It’s All Set Up For A Title Decider Between Celtic and Aberdeen
Celtic and Aberdeen did what they had to do to ensure that Scotland can enjoy a title decider next Sunday.
To be fair, it may be the case that next Sunday’s showdown between the Hoops and the Dons at Celtic Park is less of a title decider and more of a title race decider – in that the match will go some way to determining whether or not there will actually be a title race in Scotland.
As it stands at the top of the Scottish Premiership, Celtic lead Aberdeen by three points with a game in hand, meaning that anything other than an Aberdeen win in the east end of Glasgow next weekend will more or less confirm Celtic’s fourth consecutive league triumph. Should Derek McInnes’s side head back north next Sunday evening with three points and having drawn level with the reigning champs, then the whole of Scotland can get excited about the first genuine competition for the championship since the demotion of Rangers in 2012.
It’s thanks to two comfortable wins that next Sunday’s match is still important, the first of which came at Pittodrie as Aberdeen saw off relegation contenders St Mirren by three goals to nil. Adam Rooney’s 22nd and 23rd goals of the season either side of half-time meant that the result of this match was obvious before the hour mark. Mark Reynolds did head in a third to round off a decent afternoon for the home side.
Next up was Celtic, just under 24 hours later. Again it was the home side that dominated and Celtic ran out 4-0 winners, even if it took them until the second half to get the scoreboard moving. While Hamilton played in the blue and black stripes of Inter Milan, the opposition were simply not of the same quality as the Italians Celtic had faced three days earlier and a brace from Kirs Commons, plus goals each for Stefan Johansen and John Guidetti gave Celtic their seventh straight league victory.
There was no European hangover for Ronny Deila’s side, but the challenge next Sunday will surely be a touch more difficult. If there are to be any weary legs from Celtic’s Thursday night Europa League second leg at the San Siro, Aberdeen will be intent on making the most of them and throwing the title race wide open.
Next Sunday at noon we shall see how alive that battle at the top remains.
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Elsewhere in the Scottish Premiership, bottom side Ross County climbed off the foot of the table with a 3-1 win away to Partick Thistle. That result sent Motherwell – beaten by County last weekend – to the bottom after The Well lost 1-0 at home to Dundee. Saint Mirren dropped down to second bottom and the relegation play-off spot following their aforementioned defeat at Pittodire and the three teams at the bottom now have 18 points each.
Motherwell’s far poorer goal difference is what has left them in last place and it’d be no major surprise if goal difference plays a part on the final day of the season.
While Aberdeen kept the pressure up on Celtic, the Dons also pulled away from the chasing pack behind. With Inverness only able to draw, and Dundee United and Hamilton both falling to defeats, Aberdeen are now five points ahead of their closest rivals for second place.
Should Aberdeen blow their shot at the league title next Sunday, cementing their hold on second spot will become their next priority.