FootballSports

Celtic 2 – 0 Aberdeen

Celtic are 90 minutes from a quadruple treble after easing past Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final for their 35th consecutive domestic cup win.

First-half goals by Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi ensured that Neil Lennon’s side will be in the 20 December final against Hearts.

Aberdeen did come into the tie after the break, but rarely looked like denying Celtic a first victory in five.

The Pittodrie side have now lost eight in a row against Celtic at Hampden.

Not since 1992 have they beaten the Glasgow side at the national stadium. Seven games, a goal difference of 19-2.

Celtic had not lost a cup tie since 2016. Yet, they arrived at Hampden under a cloud. No wins in four and trailing by nine points in the league, albeit with two games in hand.

It was a fast start from both sides. Twice in the opening 10 minutes, Sam Cosgrove rose highest for a header in the box, but he could not direct either on target.

Odsonne Edouard got through the Aberdeen defence but goalkeeper Joe Lewis twice denied him with an instinctive double-save.

Then Ryan Hedges latched on to Scott Wright’s through-ball but took too long to shoot when he had the Celtic defence stretched as play swung from end to end.

A goal was coming, and it arrived in spectacular style. Christie drove inside, took a touch outside the box, then curled a wonderful left-foot shot away from the grasp of the outstretched Lewis.

Celtic turned the screw and soon it was 2-0. Tom Rogic sent a looping ball to the back post for Elyounoussi to knock in. A quarter of the game gone and the semi-final was looking done and dusted.

Aberdeen had a penalty shout when Scott Brown barged Cosgrove over at a corner kick, but referee Don Robertson admonished both and ordered the corner to be retaken.

Aberdeen’s main concern was that Celtic kept coming at them, with Lennon’s side determined to get a third that would finish it.

After Considine was robbed of possession, Ross McCrorie had to make a goal-saving challenge to deny Elynoussi. Then Aberdeen broke with a chance of their own but Cosgrove’s effort was weak.

But as the game wore on, Celtic looked heavy legged after a busy recent schedule, and Aberdeen started to get further forward.

Hedges and Lewis Ferguson failed to hit the target with efforts, and they had a half-hearted penalty shout when Marley Watkins went down under the challenge of Shane Duffy.

Matty Kennedy had a shot blocked as Aberdeen looked for the goal that would reignite their cup hopes but it never came, and their 30-year wait for a Scottish Cup triumph goes on.

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