Celtic 1 – 0 Aberdeen 22/01/11

Stokes hits his 4th goal in 3 games

Jordan McCallum was at Celtic Park…..

Celtic took full advantage of Rangers’ defeat to Hearts by ending Craig Brown’s unbeaten run as Aberdeen boss with a workman like performance. Celtic made one change to the side that beat Hibernian with Niall McGinn coming in to replace the suspended James Forrest. Craig Brown made two changes to his side with Derek Young coming in for youngster Ryan Jack and Sone Aluko was benched to make way for debut boy Nick Blackman.

Celtic had a lot of possession in the early stages without creating many chances and Aberdeen always looked a threat on the break with the pace of in-form Chris Maguire and Nick Blackman.

The deadlock was broken on 27 minutes by Anthony Stokes who rounded Jamie Langfield after being played in by strike partner Gary Hooper. Stokes and Hooper look like they are forming a formidable partnership.

Minutes after Celtic had taken the lead; Jamie Langfield was punished for picking up a pass-back. Referee Ian Brines blew his whistle and Celtic took the indirect freekick quickly and Stokes sidefooted the ball into the net. However, the referee must have changed his mind and gave a freekick to the Dons.

If a central defender wasn’t already on Neil Lennon’s shopping list then it certainly is now as Daniel Majstorovic was replaced just before half time with a hamstring strain. Charlie Mulgrew was brought on as a makeshift centre half.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Celtic having most of the possession and Aberdeen threatening of the break. Chris Maguire came close to scoring what would have been a wonderful equaliser as he turned his man and unleashed a powerful shot which flew a yard wide with Thomas Rogne possibly at fault after mis-controlling a long ball. Both sides failed to get out of first gear but the way both sides battled was admirable.  Freddie Ljungberg was introduced to the action with 15 minutes to go to make his Celtic Park debut.

The was a result in which the Hoops ground out and the same spirit and fighting qualities will be needed on Wednesday if they are to defeat a flying Heats side, buoyed by their victory over Rangers.

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