Celtic second-half masterclass eased by nine-man Aberdeen to set up Scottish Cup final against Hearts.
A football match turned into a full blown conflict on Sunday with Aberdeen ending the contest without their manager or assistant in the dugout and only nine men on the pitch. Not that Celtic will care.
The Dons were relatively comfortable until Dominic Ball was handed his yellow in the 36th minute for a sickening collision with former teammate Ryan Christie. And Celtic, who aren’t easy to challenge with ten men behind the ball, duly took advantage of their extra man in first-half stoppage time. James Forrest the provider, rocketing a shot past the helpless Joe Lewis.
Odsonne Edouard reinforced his big game player status just after the hour mark, dispatching his 20th of the season from the penalty spot.
With the tie already creeping away from them, things went bad to worse for Aberdeen. After a shocking two-footed challenge on substitute Tom Rogic, Aberdeen’s Ferguson was the next man to be shown his marching orders. The Australian exacting his revenge in the only way possible with a goal from the resulting play.
The abysmal antics on the pitch were soon reflected in the conduct off it, Dons boss Derek McInnes and assistant manager Tony Docherty setting a pretty poor example for their players when dismissed to the stands.
Our unsung hero on this occasion goes to Jonny Hayes.
It a real test of a players character when nothing is going right for them in a game, but Jonny Hayes really stepped up on the occasion.
The winger fed off scraps for the majority of the first half and found it difficult to establish himself on the game, however – thanks to an admirable level of skill and perseverance – he got his reward in the second half.
Hayes won the penalty off Michael Devlin to put some space between the two sides and, taking advantage of Aberdeen’s fear of going another man down, continually drove at his opponent’s defensive to make a nuisance of himself.
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