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Rare home defeat can't spoil Hoops' celebrations

Celtic 0 Aberdeen 1

By Ronnie Esplin

Brendan Rodgers experienced his first domestic defeat at home since taking over at Celtic in 2016 but he preferred to look at the season as a whole.

It was a trophy-lifting day for the home side but a dampener was put on it when Andrew Considine fired in the winner in the 47th minute to register Aberdeen's first league victory at Celtic Park in 26 attempts.

"We looked tired and a bit sluggish - it was our 60th competitive game," said Rodgers, who is hoping skipper Scott Brown will be fine for next week's Scottish Cup Final after being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle which earned Graeme Shinnie a booking.

"I thought the team with the greater need to win the game won the game.

"We didn't play so well but of course in the bigger picture, over the 38 games we thoroughly deserved to win it and I told the players to make sure they celebrate in the next day or so and then you can get focused for next week.

"It is always disappointing when you lose. That is the first time we have lost here in the league in the two seasons I have been here.

"But you have to put that aside and look at the bigger picture, the guys have had an incredible season again with extra scrutiny and expectation to go and win the league was great and congratulations to Aberdeen, they were in a fight to finish second so it was a really good day for them.

"As soon as we went 1-0 down, we went to a diamond-three and got as many attacking players on the pitch as we could, and the keeper Joe Lewis made a great save at the back post. We tried everything to try and win the game."

On Brown's injury, Rodgers added: "It was a bad tackle. It was late and right on the foot when the ball was well gone so hopefully he'll be okay."

Boss Derek McInnes declared his love for his Aberdeen side after they clinched second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership for the fourth year running, finishing nine points behind Celtic, three ahead of chasing Rangers and six in front of Hibernian.

McInnes took a "lot of pride" in his side's performance and had a dig at the league rivals who had doubted the Dons' mettle.

He said: "I loved my team today. I absolutely loved them. It shows what we are capable of.

"I hope everyone can see what I could see today, it was a brilliant team performance.

"A lot of satisfaction comes from when people doubt us.

"It was aimed at us from Hibs players saying we didn't have the mentality or they had the better mentality, or the Rangers players saying that they were the second best team, or Celtic players saying Hibs were the second best team to them.

"Whatever motivation we needed, it came out in our performance. Joe Lewis made a couple of great saves but nobody could deny us that today."

McInnes was not quite sure exactly why defender Shay Logan was shown a red card at the end of the game by referee Craig Thomson although the defender was involved with certain Celtic players amid some exuberant celebrations towards the Hoops fans.

He said: "I just said that the fine starts the kitty off for next season. I think maybe Celtic players took offence to us over-celebrating which Shay can be guilty of at times but I honestly don't know."

Celtic: Bain, Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney (Sinclair, 52 mins), Brown, Ntcham (Armstrong, 68 mins), Rogic, Forrest, McGregor, Dembele (Griffiths, 52 mins). Unused subs: De Vries, Hendry, Simunovic, Roberts

Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, O'Connor, Reynolds, Considine, Ball, Shinnie, Stewart (Campbell, 65 mins), McLean, Mackay-Steven (May, 85 mins), Cosgrove (Rooney, 72 mins). Unused subs: Woodman, Arnason, Wright, Anderson, Campbell

Referee: Craig Thomson

Man of the match: Andrew Considine

Match rating: 6/10

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