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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Celtic easily dump Dons
Chris Sutton dives in to put Celtic 2-0 ahead
Chris Sutton scored Celtic's second goal
Aberdeen 0-4 Celtic

Celtic warmed up for their Champions League showdown with FC Basel with a convincing victory over Aberdeen.

Johan Mjallby and Chris Sutton put the Scottish champions on easy street before half time.

And Momo Sylla and Paul Lambert put the icing on the cake after the break.

Aberdeen had inflicted Celtic's only defeat in the Scottish Premier League last season with a 2-0 win at Pittodrie in December.

Johan Mjallby celebrates opening the scoring
Johan Mjallby celebrates opening the scoring
The young Dons were oozing confidence before this game but were swept aside with ease by last season's runaway champions.

Swedish international goalkeeper Magnus Hedman was left waiting for his Celtic debut as Robert Douglas continued in goal.

That meant they were unchanged from the side that defeated Dunfermline Athletic on the opening day.

Ebbe Skovdahl was forced to make two changes from Dons side that defeated Hibernian in injury time.

Derek Young and Ben Thornley failed morning fitness tests and that gave Chris Clark and Leon Mike an opportunity to start.

But it was Celtic who pushed forward early on, determined not to allow a repeat of last season's defeat.

Henrik Larsson, who scored twice on the opening day, headed just over from a cross to the back post from Momo Sylla.

But it took just over four minutes for Celtic to take the lead.

Bobby Petta's cross from the corner flag was flicked on by the head of Joos Valgaeren and fellow defender Mjallby poked the ball into the far corner of the net.

Aberdeen threatened themselves and Mike's low shot through a forest of legs was well smothered by Douglas.

Russell Anderson beats Chris Sutton this time
The Dons defence were under pressure
But Celtic broke to the other end to increase their lead after 34 minutes.

Larsson led the charge and set up Petrov, whose shot from the edge of the box was cleared off the line by Philip McGuire.

It fell again to the Bulgarian midfielder and his chip to the back post found Sutton rising above McGuire to head home.

Petrov fired just over moments later as Celtic took command.

The game was eventually put beyond Aberdeen eight minutes after the break.

Petta sent a looping cross to the back post and Sylla rose above his marker to head home and leave the Dons defenders arguing among themselves.

It was almost four when Peter Kjaer was beaten by a Larsson shot that struck the outside of the post.

Lambert eventually made it even more convincing after 66 minutes as he was allowed time to twist and turn inside the Dons penalty box before side-footing the ball into the far corner from 15 yards.


Aberdeen: Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McNaughton, Clark (Tiernan 68), Bisconti, Darren Young, McAllister, Mike (D'Jaffo 55), Mackie.

Subs Not Used: Peat, Michie, Payne.

Celtic: Douglas, Balde, Mjallby (Crainey 73), Valgaeren, Sylla, Lambert, Lennon, Petrov (Maloney 73), Petta (Fernandez 73), Larsson, Sutton.

Subs Not Used: Hedman, McNamara.

Goals: Mjallby 5, Sutton 34, Sylla 53, Lambert 66.

Attendance: 17,824

Referee: S Dougal (Scotland).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Alastair Alexander
"A comprehensive victory for the Champions"
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"I thought we were excellent"
Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl
"We will have to raise our game, no doubt about it"
The SPL season gets under way

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