Celtic 4-3 Aberdeen

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Celtic underlined why they will soon be crowned Scottish Premier League champions with an astonishing fightback to beat Aberdeen in a seven-goal thriller.

There were a full 94 minutes on the clock when substitute Georgios Samaras stooped to score with a clever overhead kick to cap a most dramatic afternoon.

The home side were 3-1 down after an hour, with Kris Commons' first minute strike equalised by Scott Vernon, before an early second-half double from Josh Magennis put the Dons two clear.

Charlie Mulgrew began the Celtic comeback with a deflected shot before top-scorer Gary Hooper bundled the ball in four minutes from the end of normal time to bring the match level, and fully to the boil, in front of a noisy home crowd.

If the Celtic supporters were jubilant at that, they cranked up the volume even further when Samaras met fellow sub Lassad's added-time knockdown to hook the ball home with his back to goal.

It was a sensational goal to end a sensational match, which was book-ended with two fine goals, 95 minutes apart.

That's what you call box-office value for money.

Not that Aberdeen will be happy to have participated so well in such an entertaining spectacle. The visitors will be wondering how a first league win at Celtic Park in nearly nine years escaped their grasp.

The Dons had to recover from losing one of the SPL's fastest ever goals; Anthony Stokes feeding Commons to drill in a shot after only 13 seconds.

There was no hint of panic, however, from the soon-to-retire Aberdeen manager Craig Brown, who watched his side regain their composure and deservedly equalise when Magennis capitalised on a Kelvin Wilson mistake to offer Vernon a tap-in just before half-time.

Within 15 minutes of the restart, Aberdeen had established a two-goal cushion.

Magennis continued making a total nuisance of himself for the Celtic defence by shooting through goalkeeper Fraser Forster after gathering a Vernon pass before he got the final touch to a wonderful long-range effort from Gavin Rae.

Celtic hopes were restored when Mulgrew's powerful shot took a strong deflection to deceive the helpless Jamie Langfield in goal for Aberdeen.

And when Gary Hooper was the first to react to team-mate Efe Ambrose's header which was blocked on the line, Celtic's comeback was nearly complete.

The enigmatic Samaras was left to steal the show with the last meaningful action of the match, to restore Celtic's 15 point lead at the top of the table, and send a valiant Aberdeen side north scratching their heads.

Matches between these two sides are never dull. Celtic are now unbeaten in their last 16 games with Aberdeen, and have scored 47 goals in those encounters.

However, few of those past meetings have been as dramatic as a stoppage-time overhead kick to seal a 4-3 comeback triumph.


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