Celtic run finally ends
Tue 25th Feb 7.45pm
Leaders Celtic went down to their first league defeat of the season as Virgil van Dijk was sent-off in a 2-1 reversal at Aberdeen.
The Dutchman saw red for an early challenge on Peter Pawlett and Jonathan Hayes and Adam Rooney took full advantage before the break.
Substitute James Forrest offered the ten-men renewed hope just beyond the hour but it was not to be as their 26-game unbeaten run finally came to an end. Even so they still hold a massive twenty-one point lead at the top of the table over their latest opponents.
Charlie Mulgrew earlier forced a low stop for Jamie Langfield in the home goal while Anthony Stokes threatened when a Scott Brown delivery was charged down.
However, once Efe Ambrose misplaced a twelfth-minute pass, advancing midfielder Pawlett was clipped by the dismissed van Dijk.
The visitors still went close with Nir Biton forcing a good save from Langfield. But moments later Hayes found the top corner from thirty-yards to finally end Fraser Forster's long clean-sheet record.
As so often happens in such a case a second goal soon followed and right on the stroke of half-time, former Celt Niall McGinn's cross being helped in by Rooney.
Even so Celtic fought back sufficiently for substitute Forrest to reduce the deficit following Brown setting up Griffiths' 62nd minute cross.
That continued with skipper Brown shooting wide and Stokes firing at Langfield on the end of some sustained attacking work.
But the decisive second goal wouldn't arrive as substitute Georgios Samaras and Mulgrew were also blocked.
Aberdeen: Langfield, Logan (Anderson 83), Considine, Robson, Tate (Shaughnessy 83), Reynolds, McGinn, Flood, Rooney, Pawlett (Vernon 90), Hayes
subs (unused): Zola, Smith, Low, Weaver
Goals: Hayes (41), Rooney (45)
Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose, van Dijk, Izaguirre (Balde 89), Brown, Biton, Mulgrew, Commons (Forrest 46), Griffiths (Samaras 77), Stokes
subs (unused): Boerrigter, Pukki, Fisher, Zaluska
Goals: Forrest (62)
Ref: C. Thomson
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