow night. There has been a couple of performances that have been well below par. The players know that themselves, I get asked questions after a game and I answer them. In terms of being better than they are, what I am saying is they need to approach games in the right manner every single week, against no matter who the opponent is. You can’t go into games thinking we are better than them because you get tripped up and I think that has been shown. Anytime there has been what has been perceived as a big game, the players have been brilliant. That is going to be the case between now and the end of the season because they are going to approach every game like it is the biggest game of their life. That is the aim of a top professional and that is what I want to get out of the group.

“Anytime we have played the top type of teams, we have been pretty good. The group of players are fantastic. Their work ethic, their togetherness is good but we need to get results and we are well aware of that. Togetherness won’t hide any of that stuff. What we need to do is get results, win games and everybody is happy. You give people opportunities to shoot you down and they will, we need to take that away.

Matty Kennedy

“The type of player he is, Matty is a difference maker. It is important that we get him reintegrated into the team. He was good for us when we came in at the end of last season, it is really disappointing that this is the first we have actually seen of him for the season and it is a long, long time. It takes a bit of time to get back up to speed but everything we have seen in training from Matty has been great and we are looking forward to seeing him having a big impact.”

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Comeback in vain after controversial call

February 9, 2022 9:47 pm Author: Aberdeen FC
Comeback in vain after controversial call

 

ABERDEEN 2 CELTIC 3

SPFL Premiership

Pittodrie

Wednesday 9th February 2022

Attendance:

Referee: William Collum

A grandstand second half display from the Dons was not quite enough to rescue the game.

There were three changes for the Dons from the side beaten at Livingston on Saturday, with Scott Brown, Declan Gallagher and Dylan McGeouch all returning to the line-up in place of Adam Montgomery, Funso Ojo and Teddy Jenks, the latter two on the bench, Montgomery unavailable against his parent club.

Following their 4-0 win at Motherwell on Sunday, taking their unbeaten run to 19 games, Celtic made two changes for the trip to Pittodrie, Jota and Matt O’Riley in the starting XI in place of Tom Rogic and Georgios Giakoumakis, who both drop to the bench.

The game opened quietly, the sides feeling each other out, Aberdeen settling into their system of three at the back. Vicente Besuijen got in behind the Hoops’ defence on seven minutes, but his cutback took an unfortunate deflection and was cleared to safety.

Celtic had the first real opening on 14 minutes, Rakston collecting the ball on the overlap and crossing for Maeda. He was up above the defence but from a central position, he glanced his header wide of goal.

Celtic were in front on 16. O’Riley bent in a teasing cross from their right and as Gary Woods and Calvin Ramsay hesitated, Jota darted in between them at the back post to stab the ball in.

After a decent start, a very disappointing goal to lose.

It was 2-0 four minutes later, though there was a huge element of misfortune in it after Celtic had slicked the ball around nicely. O’Riley picked up the ball from Gallagher’s header clear on the edge of the box, but his shot was going nowhere when it hit David Bates’ heel and flashed into the bottom corner with Woods wrongfooted. A massive deflection.

The Dons steadied themselves thereafter and while Celtic had the bulk of possession, it was without creating any further threat until the 36th minute when Maeda accelerated beyond the defence and drive a low cross through the box, Jonny Hayes tidying things up at the back post with Abada lurking. Aberdeen were finding it impossible to string anything together in an attacking sense though, and that remained the case to the break.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 CELTIC 2

There were two changes for the home side at the break, Funso Ojo and Matty Kennedy replacing Ramsay and McGeouch, the Dons reverting to a back four with Hayes and Ross McCrorie at full-back. David Bates was in the book on 49 minutes for a mistimed challenge on Abada.

There was a much better opening to the half from the Dons and a period of prolonged possession in Celtic’s third gave McCrorie the chance to get on the overlap. He fizzed a cross through the six yard box, Christian Ramirez just short of getting his head on it as he threw himself at the ball on 53 minutes.

A lovely free-kick got Aberdeen back into the gameon 56. Out on the left, rather than hoist in a cross, Ojo rolled a low ball in towards the penalty spot. Ramirez peeled away, nobody went with him and from ten yards out, he drilled it through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner.

Ramirez thought he had squared things up two minutes later, a lovely finish from Brown’s header forward, but the assistant’s flag – rightly – had gone up for offside.

Celtic were feeling the pace now and Jota was in the book for hacking McCrorie down on the hour as he looked set to get a cross in. Full revenge was exacted though for from the free-kick, Ojo curled the ball into the near post, Lewis Ferguson getting in front of everyone and glancing his header beyond Hart and in – 2-2.

Parity lasted less than a minute. Celtic were away back up to the Red Shed, for the first time in the half. A header ballooned forward, Jota turning away from Hayes and Bates before hammering a shot into the ground that bounced up and over Woods and in. Abada blocked off Bates as the ball came in, having looked marginally offside in the lead up to the goal, the assistant keeping his flag down.

From the kick-off, Gallagher was booked for hauling down Maeda as Celtic won the ball back. On 67 minutes there were raucous appeals for an Aberdeen penalty as Ferguson looked to have been barged to the ground, but again, nothing doing from the officials.

Aberdeen were causing havoc in the Celtic defence with crosses and it was the same again after 69 minutes, Hayes standing one up to the back post, Ferguson up to it, forcing Hart into an acrobatic save.

With 16 minutes left, Besuijen did well to win a flick on from Ramirez and then win a free-kick just right of centre, 25 yards out. Ferguson dug out a vicious drive that bent round the wall but went just over – Hart wasn’t getting that one had it been a foot lower.

Celtic were forced into a couple of changes to try to change the tide, Maeda and Hatate making way for Giakoumakis and Bitton after 76 minutes. They did the same to run the clock down with Rogic and Forrest on for O’Riley and Abada on 89 minutes.

As we headed into four minutes of added time, Ramirez exchanged oases with Ferguson on the edge of the box, his attempt to bend the ball into the far corner going wide, and with it, the final hope of rescuing a point.

 

ABERDEEN: Woods, Ramsay (Ojo 46), McCrorie, Gallagher, Bates, Hayes, Brown, McGeouch (Kennedy 46), Ferguson, Besuijen, Ramirez.

Subs not used: Ritchie, Jenks, Emmanuel-Thomas, MacKenzie, Milne, Ruth, Barron.

GOALS: Ramirez (56), Ferguson (61)

BOOKED: Bates, Gallagher

CELTIC: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, O’Riley (Rogic 89), McGregor, Hatate (Bitton 76), Abada (Forrest 89), Jota, Maeda (Giakoumakis 76).

Subs not used: Bain, McCarthy, Johnston, Welsh, Scales.

GOALS: Jota (16, 62), O’Riley (20)

BOOKED: Jota

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