Lennon believes Celtic were worthy winners over Aberdeen

Neil Lennon
Lennon was pleased to see his side win despite midweek exertions in Europe

Neil Lennon hailed Celtic as worthy victors as they ended their winless run with a hard-fought defeat of Aberdeen.

A 72nd-minute goal from Charlie Mulgrew secured the Parkhead side's first win in five matches to keep them within 10 points of league leaders Rangers.

"We've lost the last three times off the back of European matches, so to win today is great," Lennon told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme.

"It helps us build a bit of momentum. I thought we were worthy winners."

Ki Sung-Yueng gave the home side the lead in the 17th minute when he finished off a neat passing move by Beram Kayal and Gary Hooper.

But the home side failed to build on that and Aberdeen defender Ryan Jack levelled on the hour mark to set the nerves jangling among the home support.

However, with the crowd growing restless, Ki lofted a long free-kick into the box and the former Aberdeen defender Mulgrew drove high into the net from close range.

"I'm very satisfied," Lennon added.

"I didn't think it was that nervy but at one-nil you are always susceptible to a goal.

"The goal was poor from our point of view but Aberdeen didn't really create a lot today and we've missed decent chances.

"The football we played, particularly in the first half was very pleasing off the back of Thursday [the 1-1 draw with Rennes] and it is a great win for us.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"It was a good dressing room today. They've had a tough week and this was a good way to end it."

Aberdeen had lost the corresponding fixture last year 9-0 and were beaten in all five encounters between the two teams in three different competitions last season, conceding 21 goals and scoring just one.

And Lennon conceded that, despite being pleased with the result, there are elements of Celtic's performance which require more work.

"We need to find consistency of performance. We seemed to tail off a bit," the Celtic boss said.

"For the first 15 minutes of the second half we weren't great. We were our own worst enemy at times.

"But the response was great and we could and should have won the match more comfortably.

"We are playing good football and creating chances and one day they're going to come together and somebody is going to be on the end of a good beating."

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