Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen2Celtic1

Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic

Aberdeen breathed new life into the Premiership title race with a deserved win against league leaders Celtic.

After a dominant start from the visitors, Aberdeen exploded into life when Jonny Hayes fired home an unstoppable drive from 25 yards.

Simon Church marked his debut with a goal when he bundled home from close range to make it 2-0 at Pittodrie.

Leigh Griffiths pulled one back in injury time, but the Dons held on to cut the gap on Celtic to three points.

It was a sensational atmosphere in this top-of-the-table clash, which saw striker Church make his debut for the hosts with Efe Ambrose taking a seat on the bench.

The early exchanges were combative and committed but restricted to long-range efforts that did not threaten an opener.

Simon Church
Church turns the ball home from close range to put Aberdeen 2-0 up

Celtic grew in confidence going forward during the first half, and there were strong claims for a penalty as Shay Logan was thought to have handled the ball.

The contest then erupted and it was Aberdeen who decisively struck.

Hayes gathered a clearance about 25 yards from goal and hit a fabulous strike which crept inside goalkeeper Craig Gordon's post.

As Celtic manager Ronny Deila looked on in horror, things got worse for his side as Aberdeen roared further ahead.

Hayes sent in a corner, Kenny McLean nodded on and debutant Church kneed the ball home from close range to send Pittodrie wild.

Ronny Deila
Celtic's lead at the top of the Premiership has been cut to three points

McLean came close to a third just before half-time with a fierce drive from outside the box which Gordon diverted.

Deila's half-time response was to hand a debut to Colin Kazim-Richards at the expense of Stuart Armstrong.

However, it was Aberdeen who should have gone further ahead.

Defensive indecision presented Church with a glorious chance to seal it, but he somehow screwed the ball wide from close range.

Celtic struggled to create until Scott Brown hooked the ball across for Griffiths, who looked certain to bury a header back across goal, but it inched past the far post.

Niall McGinn then fired from distance and Gordon cleared the ball as it looked to be heading just wide.

Then Griffiths cut inside onto his left foot and fired past Scott Brown to pull one back for Celtic in stoppage time, but there was not enough time left to search for an equaliser.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 20Brown
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11HayesSubstituted forSmithat 86'minutes
  • 23StorieBooked at 71mins
  • 7McLean
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forConsidineat 72'minutes
  • 18ChurchSubstituted forPawlettat 76'minutes
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 4Considine
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 16Pawlett
  • 19Collin
  • 26McKenna
  • 31Ross

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forAllanat 78'minutes
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 20Boyata
  • 63TierneyBooked at 84mins
  • 8BrownBooked at 66mins
  • 6Bitton
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forForrestat 68'minutes
  • 14ArmstrongBooked at 44minsSubstituted forKazim-Richardsat 45'minutesBooked at 65mins
  • 9Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 3Izaguirre
  • 4Ambrose
  • 13Kazim-Richards
  • 19Allan
  • 24Cole
  • 26Bailly
  • 49Forrest
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
19,003

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home7
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Celtic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Celtic 1.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Celtic 1. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Erik Sviatchenko.

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Craig Storie.

Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cameron Smith (Aberdeen).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Jonny Hayes.

Foul by Kieran Tierney (Celtic).

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Scott Allan replaces Mikael Lustig.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett replaces Simon Church.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Andrew Considine replaces Niall McGinn.

Booking

Simon Church (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simon Church (Aberdeen).

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Storie (Aberdeen).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Callum McGregor.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Scott Brown (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Booking

Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Ash Taylor (Aberdeen).

Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Erik Sviatchenko.

Attempt missed. Simon Church (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic24174364214355
2Aberdeen24164440231752
3Hearts23118442241841
4Ross County24103114037333
5St Johnstone229583634232
6Dundee247983741-430
7Inverness CT237883032-229
8Partick Thistle237792228-628
9Hamilton2577113045-1528
10Motherwell2475122639-1326
11Kilmarnock2566132748-2124
12Dundee Utd2334162446-2213
View full Scottish Premiership table

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