Scottish Premiership

Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Pittodrie

Aberdeen breathed new life into the Premiership title race with a deserved win against league leaders Celtic.

After a dominant start from the visitors, Aberdeen exploded into life when Jonny Hayes fired home an unstoppable drive from 25 yards.

Simon Church marked his debut with a goal when he bundled home from close range to make it 2-0 at Pittodrie.

Leigh Griffiths pulled one back in injury time, but the Dons held on to cut the gap on Celtic to three points.

It was a sensational atmosphere in this top-of-the-table clash, which saw striker Church make his debut for the hosts with Efe Ambrose taking a seat on the bench.

The early exchanges were combative and committed but restricted to long-range efforts that did not threaten an opener.

Simon Church
Church turns the ball home from close range to put Aberdeen 2-0 up

Celtic grew in confidence going forward during the first half, and there were strong claims for a penalty as Shay Logan was thought to have handled the ball.

The contest then erupted and it was Aberdeen who decisively struck.

Hayes gathered a clearance about 25 yards from goal and hit a fabulous strike which crept inside goalkeeper Craig Gordon's post.

As Celtic manager Ronny Deila looked on in horror, things got worse for his side as Aberdeen roared further ahead.

Hayes sent in a corner, Kenny McLean nodded on and debutant Church kneed the ball home from close range to send Pittodrie wild.

Ronny Deila
Celtic's lead at the top of the Premiership has been cut to three points

McLean came close to a third just before half-time with a fierce drive from outside the box which Gordon diverted.

Deila's half-time response was to hand a debut to Colin Kazim-Richards at the expense of Stuart Armstrong.

However, it was Aberdeen who should have gone further ahead.

Defensive indecision presented Church with a glorious chance to seal it, but he somehow screwed the ball wide from close range.

Celtic struggled to create until Scott Brown hooked the ball across for Griffiths, who looked certain to bury a header back across goal, but it inched past the far post.

Niall McGinn then fired from distance and Gordon cleared the ball as it looked to be heading just wide.

Then Griffiths cut inside onto his left foot and fired past Scott Brown to pull one back for Celtic in stoppage time, but there was not enough time left to search for an equaliser.



Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 20Brown
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11HayesSubstituted forSmithat 86'minutes
  • 23StorieBooked at 71mins
  • 7McLean
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forConsidineat 72'minutes
  • 18ChurchSubstituted forPawlettat 76'minutes
  • 9Rooney


  • 4Considine
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 16Pawlett
  • 19Collin
  • 26McKenna
  • 31Ross


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forAllanat 78'minutes
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 20Boyata
  • 63TierneyBooked at 84mins
  • 8BrownBooked at 66mins
  • 6Bitton
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forForrestat 68'minutes
  • 14S ArmstrongBooked at 44minsSubstituted forKazim-Richardsat 45'minutesBooked at 65mins
  • 9Griffiths


  • 3Izaguirre
  • 4Ambrose
  • 13Kazim-Richards
  • 19Allan
  • 24Cole
  • 26Bailly
  • 49Forrest
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamCeltic
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Celtic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Celtic 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 2, Celtic 1. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Erik Sviatchenko.

  4. Post update

    Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Craig Storie.

  7. Post update

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Cameron Smith (Aberdeen).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Cameron Smith replaces Jonny Hayes.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Tierney (Celtic).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Scott Allan replaces Mikael Lustig.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett replaces Simon Church.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

  17. Post update

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

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Andrew Considine replaces Niall McGinn.

  19. Booking

    Simon Church (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

As It Stood

4Ross County24103114037333
5St Johnstone229583634232
7Inverness CT237883032-229
8Partick Thistle237792228-628
12Dundee Utd2334162446-2213
View full Scottish Premiership table

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