Kyogo Furuhashi and Matt O’Riley on target again as Celtic win at Aberdeen
Kyogo Furuhashi and Matt O’Riley both scored for the second game running as Celtic beat Aberdeen 3-1 at Pittodrie.
Furuhashi capitalised on a defensive error to put the champions back in front before the half-hour mark after Bojan Miovski had cancelled out Liel Abada’s early opener.
Aberdeen caused Celtic plenty of problems in an enthralling first half with Graeme Shinnie harrying in midfield, wide player Shayden Morris impressing on his first Pittodrie start and the Dons’ front two posing a constant threat in behind.
But Celtic enjoyed much more control in the second half and O’Riley’s late goal ensured they went back top of the cinch Premiership after two matches.
Celtic were unchanged and Aberdeen brought in Ryan Duncan for the absent Jonny Hayes before the game began following a minute’s applause for former Dons boss Craig Brown, in the first Pittodrie game since his death.
Miovski and Furuhashi were just wide from 22 yards at either end in a lively start before Celtic took the lead following O’Riley’s inswinging free-kick in the 11th minute.
Daizen Maeda headed towards goal and Abada was flagged offside after helping the ball home from close range, but the goal was awarded by video assistant referee Andrew Dallas.
Aberdeen continued to press. Shinnie headed over after a well-worked set-piece before the Dons captain won the ball in the centre circle to spark the move that led to a 25th-minute equaliser.
Jack McKenzie’s ball down the channel got Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes in behind Cameron Carter-Vickers and he cut the ball back for strike partner Miovski to knock home from six yards after the striker had reacted quicker than Maik Nawrocki.
The volume rose around Pittodrie, which was hosting a crowd of 18,652, but the home fans were silenced four minutes later.
Home debutant Nicky Devlin did not spot Furuhashi as he attempted to head a hopeful ball forward back to his goalkeeper and the Japan striker lashed the bouncing ball high into the net from 18 yards.
Celtic had chances to extend their lead. Abada shot straight at Kelle Roos following good work from Maeda and the goalkeeper tipped over O’Riley’s free-kick.
Aberdeen finished the half strongly, though, and Dante Polvara twice came close.
Celtic made a double switch at half-time. Stephen Welsh came on for Carter-Vickers for his first competitive appearance in 10 months while Reo Hatate replaced David Turnbull.
Furuhashi missed a good chance with his left foot and Maeda was twice denied by interventions from Devlin after incisive counter-attacks, the first through an excellent goal-line clearance.
Hatate had helped Celtic get good control of possession from a deep midfield role but he hobbled off in the 70th minute for Odin Thiago Holm to come on.
Aberdeen enjoyed good territory but they could not trouble goalkeeper Joe Hart, with their only real chance in the second half coming when Leighton Clarkson curled just wide following a long ball.
Roos denied Maeda after the Japanese striker was played clean through on the break but substitute Yang Hyun-jun quickly cut the ball back for O’Riley to drill home in the 84th minute.
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