Celtic returned to Paradise to face Aberdeen in the SPFL this evening. The Hoops have won their previous four matches, whilst the visitors are winless in their last five outings.
Neil Lennon rung the changes as Stephen Welsh, Albian Ajeti and Ismaila Soro all returned to the starting XI at the expense of Scott Brown, Tom Rogic and Shane Duffy. Those alterations prompted a change in formation, the manager choosing to revert to a 4-4-2 diamond shape.
The contrasting form of each side was reflected in the opening stages as Celtic were instantly on the front foot. It took just five minutes to carve out a major opportunity, when Callum McGregor threaded an incisive pass between the full back and centre half. Greg Taylor ran onto the through ball, but his cut back was intercepted when Ajeti was waiting to pounce at close range.
David Turnbull manufactured another clear chance moments later. The midfielder produced one of his trademark ‘scoop’ passes over the top for Ryan Christie, which just evaded the attacker and ran out of play. Buoyed by that creativity, Celtic really turned the screw. Odsonne Edouard fluffed his lines in the 12th minute, squandering a great chance to continue his incredible goalscoring run. It mattered little, as David Turnbull, another player in fabulous form in front of goal, sent a low drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
What a worldy from Turnbull….1 nil Celtic …… pic.twitter.com/uBW3Ky1moU
— Ayewell@Govan (@theoldgovanarm1) February 17, 2021
What a stunning strike, from a magnificent footballer, to give Celtic the lead.
In a modern football world where box to box midfielders are dying out, replaced by players sticking to a holding role or number 10 position, David Turnbull is a revelation. Can do it all and makes so much happen. Those long range shots are deadly. Celtic’s answer to Frank Lampard pic.twitter.com/qPDbMsD0Ab
— Liam Kelly (@cfcliamk96) February 17, 2021
The Bhoys controlled proceedings after going in front, until the 36th minute when Aberdeen went perilously close to equalising. A low ball flashed across Celtic’s six yard box on that occasion, and three minutes later a poor clearance found its way to Kamberi at the edge of the box, whose resultant shot rattled the woodwork.
Having survived that brief lapse in concentration, Celtic refocused and forged a few half chances of their own.
The Hoops go into the break with their 1-0 advantage intact.