Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic were in for a tough challenge by third placed Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium on Sunday.
The visitors had a ten point lead on top of the league after the chasing Rangers had dropped points at Kilmarnock last week. Rangers do have a game in hand, so the separation is seven points at least. Aberdeen had caused problems for the Rangers earlier by forcing a goalless draw in the beginning of February and Celtic were not in for any easier bout. In the sunny Sunday afternoon, the home team showed why they were, and are, regarded the next-in-line after the Glasgow duo as they performed admirably and forced Celtic to fight for the points until the final minute. The visitors prevailed in the end by the narrowest of margins and retained their ten-point lead on top of the league.
It was an all even start to the game, but Celtic’s Callum McGregor took the visitors up only after 10 minutes of play, after James Forrest’s individual effort was first parried brilliantly by Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis. McGregor bounced on the rebound and slotted the ball past the keeper to score on his third consecutive start for Celtic and seventh overall this season. The hosts didn’t wallow long in their disappointment, but struck back on 27th minute. Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor was left unmarked in the box and the Welshman scored his first goal in more than a year with a spectacular volley after controlling the ball with his chest. A real goal-scorers goal!
Both teams had their chances, but couldn’t finish. Celtic keeper Fraser Forster found himself searching for the aired ball a couple of times, but figured it out in time. Lewis in the other end stopped James Forrest’s surge with excellent rush out. It was definitely an unusual suspect to finally break the deadlock. The towering central defender Kristoffer Ajer sneaked in to join the attack and was left completely alone at the side of the box. James Forrest set the Norwegian free to score on one-on-one and the prolific goal-scorer didn’t miss from a close range. It was Ajer’s second goal of the season, after going three seasons goalless. The 1-2 goal was enough to secure the win for the visitors and Neil Lennon can be proud of his team’s efforts – as can Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.
Celtic will travel to face FC Copenhagen in the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday and then face Kilmarnock on the following Sunday. Check out Dafabet’s Celtic FC Prediction Challenge in order to win free weekly bets!