Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic2AberdeenAberdeen1

Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen: Odsonne Edouard secures 10th straight league win

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Celtic overcame dogged 10-man Aberdeen to secure a 10th successive Scottish Premiership win and restore their five-point lead at the top.

Odsonne Edouard's second-half strike settled it after Sam Cosgrove - later sent off for a lunge on Kris Ajer - levelled with his 20th goal this term.

Celtic led early through Christopher Jullien, but struggled to make their superiority count. They have played a game more than closest challengers Rangers, who had narrowed the gap with victory at Hibs on Friday.

The Old Firm rivals meet on 29 December in the final fixture before the winter shutdown, with Celtic first facing St Mirren away on Boxing Day.

Aberdeen are now three away games without a league win and replaced by Motherwell in third place.

Celtic pressure pays off

Celtic's imperious home record in the league this season - nine wins from nine - looked a certainty to be extended as they flew out the traps.

Jullien had already hit the crossbar by getting on the end of a Ryan Christie corner by the time he put them in front.

The second time he volleyed the ball into the ground and past the despairing dive of Joe Lewis, though he may have been aided by a deflection off Ash Taylor.

The champions were playing with a fluency that did not augur well for Aberdeen, who had been steamrollered in the previous meeting between the sides at Pittodrie.

Edouard was a constant menace, forcing Lewis into action with a shot from the edge of the area before watching a close-range finish deflected wide at the end of another gorgeous flowing move.

So when Aberdeen pulled level, it was to the astonishment of just about everyone inside Celtic Park.

dons stat

Neil Lennon vented his fury as Jeremie Frimpong was penalised for a challenge on Niall McGinn and that was amplified as Aberdeen profited. The initial free-kick was half-cleared but McGinn clipped in a cross that was met by a prodigious leap and emphatic header from a towering Cosgrove.

That did little to stymie Celtic's incessant pressure and they felt they should have had a penalty for James Wilson's last-ditch tackle on Edouard, but referee Euan Anderson was unmoved.

Waves and waves of Celtic attacks continued to yield nothing though, with Lewis dealing with shots - mainly from distance - from James Forrest, Callum McGregor, Mikey Johnston and Christie.

A second Celtic goal did feel inevitable, however, and when it did arrive it was the result of more slick passing - this time between Edouard and Christie - as the Frenchman slipped the ball beyond Lewis to secure the points.

That may have been the case regardless but Aberdeen's chances of a second equaliser were greatly diminished by Cosgrove's dismissal.

There was a time his sliding challenge on Ajer would have been deemed a good one, but in the modern game the speed and force of it caused Anderson to produce the red card.

Aberdeen's performance was a vast improvement on the meek display they turned in against Celtic last time out but their reward was exactly the same.

Man of the match - Odsonne Edouard

Perhaps still not back to full fitness but Celtic are a different team with Edouard leading the line.

His hold-up play, flicks and tricks and awareness, not to mention his goalscoring ability, give Celtic another dimension.

'Of course it's not a red' - reaction

Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy: "It could have been a more emphatic win. Our last few games have been like that - the scoreline hasn't reflected our chances created and quality of play. In terms of performance, we can't ask for much more."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "Of course it's not a red. Sam has won the ball. It's actually a great tackle. 100% we will be appealing against the decision."

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 67Forster
  • 30FrimpongBooked at 90mins
  • 2Jullien
  • 35Ajer
  • 23Bolingoli-Mbombo
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregor
  • 17ChristieBooked at 39mins
  • 21NtchamSubstituted forJohnstonat 61'minutes
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forRogicat 82'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forGriffithsat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Bitton
  • 9Griffiths
  • 10Bayo
  • 18Rogic
  • 19Johnston

Aberdeen

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 14Taylor
  • 5McKenna
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 90mins
  • 33Vyner
  • 22OjoSubstituted forMainat 74'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 28WilsonSubstituted forMcLennanat 57'minutes
  • 16CosgroveBooked at 69mins
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forGallagherat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Devlin
  • 9Main
  • 11Hedges
  • 18McLennan
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Gallagher
  • 24Campbell
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
59,131

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home29
Away2
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 2, Aberdeen 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Aberdeen 1.

  3. Booking

    Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

  7. Booking

    Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic).

  9. Post update

    Jon Gallagher (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jeremie Frimpong (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ryan Christie following a fast break.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Celtic. Jeremie Frimpong tries a through ball, but Leigh Griffiths is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Connor McLennan (Aberdeen).

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Johnston.

  15. Post update

    Christopher Jullien (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Main (Aberdeen).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces James Forrest.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Scott Brown.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic).

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