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Saturday, 6 May, 2000, 20:12 GMT 21:12 UK
Celtic embarrass Scottish strugglers
Moravcik
Berkovic joins Moravcik in his celebrations
Celtic 5-1 Aberdeen

A hat-trick from Tommy Johnson led the way for Celtic as the Scottish giants provided their fans with a display of exhibition football against beleaguered Aberdeen.

Johnson put Celtic in front after 25 minutes and that lead was doubled courtesy of a howler from Jim Leighton in the Aberdeen goal who fumbled a long distance Lubomir Moravcik effort.



There is no chance for us at all in the Cup final if we play like that, that's for sure.

Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl
Moravcik produced the goal of the game a minute before the break before Johnson, beset by injuries since joining Celtic, again showed what he can do when fully fit.

In only seven starts this season, Johnson has managed 11 goals, including two strikes in four second-half minutes on Saturday, to inflict more suffering on Scottish Premier League bottom club Aberdeen.

The Dons had the kind of afternoon which started badly then got worse, but at least they finally managed a goal in response to their maulings through Robbie Winters' 64th-minute consolation.

Burchill on form

Mark Burchill made a lively start to the game and could have claimed a personal hat-trick within the first 10 minutes with more assured finishing.

Firstly he drilled a low shot into the side-netting after a neat Eyal Berkovic pass then, moments later, blazed over from close range when well-placed.

The Dons were forced into an early switch when Cato Guntveit, only just back from injury, was taken off with a knock to be replaced by Derek Young after 17 minutes.

It was Johnson who put Celtic in front with a goal out of virtually nothing, cutting inside with purpose before netting with a fierce strike from the edge of the area for 1-0.

Celtic were gifted a second goal after 34 minutes after a dreadful error from veteran keeper Leighton who misjudged a long-range effort from Moravcik and paid the price.

The Slovakian's 20-yard shot hit Leighton on the chest and then looped over the keeper and in the net in freakish fashion - and that was the cue for Celtic to turn on the style.

Celtic made it 3-0 before half-time when Moravcik teased his way past Thomas Solberg before crashing the ball into the roof of the net with Leighton powerless.

Dons mistake

The Dons spurned a clear opening within two minutes of the restart when Paul Bernard's pass released David Rowson, but the midfielder's finish was too casual, Kerr saving a weak chip.

That was to be punished after 51 minutes when Celtic extended the scoreline to 4-0, Johnson this time surging in from the right before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner.



There are a few of our lads who improved their prospects with that performance. Like every player at every club in the country they were playing for their futures

Celtic boss Kenny Dalglish
Another sharp finish saw Johnson claim his second hat-trick of the season, after an earlier trio against Dundee, when he seized on a Whyte error to score with a low volley after a Burchill cross.

After 63 minutes, Moravcik could and should have claimed his hat-trick but when played in by Berkovic sidefooted badly wide when 6-0 looked a virtual certainty.

Instead the scoreline was to become 5-1 as Aberdeen finally broke their duck against Celtic this term when Winters beat the offside trap, rounded Kerr and slid the ball into an empty net.

Teams:

Celtic: Kerr, Riseth, Stubbs, Mahe, Healy, Moravcik, Berkovic, Lambert, Crainey, Johnson, Burchill. Subs: Gould, Shields, Petta, Kennedy, Smith..

Aberdeen: Preece, Belabed, Leighton, Zerouali, D. Young, Lilley, Perry, Whyte, Solberg, McAllister, Guntveit, Bernard, Rowson, Stavrum, Winters, Dow.

Referee: Kenny Clark (Scotland)

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See also:

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Links to other Scottish Premier stories are at the foot of the page.