Video – Half Time Aberdeen 1 Celtic 0 – Why it’s not over yet

It’s half-time at Pittodrie and Aberdeen have scored the only goal of the first 45 minutes when Ferguson bought a penalty from a clumsy Olivier Ntcham, then dusted himself down to send Scott Bain the wrong way. Willie Collum was ager to award the spot-kick but on this occasion we can have no complaints. So despite having most of the play in a fairly non-event of a first half Celtic find themselves a goal down with a major fightback required to avoid a 3rd consecutive defeat. Even a draw is a terrible result so Neil Lennon needs a couple of goals pretty badly.

If your nerves haven’t been jangling since you got out of bed then fair play to you, you’ve got a better handle on your emotions than some of us have today.

Many of us will be full on nervous energy at the interval. It’s understandable to have a churning stomach that’s for sure, as Celtic look to turn this around against an Aberdeen side that will now sit in.

Currently Celtic are four points behind in the ten-in-a-row quest albeit with a game in hand, also against today’s opponents, as such there is no room for error even at this early stage of the campaign. When it comes to confidence and momentum Celtic need to get back on track.

The performance of the side will mean little today, what matters is heading back to Glasgow with a vital three points gained from a ground many see as our toughest away fixture outside Ibrox. Aberdeen themselves are breathing down our necks only three points behind, there is little chance the Dons won’t be smelling an opportunity here and we need to be on it from the first whistle.

Both sides will want to win this match and the second half is shaping up as the most important 45 minutes of the season so far for Neil Lennon’s side.

After back to back defeats to theRangers and AC Milan, Pittodrie may not be the place you’d want to go to get back on track, but to spin it positively a home win against Hamilton for instance wouldn’t boost the confidence as much as a win in the Granite City would deliver and from that perspective, we need an injection of positivity. A win today after going in at the break a goal behind will supply just that.

It’s worth noting for those of a nervous disposition that Celtic has an outstanding record against Premiership opponents outside Glasgow, in fact it’s phenomenal. Since December 2018 Celtic have won 49 games, drawn six and tasted defeat only once. Of those 56 games Celtic haven’t even conceded a single goal in 31 of those games. Feeling better?

How about Celtic’s league record at Pittodrie then? It’s a tough ground to go to is it not? Yet for Celtic that’s not entirely true. Would it calm the shaking hand when you lift that first pint to your lips this afternoon if you knew Celtic haven’t lost at Pittodrie for four and a half years? Well that’s the fact of the matter. Since losing 2-1 at Pittodrie on 3rd February 2016 Celtic have headed north to Pittodrie on nine occasions, won seven and drawn two. A much happier hunting ground than many of us may have thought.

Celtic may not be in the best of form but outside one game against theRangers we are still taking care of business. Celtic have eight wins and one draw from those nine encounters. Only two dropped points on the road at Rugby Park blot the copybook and even the goal conceded that day came courtesy of a penalty kick. They say good teams win even when not in top form, Celtic are doing just that.

So, if you are feeling a little on edge waiting for the second half it’s worth remembering that the game lasts 90 minutes plus stoppage time. The stats show they should be the ones feeling the butterflies. Are we all feeling more relaxed now? Of course not! Come on Celtic. Get the finger out and get the three points – there’s so much riding in it.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parhead's gates.

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