Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen: Ryan Christie secures seventh domestic trophy for Brendan Rodgers
Report as Celtic keep treble-treble dream alive
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 03/12/18 8:35am
Celtic secured their seventh trophy under Brendan Rodgers with Ryan Christie's first-half strike enough to beat Aberdeen 1-0 in the Scottish League Cup final.
Christie scored against his former side deep into stoppage time (45+5), which came after Gary Mackay-Steven was carried off on a stretcher following a clash of heads with Dedryck Boyata.
Scott Sinclair saw a controversial penalty saved by Joe Lewis (53), and after Jozo Simunovic struck against his own bar, Celtic held on to defend their crown.
Victory means Rodgers has won every possible domestic trophy since taking charge in 2016, keeping hopes of a treble-treble alive, while for Aberdeen it is heartbreak - a third final loss to Celtic in three years.
Celtic: Bain (6), Lustig (6), Boyata (7), Benkovic (7), Tierney (6), Rogic (7), McGregor (6), Christie (8), Forrest (7), Sinclair (6), Edouard (6)
Subs: Simunovic (6), Brown (6), Ntcham (N/A)
Aberdeen: Lewis (7), Logan (6), McKenna (6), Considine (6), Lowe (6), Shinnie (7), Ball (6), McGinn (6), Ferguson (5), Mackay-Steven (6), Cosgrove (5)
Subs: McLennan (6), Wilson (6), Anderson (6)
Man of the match: Ryan Christie
A raucous atmosphere made for a frantic start at Hampden Park, and Tomas Rogic went close to breaking the deadlock for Celtic when his low strike clipped the outside of the post.
After Dominic Ball and Lewis Ferguson sent attempts over for Aberdeen, play was halted for around seven minutes after a nasty clash of heads resulted in Mackay-Steven being stretchered off, although he was reported to be sitting up in hospital later.
Boyata was stitched up, and after play resumed, it was his pinpoint ball over the top which found Christie, who saw his initial shot saved before firing the rebound into the roof of the net.
Scott Bain replaced Craig Gordon in goal for Celtic, having started all the previous games in this competition. Two Aberdeen changes saw Dominic Ball and Sam Cosgrove come in for Stevie May and James Wilson.
After the break, Celtic were controversially awarded a penalty when Ball was deemed to have handled inside the area. Replays showed it was outside the box, but Aberdeen will have felt that justice was served when Lewis dived to his right to superbly keep out Sinclair's spot-kick.
Boyata then hobbled off to be replaced by Simunovic, and the defender's first touch almost proved to be catastrophic for Celtic, as his interception saw the ball fly towards goal and cannon off the crossbar.
Aberdeen struggled thereafter in their search for an equaliser, and though Sinclair and Odsonne Edouard spurned opportunities for Celtic, it mattered little as an enthralling encounter finished in familiar fashion - the Bhoys lifting another piece of silverware.
Man of the match - Ryan Christie
Christie started the season fighting for a starting place, but after convincing Rodgers he was worthy of a midfield spot, the 23-year-old now stands as a match-winner in a cup final - against the side he spent last season on loan at, no less.
Celtic are back in Premiership action at Motherwell on Wednesday, while Aberdeen are in action on the same evening at Rangers.