Scottish Premiership
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Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic: Late Jota goal earns visitors first away league win of the season

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland
Jota goal v Aberdeen
Jota's late winner earned Celtic a first domestic victory on the road since February

Jota's late winner earned Celtic a first away Scottish Premiership victory since February as Aberdeen's winless run extended to nine games.

Kyogo Furuhashi chested in a deserved early opener but the hosts improved after the break and equalised when Lewis Ferguson diverted a corner in.

However, the visitors responded late at Pittodrie as Jota's close-range finish earned a long-awaited away win.

The result means Celtic remain sixth and Aberdeen stay ninth.

But Ange Postecoglou's side have closed the gap on the pack above, but still sit six points adrift of league leaders Rangers.

Aberdeen are without a win in all competitions in nine games, which includes a four-game losing streak in the Premiership - their worst run in the top-flight since April 2011.

All the pre-match talk about a Scott Brown reunion clouded the fact both sides were in need of a morale-boosting win, and for the majority of the first period, it looked like the visitors were the only team looking to achieve it as Aberdeen struggled to deal with Celtic's tempo and approach play.

David Turnbull curled in a corner to Nir Bitton who squandered a golden close-range header but Kyogo made up for the Israel player's miss when the Scotland midfielder bent in another stunning cross to find the Japan forward, who casually chested the ball into the Aberdeen net.

Celtic were clicking, especially down the right as young Aberdeen full-back Jack MacKenzie struggled to deal with Turnbull and Liel Abada doubling up on his side.

Celtic average positions
Celtic's first-half average positions show how Turnbull (14) and Abada (11) doubled up on Aberdeen's left

But it was the opposite flank that almost brought a second goal, Jota chopping inside and unleashing a dipping shot that bounced off Gary Woods' bar.

The home side took a while to get going, but came to life as the first half came to a close.

Celtic's defence showed signs of creaking as Christian Ramirez found himself with acres of space at a corner and hit a volley into the ground which Joe Hart flapped at before seeing the ball clip the bar.

Aberdeen continued that improvement into the second half with more direct play as Austin Samuels flashed over.

The hosts got the equaliser their second-half showing merited when Calvin Ramsay's corner found Ferguson, who rose highest and ended up diverting the ball in with his shoulder.

The hosts might have taken the lead, with Hart parrying away a close-range header from Brown and a strike from Jonny Hayes.

But Celtic were more composed in the latter stages and found a vital winner when neat build-up on the edge of the area resulted in Adam Montgomery sliding the ball across for Jota to make no mistake.

Man of the match - David Turnbull

Lewis Ferguson & David Turnbull
The Celtic midfielder (right) was key to his side's first-half dominance and provided a fantastic assist for Kyogo

What did we learn?

Questions have rightly been asked about Celtic's mentality when the chips are down, and when Aberdeen equalised Postecoglou might well have been fearing the worst.

But his side showed a mental toughness that has until now been rarely witnessed and the Australian will hope this is a turning point in his side's campaign.

For long periods of the first half it looked like Aberdeen would fail to capitalise on Celtic's vulnerable backline, but Glass' men rallied in a much-improved second half.

In isolation, a home defeat to Celtic is not catastrophic, but with the run the Dons are currently enduring and the mindset Glass' players must surely be currently experiencing, this felt like a dispiriting moment in the Pittodrie side's campaign.

What did they say?

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: "Overall we're disappointed, but I'm pleased with the second half.

"We're concerned we're not getting the points we deserve on the board. It's important we keep trying to get it right."

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou: "The second half was a real battle, to the players' credit we were looking for that second goal and I'm pleased the players got their reward.

"The important thing is the manner we did it, we showed great character. That's probably the one thing people were questioning up until now."

What's next?

Celtic go to Motherwell on 16 October (15:00 BST) after the international break, as Aberdeen travel to Dundee (18:00) on the same day.

Player of the match

FuruhashiKyogo Furuhashi

with an average of 7.64

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number22Player nameRamsay
    Average rating

    5.47

  2. Squad number17Player nameHayes
    Average rating

    5.12

  3. Squad number19Player nameFerguson
    Average rating

    5.09

  4. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    5.08

  5. Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie
    Average rating

    5.00

  6. Squad number23Player nameSamuels
    Average rating

    4.97

  7. Squad number25Player nameWoods
    Average rating

    4.89

  8. Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie
    Average rating

    4.87

  9. Squad number9Player nameRamírez
    Average rating

    4.61

  10. Squad number44Player nameM Longstaff
    Average rating

    4.60

  11. Squad number15Player nameMcGeouch
    Average rating

    4.51

  12. Squad number27Player nameBates
    Average rating

    4.50

  13. Squad number24Player nameCampbell
    Average rating

    4.06

  14. Squad number18Player nameMcLennan
    Average rating

    3.87

Celtic

  1. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi
    Average rating

    7.64

  2. Squad number17Player nameJota
    Average rating

    7.42

  3. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    6.57

  4. Squad number11Player nameAbada
    Average rating

    6.46

  5. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers
    Average rating

    6.39

  6. Squad number18Player nameRogic
    Average rating

    6.32

  7. Squad number54Player nameMontgomery
    Average rating

    6.15

  8. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    6.03

  9. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt
    Average rating

    5.99

  10. Squad number6Player nameBitton
    Average rating

    5.92

  11. Squad number15Player nameHart
    Average rating

    5.86

  12. Squad number56Player nameRalston
    Average rating

    5.84

  13. Squad number10Player nameAjeti
    Average rating

    4.87

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 25Woods
  • 22Ramsay
  • 27Bates
  • 2McCrorie
  • 3MacKenzie
  • 17Hayes
  • 44M LongstaffSubstituted forCampbellat 88'minutes
  • 8BrownSubstituted forMcGeouchat 72'minutes
  • 23SamuelsSubstituted forMcLennanat 78'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 9Ramírez

Substitutes

  • 1Lewis
  • 5Gallagher
  • 14Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 15McGeouch
  • 18McLennan
  • 21Gurr
  • 24Campbell

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Hart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 54Montgomery
  • 14TurnbullBooked at 35mins
  • 6BittonBooked at 63minsSubstituted forRogicat 72'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forAjetiat 72'minutes
  • 8Furuhashi
  • 17Neves FilipeBooked at 66mins

Substitutes

  • 5Scales
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 10Ajeti
  • 16McCarthy
  • 18Rogic
  • 29Bain
  • 57Welsh
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
14,522

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away27

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2.

  3. Post update

    Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Dean Campbell replaces Matthew Longstaff.

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2. Jota (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Montgomery.

  7. Post update

    Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross McCrorie.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic).

  11. Post update

    Christian Ramírez (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Connor McLennan replaces Austin Samuels.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jota (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Jack MacKenzie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Austin Samuels (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Longstaff.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Dylan McGeouch replaces Scott Brown.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces Nir Bitton.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Albian Ajeti replaces Liel Abada.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers8611146819
2Hearts8530145918
3Hibernian8431148615
4Motherwell8422119214
5Dundee Utd842255014
6Celtic84131961313
7St Mirren8242914-510
8St Johnstone82336609
9Aberdeen8224911-28
10Livingston8116313-104
11Ross County8035616-103
12Dundee8035516-113
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