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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
Aberdeen 0 - 4 Celtic
Kick Off:  3:00 PM         Mjallby (5), Sutton (34), Sylla (53), Lambert (65)  
Attendance: 17,284 (Visitors: 3,738)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Celtic cruise past sorry Dons
It was a bad day at the office for Aberdeen as they were well beaten 4-0 by Celtic. With the opening European tie only five days away, Ebbe Skovdahl had his work cut out to raise team spirit after this shocker. The Dons went behind after 5 minutes and never looked like getting back in to the game. The Dons fans in the 17,284 crowd could only look on in horror as Celtic dominated the middle of the park and Aberdeen continually lost possession all too easily.

Celtic kicked off and created the first chance in the second minute when Petrov released Sylla on the right and his cross was headed inches over by Larsson. An early warning for the Dons if they needed one. The warning was not heeded and Celtic took an early lead after forcing two corners. Valgaeren touched on the corner and Mjallby stabbed the ball home with only five minutes on the clock. The Dons tried to hit back immediately and went close when Mike failed to slot the ball home in a goalmouth scramble.

In the 8th minute Clark burst down the right and Mackie looped a header towards goal which deflected for a corner. Celtic were causing the Dons big problems from their set play as they forced several corners in the opening period. The Dons main threat was coming from a lively looking Chris Clark on the left wing. Aberdeen were certainly putting a lot of effort into getting forward, but they were unable to get the final ball into the danger areas and Celtic always looked dangerous on the break.

McNaughton did get a telling pass into the path of Mackie in the 21st minute, but Douglas easily smothered his shot. Celtic went close again in the 28th minute when another Sylla cross was headed wide by Petrov with the Dons defence chasing shadows. Darren Mackie took a heavy challenge on the half-hour mark and was forced to leave the field for treatment. Celtic went close again two minutes later and once more it was from a set play as Larsson headed a Petta free kick into the grateful arms of Peter Kjaer.

Aberdeen went further behind in the 34th minute following a real scramble. McGuire had managed to clear the ball off the line only for it to be delivered again seconds later leaving Sutton to score from close in. Petrov nearly added a third a minute later, but ballooned his effort over the bar. It was now going to take a mammoth effort to take anything from this game. The Dons inability to hold on to the ball was beginning to tell as every move seemed to break down with a loose pass. The Dons produced their best move of the game in the 41st minute when McNaughton delivered a sweet pass to Deloumeaux and Douglas did well to gather his first time cross under pressure.

Celtic created the first opening of the second half when a Lennon free kick was steered towards Larsson by Sutton. The Swede uncharacteristically sliced the ball well wide of the target. The game was over as a contest in the 53rd minute when Sylla headed home a Petta cross to seal the points for a rampant Celtic. D'Jaffo replaced Leon Mike in the 55th minute. Almost immediately Sylla fired in a cross which Kjaer had to scramble to tip over the bar. A free kick 25 yards out followed in the 58th minute, but fortunately for the Dons Larsson made a hash of it.

The Dons were under considerable pressure, but finally created an opening for themselves in the 61st minute when D'Jaffo released Mackie. Unfortunately Clark was unable to bury his cut back. A minute later Larsson hit the woodwork as the Dons were stretched again. Memories of Ebbe's first season sprung to mind as Lambert added a fourth in the 65th minute following a one-two with Sutton. This was hardly the preparation the Dons were looking for ahead of their European tie on Thursday.

Kjaer was forced to bundle another Larsson effort round the post in the 70th minute as Celtic continued to dominate. With the game won, Celtic made a triple substitution in the 76th minute as the game petered out. It was hard to take anything positive from the match, but D'Jaffo did show some good touches when he came on and Roberto Bisconti was tireless in the middle of the park. The Dons created a couple of half chances in the closing minutes with a Mackie cut back in the 86th minute the best opportunity. Unfortunately Tiernan, who had replaced Clark, could only fire tamely at Douglas.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young, Clark (Tiernan 68), Mike (D'Jaffo 55), Bisconti, McNaughton, Mackie.

Unused Subs:


Celtic Teamsheet:  Douglas, Sylla, Balde, Mjalby, Lambert, Lennon, Petrov, Valgaeren, Larsson, Sutton, Petta.

Unused Subs: Fernandez for Petta (76), Maloney for Petrov (76), Crainey for Mjallby (76)


Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside

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