SCOTTISH CUP SEMI-FINAL – ABERDEEN 0 CELTIC 3
CELTIC will play Hearts on 19 May in the last game of the league campaign and what should be 8IAR trophy day will also be a warmup for the Scottish Cup Final on 25 May.
Hearts booked their place in the final yesterday beating Inverness 3-0 and Celtic matched that score at Hampden this afternoon with a hugely impressive performance that blew Aberdeen away.
The overly physical approach by Derek McInnes’ side saw them end the match with nine men and the manager himself and his assistant Tony Docherty were also sent to the stands by referee Craig Thomson.
We gave you the team news this morning and also told you to expect a different style of football from Celtic. Today we got a look at how a Neil Lennon performance would look like and the supporters at Hampden certainly liked what they saw as they chanted “There’s only one Neil Lennon” – and well deserved it was too.
Celtic opened brightly and could have scored on several occasions within the first ten minutes or so, with Jozo Simunovic’s effort the stand-out.
Aberdeen were under intense pressure but were more than happy to soak it up with the game goalless.
The first major incident of the game occurred in 37 minutes when Dominic Ball was sent off after receiving second yellow. It was a disgraceful challenge on Ryan Christie with an elbow to the face wiping out the Celtic midfielder and resulted in a lengthy delay in play before Christie was stretched off and sent to hospital.
Tom Rogic came on to replace him.
James Forrest had earlier been booked for diving by a Thomson and was aggrieved by the referee’s call, believing he should have had a penalty. Forrest was going to have his say in this game and with two minutes into the seven additional minutes added he
was fed in by Callum McGregor from the right, he who stepped inside and curled a dazzling shot across the keeper and into the top corner of the Aberdeen net!
It was no more than Celtic deserved and Jamesy almost added a second before the half was over, being denied by Joe Lewis who had an outstanding performance for Aberdeen.
With 61 minutes on the clock Mikael Lustig’s floated a pass that found Jonny Hayes in behind the Aberdeen defence, and the Irishman – having his best day in a Celtic shirt was pulled down for the penalty. Not even Craig Thompson could ignore this one.
Cool as you like, Odsonne Edouard fired the ball home to the right of the goalkeeper! Game over!
Five minutes later it got even worse for Aberdeen when they were reduced to nine men as Rangers supporter Lewis Ferguson got shown a straight red for shocking two-footed tackle on Tom Rogic.
Lustig took the free kick but it was blocked and Karma decided to drop it right in front of the twinkled toed Australian and Rogic effortlessly found the bottom corner from outside of the box.
McInnes was then sent off with his assistant- for complaining about what exactly is a mystery. Neil Lennon took off Forrest, the sponsors Man of the Match and Hayes, the fans’ choice and brought on Scotty Sinclair and Timo Weah.
One of the girls on our bus brought an American flag to the game and afterwards swapped it with Timo for his match shirt, much to young Becky’s delight – she is wearing it now!
Both subs kept up the pressure on Joe Lewis’ goal and both had decent efforts to add to the score line.
Timo’s shirt was sweaty, if anyone got Scott Bain’s top it would have been hard to know if it had been worn at all. He spent the second half watching Celtic turning on the style.
We are 90 minutes away from a Treble Treble and Neil Lennon is much closer this evening to getting the job on a permanent basis after imposing his style of play on the team. Gone was the tippy tappy stuff.
And the best question of the day was
Brendan? Brendan who?