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Celtic hold off 10-man Aberdeen to restore five-point lead

Odsonne Edouard’s strike proved decisive for the Hoops.

Grinch celebrates Celtic's win, not Christmas.
Grinch celebrates Celtic's win, not Christmas.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

CELTIC RESTORED THEIR five-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership thanks to a 10th straight league win by seeing off 10-man Aberdeen 2-1.

Christopher Jullien’s seventh-minute opener looked to have Neil Lennon’s men on course for a comfortable afternoon.

However, Sam Cosgrove’s 20th goal of the season brought the Dons level before half-time with the visitors’ first clear chance.

Celtic were beginning to grow frustrated as a host of chances went begging before Odsonne Edouard restored the Scottish champions’ lead midway through the second half.

“It could have been a more emphatic win,” said Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy.

“Our last few games have been like that – the scoreline hasn’t reflected our chances created and quality of play. In terms of performance, we can’t ask for much more.”

Any hope of a second Aberdeen fightback was then extinguished when Cosgrove was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Kristoffer Ajer.

celtic-v-aberdeen-ladbrokes-scottish-premiership-celtic-park Odsonne Edouard celebrates with Christopher Jullien after scoring his side's second. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

However, Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes was furious at the decision and said his side will appeal.

“It’s actually a great tackle. He just goes in with a bit too much speed and that gives the officials a decision to make,” said McInnes.

“He wins the ball cleanly. 100 percent we will be appealing against the decision.”

Victory keeps Celtic five points clear of Rangers, who have a game in hand, and were convincing 3-0 winners at Hibernian on Friday.

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Hearts slipped to the bottom of the table after a 2-1 defeat at Hamilton in a clash between the bottom two.

Jambos manager Daniel Stendel has now lost his first three matches in charge as Hamilton won for the first time since September.

Mickel Miller and Will Collar got the goals for the Accies before Oliver Bozanic’s header proved too little, too late for Hearts.

Motherwell took advantage of Aberdeen’s defeat to move into third with a 1-0 win at managerless Kilmarnock courtesy of Jake Carroll’s second half free-kick.

Livingston thrashed Ross County 4-0 to move into the top half as Lyndon Dykes scored a hat-trick.

St Johnstone and St Mirren edged four points above the bottom of the table after a 0-0 at McDiarmid Park.

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AFP

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