Scottish League Cup - Final

Scottish League Cup final: Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen - Rodgers leads holders to seventh straight trophy

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland at Hampden Park
Celtic lift the Scottish Legue Cup
Celtic won a fiery Scottish League Cup final to clinch the trophy for the 18th time

Former Aberdeen loanee Ryan Christie scored the only goal as Brendan Rodgers led Celtic to his seventh straight domestic trophy and the club's 18th Scottish League Cup.

Dons winger Gary Mackay-Steven was knocked out by a clash of heads and carried off before Christie's strike in first-half injury time.

Celtic won a controversial 52nd-minute penalty but Scott Sinclair's spot kick was brilliantly saved by Joe Lewis.

Aberdeen could not find a leveller.

And Celtic could have doubled their lead when Sinclair broke free in the box but floated over, Lewis twice denied Odsonne Edouard, and the French striker spurned a great opportunity to play in a team-mate on an injury-time counter-attack.

The victory was Celtic's 22nd successive cup win since Rodgers took charge in the summer of 2016.

Clinical Christie strikes

Ryan Christie scores for Celtic against Aberdeen
Ryan Christie fired past Joe Lewis at the second time of asking to put Celtic ahead

The final had been tighter than a drum before Christie's clinical moment, a game of huge intensity where Aberdeen went virtually man-for-man on Celtic's most influential midfielders and managed to all-but stifle their danger.

They had a scary moment early on when Tom Rogic saw a shot slap back off Lewis' right-hand post, but in the main it was an even contest.

Dominic Ball, Graeme Shinnie and Lewis Ferguson were in the faces of Christie, Callum McGregor and Rogic. Out wide, Sinclair wasn't getting any change out of Shay Logan down the left and James Forrest was in a battle with Max Lowe down the right.

Dons boss Derek McInnes would have been a happy man with the way things were going until late in the opening half. Their problems, ironically, started when they created a decent chance. Logan swung in a cross which was met by Mackay-Steven who headed straight at Bain.

What happened in the process of Mackay-Steven heading the ball was awful and deeply worrying. A clash of heads between the Aberdeen winger and Dedryck Boyata halted play for six or seven minutes. Boyata got up and a bandage was applied to his bloody wound. Mackay-Steven didn't get up, however. There was significant concern about his wellbeing as he lay on the floor.

Eventually, he was stretchered away and the final carried on into the final minutes of the half. That's when Aberdeen suffered their second blow, a double-whammy of disappointment. Five added minutes of six had been played when Boyata floated a ball over the top and into Aberdeen's penalty area.

Christie came to life in the blink of an eye, getting away from Shinnie and into space left by Aberdeen's sleeping centre-halves. The midfielder was one-on-one with Lewis, but the goalkeeper blocked his first attempt. When the ball fell loose, Christie was again the most alert man in Hampden. Even though he was falling over at the time he managed to stay in the moment, fend off Logan, and put the rebound into the Aberdeen net.

Celtic turn up the heat amid 'poor officiating'

Scott Sinclair's penalty is saved by Joe Lewis
Joe Lewis dived to his right to deny Scott Sinclair from 12 yards

Celtic - now bearing down on seven titles in a row under Rodgers - turned up the heat in the new half. Poor officiating gave them a golden chance to make it 2-0 when Ball was adjudged to have handled in the box. He didn't. When ball struck arm, the arm was outside the penalty area, but referee Andrew Dallas gave Celtic the decision and Sinclair stepped up.

Lewis' save was magnificent, the goalkeeper flinging himself to his right and beating the ball away. Moments later he went the other way to deny Filip Benkovic. The Dons were reeling.

Just after the hour, Boyata came off and was replaced by Jozo Simunovic who was on the field a matter of seconds when he stuck out a leg in trying to dispossess Niall McGinn and only managed to poke the ball on to his own crossbar. That was a dramatic moment - and it wasn't the last of them.

Things opened up and tempers became frayed. Scott Brown came on to the field and Celtic pushed for a second. McGregor launched a counter-attack and played in Sinclair whose dinked effort fell wide.

All the while, Aberdeen fought and scrapped to get themselves back into it. They threw their heart and soul into everything. James Wilson appeared off the bench and his hooked effort was saved by Bain. How the Dons craved a gilt-edged chance in those closing moments, but Celtic were too organised, too confident, too good.

They should have scored a second minutes from the end when Odsonne Edouard broke free and went himself when a simple pass to Sinclair or Kieran Tierney would have given Celtic a near-unmissable opportunity. Profligacy didn't cost them, though. They saw it out and won the day - again.



Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 29Bain
  • 23Lustig
  • 20BoyataSubstituted forSimunovicat 61'minutes
  • 32Benkovic
  • 63Tierney
  • 42McGregor
  • 49ForrestBooked at 24minsSubstituted forNtchamat 86'minutes
  • 18RogicBooked at 59minsSubstituted forBrownat 64'minutes
  • 17ChristieBooked at 50mins
  • 11Sinclair
  • 22Edouard


  • 1Gordon
  • 5Simunovic
  • 8Brown
  • 9Griffiths
  • 12Gamboa
  • 15Hayes
  • 21Ntcham


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2LoganBooked at 68mins
  • 5McKenna
  • 4Considine
  • 29Lowe
  • 21BallBooked at 60mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forMcLennanat 45+2'minutes
  • 19FergusonBooked at 78mins
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forWilsonat 70'minutes
  • 16CosgroveBooked at 78minsSubstituted forAndersonat 79'minutes


  • 8Gleeson
  • 9Wilson
  • 15Wright
  • 17May
  • 20Cerny
  • 25Anderson
  • 27McLennan
Andrew Dallas

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamAberdeen
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 1, Aberdeen 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Aberdeen 0.

  3. Post update

    Ryan Christie (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Connor McLennan (Aberdeen).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Christie (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    Connor McLennan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Scott Brown (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  8. Post update

    Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

  10. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Olivier Ntcham replaces James Forrest.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Max Lowe (Aberdeen).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

  18. Post update

    Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Max Lowe (Aberdeen).

  20. Post update

    James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.


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