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Jota goal v Aberdeen
Jota’s late winner earned Celtic a first domestic victory on the road since February

Jota’s late winner earned Celtic a first away Scottish Premiership victory since February as Aberdeen’s winless run extended to nine games.

Kyogo Furuhashi chested in a deserved early opener but the hosts improved after the break and equalised when Lewis Ferguson diverted a corner in.

However, the visitors responded late at Pittodrie as Jota’s close-range finish earned a long-awaited away win.

The result means Celtic remain sixth and Aberdeen stay ninth.

But Ange Postecoglou’s side have closed the gap on league leaders Hearts to five points with a much-needed three points, with high-flying Hibernian and Rangers still to play on Sunday.

Aberdeen are without a win in all competitions in nine games, which includes a four-game losing streak in the Premiership – their worst run in the top-flight since April 2011.

All the pre-match talk about a Scott Brown reunion clouded the fact both sides were in need of a morale-boosting win, and for the majority of the first period, it looked like the visitors were only team looking to achieve it as Aberdeen struggled to deal with Celtic’s tempo and approach play.

David Turnbull curled in a corner to Nir Bitton who squandered a golden close-range header, but Kyogo made up for the Israeli man’s miss when Turnbull bent in another stunning cross to find the Japanese forward, who casually chested the ball into the Aberdeen net.

Celtic were clicking, more so down the right as young Aberdeen full-back Jack MacKenzie struggled to deal with Turnbull and Liel Abada doubling up on his side.

Celtic average positions
Celtic’s first-half average positions show how Turnbull (14) and Abada (11) doubled up on Aberdeen’s left

But it was the opposite flank that almost brought a second goal, Jota chopping inside and unleashing a dipping shot that bounced off Gary Woods’ bar.

The home side took a while to get going, but came to life as the first half came to a close.

Celtic’s defence showed signs of creaking as Christian Ramirez found himself with acres of space at a corner and hit a volley into the ground, which Joe Hart flapped at before seeing the ball clip the bar.

Aberdeen continued that improvement into the second half with more direct play as Austin Samuels flashed over.

And the hosts would get the equaliser their second-half showing merited when Calvin Ramsay’s corner found Ferguson who rose highest and ended up diverting the ball in with his shoulder with the Celtic defence far from convincing.

The hosts might have won it, with Hart parrying away a close-range header from Brown and a strike from Jonny Hayes.

But Celtic composed in the latter stages and notched a vital winner as neat build-up on the edge of the area resulted in Adam Montgomery sliding the ball across for Jota to slide in.

Man of the match – David Turnbull

Lewis Ferguson & David Turnbull
The Celtic midfielder (right) was key to his side’s first-half dominance and provided a fantastic assist for Kyogo

What did we learn?

Questions have rightly been asked about Celtic’s mentality when the chips are down, and when Aberdeen equalised Postecoglou would have been fearing he was going to have to provide more answers.

But his side showed a mental toughness that has until now been distant. The Australian will demand this has to be a turning point his side’s campaign.

For long periods of the first half it looked like Aberdeen would fail to capitalise on Celtic’s vulnerable backline, but Glass’ men rallied in a much-improved second half.

In isolation a home defeat to Celtic is not catastrophic, but with the run the Dons are currently enduring and the mindset Glass’ players could currently be in, this feels like a sink-or-swim moment in the Pittodrie side’s campaign, even at this early stage.

What did they say?

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: “Overall we’re disappointed, but I’m pleased with the second half.

“We’re concerned we’re not getting the points we deserve on the board. It’s important we keep trying to get it right.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou: “The second half was a real battle, to the players’ credit we were looking for that second goal and I’m pleased the players got their reward.

“The important thing is the manner we did it, we showed great character. That’s probably the one thing people were questioning up until now.”

What’s next?

Celtic go to Motherwell on 16 October (15:00 BST) after the international break, as Aberdeen travel to Dundee (18:00) on the same day.

More to follow.

Player of the match

FuruhashiKyogo Furuhashi

with an average of 7.64

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number22Player nameRamsay

    Average rating

    5.47

  2. Squad number17Player nameHayes

    Average rating

    5.15

  3. Squad number8Player nameBrown

    Average rating

    5.10

  4. Squad number19Player nameFerguson

    Average rating

    5.09

  5. Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie

    Average rating

    4.99

  6. Squad number23Player nameSamuels

    Average rating

    4.97

  7. Squad number25Player nameWoods

    Average rating

    4.89

  8. Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie

    Average rating

    4.86

  9. Squad number44Player nameM Longstaff

    Average rating

    4.63

  10. Squad number9Player nameRamírez

    Average rating

    4.61

  11. Squad number15Player nameMcGeouch

    Average rating

    4.51

  12. Squad number27Player nameBates

    Average rating

    4.50

  13. Squad number24Player nameCampbell

    Average rating

    4.06

  14. Squad number18Player nameMcLennan

    Average rating

    3.87

Celtic

  1. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

    Average rating

    7.64

  2. Squad number17Player nameJota

    Average rating

    7.42

  3. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

    Average rating

    6.57

  4. Squad number11Player nameAbada

    Average rating

    6.46

  5. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

    Average rating

    6.39

  6. Squad number18Player nameRogic

    Average rating

    6.32

  7. Squad number54Player nameMontgomery

    Average rating

    6.15

  8. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull

    Average rating

    6.03

  9. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

    Average rating

    5.99

  10. Squad number6Player nameBitton

    Average rating

    5.92

  11. Squad number15Player nameHart

    Average rating

    5.86

  12. Squad number56Player nameRalston

    Average rating

    5.84

  13. Squad number10Player nameAjeti

    Average rating

    4.87

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 25Woods
  • 22Ramsay
  • 27Bates
  • 2McCrorie
  • 3MacKenzie
  • 17Hayes
  • 44M LongstaffSubstituted forCampbellat 88′minutes
  • 8BrownSubstituted forMcGeouchat 72′minutes
  • 23SamuelsSubstituted forMcLennanat 78′minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 9Ramírez

Substitutes

  • 1Lewis
  • 5Gallagher
  • 14Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 15McGeouch
  • 18McLennan
  • 21Gurr
  • 24Campbell

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Hart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 54Montgomery
  • 14TurnbullBooked at 35mins
  • 6BittonBooked at 63minsSubstituted forRogicat 72′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forAjetiat 72′minutes
  • 8Furuhashi
  • 17Neves FilipeBooked at 66mins

Substitutes

  • 5Scales
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 10Ajeti
  • 16McCarthy
  • 18Rogic
  • 29Bain
  • 57Welsh

Referee:
Bobby Madden

Attendance:
14,522

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2.

  3. Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Foul by Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen).

  5. Substitution, Aberdeen. Dean Campbell replaces Matthew Longstaff.

  6. Goal! Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2. Jota (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Montgomery.

  7. Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Foul by Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen).

  9. Attempt saved. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross McCrorie.

  10. Foul by Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic).

  11. Christian Ramírez (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution, Aberdeen. Connor McLennan replaces Austin Samuels.

  13. Foul by Jota (Celtic).

  14. Jack MacKenzie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

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

  17. Attempt blocked. Austin Samuels (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Longstaff.

  18. Substitution, Aberdeen. Dylan McGeouch replaces Scott Brown.

  19. Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces Nir Bitton.

  20. Substitution, Celtic. Albian Ajeti replaces Liel Abada.

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