Celtic 0-0 Aberdeen: Neil Lennon frustrated on Parkhead return
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 10/03/19 11:10am
Interim Celtic boss Neil Lennon endured an afternoon of frustration on his return to Parkhead as his side were held to a 0-0 draw by Aberdeen.
The former Hoops captain and manager returned after the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester but after wins at Hearts and Hibernian his homecoming in the Scottish Premiership was spoiled by an organised and dogged Dons side.
It was a strangely insipid performance from Celtic, who dropped points at home for the first time this season.
But the Hoops did restore their eight-point lead over Rangers - who drew themselves on Friday - at the top of the table as they bid for an eighth successive title and the unprecedented domestic treble treble.
Aberdeen will take confidence from their performance as they turn their attention to a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Rangers at Ibrox on Tuesday.
Lennon, given a huge ovation by the fans before the game, brought back defender Jeremy Toljan for Mikael Lustig and Ewan Henderson for Odsonne Edouard while Dons striker James Wilson came in for injured former Celt Gary Mackay Steven.
The Dons were organised and disciplined, albeit rooted in their own half, and goalkeeper Joe Lewis did well to tip over a shot from Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer on the half-hour mark.
A minute before half-time Ajer had the ball in the net from a Henderson free-kick with a powerful header but the offside flag was up.
Lennon made interval changes, bringing on French striker Edouard and winger Mikey Johnston for Henderson and Scott Sinclair while the visitors replaced Wilson with Dean Campbell. Oliver Burke was moved wide for Edouard to operate through the middle but it was Aberdeen who began to threaten.
In the 51st minute, just after midfielder Connor McLennan passed up a chance to shoot inside the Celtic penalty area, defender Dominic Ball weaved his way into the Hoops box but his angled drive was blocked by the feet of Parkhead keeper Scott Bain.
In the 58th minute, a swift Celtic move involving Toljan and Burke ended with Lewis saving from Edouard's drive from a tight angle as the home side stepped up the tempo.
Timothy Weah replaced Burke in the 78th minute and the league leaders pushed for a late winner.
Two efforts from Johnston escaped the far post while at the other end Dons substitute Stevie May, on for Greg Stewart, headed a Sam Cosgrove knockdown over the bar in the final minute, before Celtic ran out of time.