Celtic passed a big test this afternoon with a solid performance to defeat the 10 men of Aberdeen.
Celtic were dominant early, creating several chances, including two big chances from Jozo Simunovic, but Celtic were unable to score until Aberdeen were reduced to 10 after a second yellow card was issued to Dominic Ball for an aerial collision with Ryan Christie, who was forced off with a nasty head injury.
Celtic finally broke through with a brilliant hit from James Forrest, who laced it into the top corner, leaving the keeper with absolutely no chance of stopping it.
Aberdeen’s Mikey Devlin shoved Jonny Hayes to the ground to give Celtic a penalty, which Odsonne Edouard stepped up and converted after 61 minutes. Lewis Ferguson was given a straight red card after a bad challenge on Tom Rogic, reducing Aberdeen to nine remaining players. Rogic found Celtic’s third goal just two minutes later after Mikael Lustig laid the ball off and Rogic eased the ball into the bottom corner.
For the first time since 1957, Celtic will face Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final on May 25.
Here are four findings from Celtic’s win over Aberdeen:
Lennon’s best performance
This was without a doubt the best Celtic side to play under Neil Lennon this season. Celtic were in complete control of the game for 90 minutes, including multiple runs from centre backs that nearly ended in goals.
Aberdeen didn’t offer up much at all, but all the credit to Celtic for not giving Aberdeen anything. Celtic haven’t played fantastic football under Lennon, but they have, for the most part, gotten the results.
This date with Hearts on May 25 will be as tasty as ever before. Celtic will be buzzing to win the Treble-Treble under Neil Lennon. Hearts aren’t an easy team to play against, but Celtic are obviously the heavy favourite.
Celtic have won three and lost one against Hearts this season, but all of that is thrown out at a Cup Final. This match is yet again, another statement for Celtic to make unprecedented history.
What can be taken from this game?
You can’t really take much from this match due to Aberdeen’s lack of equality in numbers. Celtic weren’t ruthless, but they were plenty good to win the game by a country mile.
Hearts will offer a different test, and you have to think, will be smarter than several of the silly mistakes that Aberdeen made today.
All in all, this game was only going to have one result, a Celtic win on Easy Street.
Celtic resilience at Hampden
Celtic’s last loss at Hampden came nearly four years ago under Ronny Deila in a penalty shootout against Rangers. Ever since, Celtic have won all nine matches at Hampden Park.
A tenth consecutive win at Hampden would secure a third consecutive domestic treble, which has never been done before. There certainly isn’t a more passionate and motivated manager to get the job done than Neil Lennon.