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‘After a VAR check’ ‘Disaster for Devlin’ ‘Lovely feet’ Watch the goals as Celtic win at Aberdeen

Celtic laboured their way to a 3-1 win at Aberdeen today to strike off one of the toughest fixtures of the season.

There were some brilliant patches of play during the first half but too many key players put in a five or six out of ten performance.

Fortunately Liel Abada, Kyogo Furuhashi and Matt O’Riley had enough about them to ensure that the hoops returned from Pittodrie with full points.

Greg Taylor, Callum McGregor and Daizen Maeda were well short of their best while there are now injury concerns over Cameron Carter-Vickers and Reo Hatate.

Rodgers looked quite troubled as he watched the second half unfolding but will have been pleased by the positive contributions of Maik Nawrocki and substitutes Odin Thiago Holm and Yang Hyun-jun.

Stephen Welsh came in from the cold to put in a solid 45 after replacing Carter-Vickers at the interval, it was his first competitive outing since October away to St Johnstone.

There seemed to be a real lethargy about some of the early play, McGregor was losing his midfield battles while Taylor looked as if he had overdone it in the warm up.

Up front Maeda was unrecognisable from the player that tucked away a first half hat-trick in a friendly against Yokohama F Marinos. He could very well have scored two today, on form he’d have been returning with the match ball but was completely out of sorts in front of goal.

Two years ago Celtic fans were singing about Abada on the wing and Kyogo doing his thing with that duo scoring midway through the first half either side of Bojan Miovski equalising.

Celtic were wasteful around goal, sloppy in possession and toiled badly from throw-ins but a few moments of flowing football ensured that full points were delivered.

Abada netted from close range in the 11th minute after Maeda headed across goal, the linesmen flagged for offside but even Andrew Dallas couldn’t stand that up with his VAR lines.

A horrendous back pass from Nicky Devlin presented Kyogo with a chance in the 29th minute, the striker held off two defenders to rocket a shot beyond Kello Roos to put the visitors back in front.

Celtic passed up four or five chances early in the second half to increase their lead which invited Aberdeen back into the match, Reo Hatate, a half time substitute lasted 25 minutes before being replaced by Holm.

At that stage Aberdeen were pressing for an equaliser, defensively the Celtic midfield was struggling but Nawrocki rose to the occasion with Welsh very reliable and composed at his side.

With seven minutes left to play Yang showed good skill on the left hand side then cut the ball back to O’Riley who finished the contest.

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