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AFC - Match Report
match report 2001-02 fixture list
Aberdeen 2 - 0 Celtic
Kick Off:  5:35 PM   Winters 58, Mackie 90.        
Attendance: 18,610 (Visitors: 4,018)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons give fans early Christmas present.
Aberdeen gave the red army a great early Christmas present as they out-muscled champions Celtic. Few of the home fans cared that it was now nine home wins in a row as the three points and Skovdahl's first win against the hoops were enough to send them into raptures. After an average first half, the game erupted into life in the second period with referee Dougal showing nine yellow cards and dismissing captain Derek Whyte. The ten men held out and sealed the victory with a late goal that sparked the kind of scenes not witnessed at Pittodrie for a long time.

Aberdeen kicked off, but the early exchanges bought little of note except target practice for the snowball throwers in the crowd and a misplaced clearance by Douglas, that Winters was unable to capitalise on. Aberdeen won a free kick wide right in the 8th minute and despite good play by Winters the danger was comfortably dealt with by the Celtic defence. Aberdeen should have taken the lead in the 11th minute when a brilliant turn by Dadi on the left of the box created an opening. The Ivory Coast born striker then delivered a cross which both Winters and Derek Young mis-kicked before the ball was scrambled clear for a corner.

Petrov was booked in the 13th minute after an over elaborate fall to the ground inside the Aberdeen penalty area. A minute later, Larsson went close when he hit an effort wide of Kjaer's left hand post. The match had burst into life and every decision was questioned as no ground was given. Whyte was the next player to be booked after a challenge on Larsson in the 17th minute. Celtic went close in the 23rd minute after Aberdeen gave the ball away cheaply and Petrov swung in a dangerous cross that was scrambled clear for a corner.

McAllister was lucky to escape a booking in the 28th minute after a late challenge on Petrov. Aberdeen almost took a sensational lead on the half hour mark when Douglas fumbled a mis-kicked Robbie Winters shot. Fortunately for the Celtic keeper the ball slipped wide of the post for a corner. In the 33rd minute the Dons back four got in a bit of a tangle before finally scrambling the ball clear. There was controversy a minute later when Darren Young set up his brother Derek. Just as Derek was set to shoot, Alan Thomson tackled the youngster amid claims of a penalty kick.

Celtic started to turn up the heat before half time and Dadi did well to clear a corner kick before Kjaer had to look sharp to palm away a Larsson effort in the 40th minute. In between, a Thompson cross went begging as Aberdeen held firm. The Dons broke away in the 43rd minute and Bisconti had a dig from 25 yards, but his effort went well over the bar. Controversy erupted again on the stroke of half time when Sutton elbowed Bisconti in the face. When the arguments had died down Dougal booked both players and amazingly awarded Celtic a free kick.

Aberdeen should have taken the lead in the 46th minute when a deep cross into the box found Winters. Dadi met his knock down, but Douglas easily held his weak effort. Seconds later Larsson shot inches wide of Kjaer's post. Referee Dougal was not endearing himself to the home crowd as he continually denied the home side free kicks. Darren Young went close in the 50th minute when Douglas fumbled a 25-yard effort. Dadi tried to latch on to the loose ball, but Douglas cleared and despite Dadi's claims for a spot kick, Dougal rightly waved play on. Celtic went close again in the 54th minute from a free kick wide right. Keeper Kjaer was alert however and grabbed the ball.

The Dons took the lead in the 58th minute from another Winters spot kick. Hartson handled in the box after McGuire had taken a wild fresh air swing at the ball following a 'follow the leader' corner kick. Dougal had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Winters hammered the ball into the centre of the goal. [commentary] As expected Celtic came storming back, but the Dons defence put on a backs to the wall display to keep them at bay. Celtic won a free kick in the 65th minute, but the wall blocked Larsson's effort.

In a repeat of the corner kick that lead to the opening goal, McGuire collected on the edge of the box, but hit his shot over the cross bar. Celtic went close again in the 71st minute when Larsson broke forward. Once more the Dons held their nerve to clear the danger. Two minutes later Balde should have done better as he ballooned the ball over from six yards. At this point the Dons were struggling to get out of their own half. In the 77th minute Skovdahl introduced Mackie's pace to the match as he replaced Derek Young.

In a quite shocking display of unsporting play, Celtic almost drew level. Petta failed to return a throw-in after the ball was put out by Anderson to allow treatment. Celtic broke into the box and McGuire headed a Larsson effort off the goal line. The game then erupted as arguments raged all over the pitch as a result of Celtic's un-gentlemanly conduct. After the dust had settled Petta and McAllister were booked. The South Stand linesman then spoke with the referee and Derek Whyte received a second yellow card -for 'adopting an agressive stance' - and an early bath. In a nail biting finish, Balde headed over deep into injury time. Sensationally Mackie sealed the victory in the dying seconds when Douglas failed to control a Valgaeran pass back. The speedy forward pounced and had the simplest of tasks to put the ball into the empty net. [commentary]

Cue pandemonium.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Anderson, McAllister, Whyte, McGuire, Bisconti, Young, Guntveit, Dadi, Winters, Young (Mackie 99).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Whyte (17),  Bisconti (45),  Anderson (56),  Dadi (74),  McAllister (84),  Whyte (85),  Whyte (85).

Celtic Teamsheet:  Douglas, Valgaeren, Balde, Mjalby, Lambert, Lennon, Petrov, Thompson, Larsson, Sutton, Hartson.

Unused Subs: McNamara for Hartson (62), Petta for Lambert (72)

Bookings:  Petrov (13),   Sutton (45),   Petta (84),   Lennon (90)

Referee: Stuart Dougal

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