One of the few shining beacons throughout this detestable period, Kristoffer Ajer – the Mr. Consistent of the side – put in yet another exemplary performance tonight, rightly earning the Dafabet Man of the Match award as he marshalled the surrounding defence to a much-needed clean sheet at Paradise.
“It felt as though there were 25 Aberdeen players in the box!”
Celtic came under intense pressure in the final half hour from an Aberdeen side desperately needing points, and alongside Scott Bain’s heroics, Ajer was on hand to keep them at bay and hand Neil Lennon a pitiful win against lesser opponents.
Speaking to Celtic TV, Ajer was in good spirits about his sides’ defensive performance, stating: “As I said before the game, Aberdeen love to make it difficult – at the end there it felt as though there were 25 Aberdeen players in the box! We defended well so I think that we are all absolutely delighted with it.”
“They pressed us really well in the second half, they came out and showed great spirit and we didn’t really manage to play them out. We had to grind out the result, the full backs defended great and the guys in front of us worked their socks off, so it was great.”
When quizzed on the wonder goal, Ajer was almost empty of superlatives as he lauded Scott Bain for his efforts to keep the score at 1-0 under the intense spell. Spotting a counter-attack opportunity, Bain picked out Callum McGregor, who’s lung-bursting run into midfield found David Turnbull; the “Wishaw Wizard” finishing with aplomb from 25 yards.
“I think it’s important to look at Bainy’s passing for David’s goal! It is easy to look at Turnbull’s great strike and Callum’s stride with the ball but if Bainy doesn’t play that pass then there wouldn’t be a goal.”
We must treasure Ajer whilst we can; his heartwarming attempt at a typical English accent is a joy to watch in interviews, and realistically it won’t be long until he isn’t donning the famous green and white anymore. A player who can turn on the style in any fixture, and a deserved Man of the Match – well done Kris.