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Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Celtic get back to winning ways
Aberdeen's Jamie McAllister and Celtic's Colin Healy
The match was played in heated circumstances
Aberdeen 0-1 Celtic

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A Shaun Maloney free kick settled a bad-tempered game in the visitors' favour.

Both sides had several chances before the deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes remaining.

The result means Aberdeen slip back into fourth position behind Livingston.

Both sides looked fired up for the game from the off and in four minutes, Russell Anderson was booked by referee Stuart Dougal for a clumsy challenge on Boyd.

Celtic looked comfortable despite several changes in their team, but Ben Thornley gave them a scare in the 12th minute when he curled a free-kick just over the crossbar.

Momo Sylla tries to escape Derek Young
Momo Sylla tries to escape Derek Young
The visitors should have gone ahead five minutes later when Steve Guppy swung in an inviting cross, which was met by the head of Sylla, only for Esson to pull off a great save.

Esson saved well again shortly afterwards from a shot by before tempers flared again - Jamie McAllister clashing with Maloney and Sylla.

Aberdeen ought to have scored in the dying seconds of the half as Darren Mackie squared to Darren Young in the area, but Boyd made a vital block to keep the scores level at the break.

Seconds after the restart, Celtic had another good chance to break the deadlock.

Sylla beat the offside trap to run onto Maloney's through-ball, but Esson again did well to deny him with a save to his left.

Ebbe Skovdahl thanks Derek Whyte for his services
Ebbe Skovdahl thanks Derek Whyte for his services
Balde then wasted an excellent chance to put Celtic ahead when he rose unmarked in the box to meet Guppy's corner, but his glancing header went wide.

Tempers rose again in the 69th minute when Thornley reacted angrily to a challenge from Sylla, with referee Stuart Dougal having to intervene.

He awarded the free-kick to Celtic and Maloney stepped up to curl a brilliant right-footed effort into the top corner from 30 yards.

Sylla could have wrapped up the points in the 77th minute when he rose to meet Guppy's cross, but he headed just over the bar.


Aberdeen: Esson, Anderson, McGuire, Whyte, McAllister (Rutkiewicz 65), Derek Young (Tiernan 78), Darren Young, Bisconti (Clark 81), Thornley, Mackie, Mike.

Subs not used: Peat, Michie.

Booked: Anderson, Thornley.

Celtic: Douglas, McNamara, Balde, Boyd, Sylla, Wieghorst, Petrov, Guppy, Maloney, Smith, Healy.

Subs not used: Gould, McGovern, Fotheringham, Wallace, Kennedy.

Booked: Petrov, Sylla.

Att: 15,332

Ref: S Dougal

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Alastair Alexander
"Aberdeen finish fourth, Celtic with 103 points"
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"Shaun Maloney in particular was absolutely outstanding"
Outgoing Dons captain Derek Whyte
"I've thoroughly enjoyed it but life goes on"
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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