Commons gives Celtic winning start

PA Sport
Kris Commons scored the only goal as Celtic edged past Aberdeen

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Kris Commons scored the only goal as Celtic edged past Aberdeen

Kris Commons' 79th-minute winner gave below-par Celtic an opening 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Parkhead to start the defence of their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title.

However, the home fans have the Dons' calamity keeper Jamie Langfield to thank for the three points. The Pittodrie side looked comfortable enough as the champions struggled until Langfield made an horrendous mess of Commons' shot from distance at his near post after the Hoops midfielder had played a short corner with Joe Ledley.

Langfield, nicknamed Clangers, will not want to see his aberration again but Celtic will certainly have to do better in Finland on Wednesday night if Aberdeen are to build on their 2-1 first-leg lead against HJK Helsinki in their Champions League third qualifying round tie.

In the 10th minute Celtic's stand-in skipper Georgios Samaras was caught with a flying boot from Aberdeen defender Ryan Jack but resumed after treatment to his bloodied face and with a new shirt.

Langfield was forced into a decent 21st minute save from Commons' 25-yard drive, after the Scotland midfielder combined with Berman Kayal.

Moments later, Samaras curled a shot from the left-hand side of the box which went just wide of the far post.

There was little more of note until 10 minutes from the break when Commons set up Gary Hooper but the former Scunthorpe striker ballooned his effort from the edge of the box over the crossbar.

Aberdeen had a half-chance soon after the restart when Jonny Hayes' corner from the right was punched only as far as Dons striker Scott Vernon, but from 12 yards he drove the ball high and wide.

Commons again took it upon himself to inject some excitement into the match in the 63rd minute, firing in a low 25-yard drive which Langfield saved down at his left-hand post.

Neil Lennon's last throw of the dice came when he threw on striker Daryl Murphy for Stokes, and two minutes later the Hoops were in front when Langfield allowed Commons' speculative shot to squirm through his hands at the near post.

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