Sports

Aberdeen end Celtic's run

ABERDEEN 2

(Jonny Hayes 41, Adam Rooney 45)

CELTIC 1

(James Forrest 62)

A wonder goal from Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes ended Fraser Forster's clean-sheet run as 10-man Celtic lost 2-1 at Pittodrie this morning (Singapore time) to suffer the first defeat of their title defence.

Forster had broken former Aberdeen goalkeeper Bobby Clark's 43-year-old Scottish league record last Saturday and it took something special to finally beat him after 1,256 minutes as Hayes struck a spectacular long-range effort.

Having conceded for the first time in 14 Scottish Premiership games, the England international (above) shipped another goal four minutes later when Adam Rooney sent a diving header past him from Niall McGinn's cross seconds before the interval.

Substitute James Forrest's excellent finish in the 61st minute got Celtic back in the game following a spell of pressure but they had been up against it from the 11th minute, when Virgil van Dijk was sent off for bringing down Peter Pawlett.

FIRST DEFEAT

And the Dons held out to inflict Celtic's first league defeat for 10 months since they lost at Motherwell.

Celtic had won their previous 15 Premiership games and had not lost in 26 this season but, if any team were to break Celtic's impressive runs, Aberdeen would have been the obvious choice.

Forster previously conceded a Scottish Premiership goal against McGinn three months earlier and the Dons knocked them out of the William Hill Scottish Cup earlier this month.

Celtic started the game well and Jamie Langfield made good stops from Charlie Mulgrew and Scott Brown inside the first 10 minutes after the visitors had carved out shooting chances inside the box.

But the game turned on a loose pass from Efe Ambrose.

The Celtic defender gifted possession to Rooney and the Irishman released Pawlett, whose burst of speed took the ball past the sliding challenge of van Dijk and forced the Dutchman to bring him down two metres outside the box.

Craig Thomson showed little hesitation in brandishing the red card and Neil Lennon filled the hole in defence with Mulgrew, who had started in midfield after Emilio Izaguirre replaced the injured Stefan Johansen.

Celtic and Forster's resistance was broken in the 41st minute.

Aberdeen were knocking the ball about patiently until Shaleum Logan fed Hayes 30 metres out.

The Irishman took a touch and unleashed a powerful left-footed strike that flew into the top corner.

Logan was involved in the build-up to the second.

Willo Flood's crossfield ball found him in space on the right wing and he knocked the ball back to McGinn, whose cross was perfectly weighted for Rooney to run on to and glance a header just inside the far post.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon was furious with referee Thomson.

Said Lennon: "I think we've been done by the referee.

"I don't think it was a sending off (for van Dijk) as Pawlett was not in on goal. It was a free-kick and a yellow card.

"Then it was a clear handball in the second half that everyone could see - it was ridiculous.

"We were brilliant and in the second half we were camped in Aberdeen's half and unfortunately couldn't get the second goal that we thoroughly deserved."

- PA Sport.

OTHER RESULTS

l Ross County 0 Inverness 3

l St Johnstone 3 Motherwell 0