Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic: Nine-man Dons swept aside by ruthless Hoops as James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Tom Rogic fire Neil Lennon’s side into Scottish Cup final
- Celtic cruised into the final of the Scottish Cup against nine-man Aberdeen
- Derek McInnes saw Dom Ball sent off in first half and Lewis Ferguson in the second before he was also sent to the stands with 15 minutes left to play
- The Scottish league leaders took full advantage as James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Tom Rogic helped edge the Hoops closer to the treble Treble
- Neil Lennon’s side will play Hearts in the final at Hampden Park on May 25
Celtic kept their triple treble quest firmly on course as they swept nine-man Aberdeen aside 3-0 to book a place in next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup final.
The Dons had been holding their own at Hampden until they lost Dom Ball to a second yellow card after a gruesome clash of heads with Ryan Christie.
Celtic quickly made the most of their man advantage as James Forrest fired them ahead in first-half stoppage time.
Celtic recorded an easy victory in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen
James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Tom Rogic all found the net for the league leaders
Aberdeen were reduced to nine-men after Lewis Ferguson and Dom Ball were both sent off
Neil Lennon raises his fists in jubilation as Celtic ease past helpless Aberdeen at Hampden
Aberdeen (4-2-3-1): Lewis; Ball, Considine, McKenna, Lowe; Ferguson, Campbell; May (Devlin 43), Stewart (Gleeson 70), McLennan; Cosgrove (Wilson 85)
Subs not used: Halford, Cerny, Ross, Virtanen
Booked: Ball, Considine, Lowe
Sent off: Ball, Ferguson
Manager: Derek McInnes
Celtic (4-2-3-1): Bain; Lustig, Ajer, Simunovic, Tierney; Brown, McGregor; Forrest (Weah 75), Christie (Rogic 43), Hayes (Sinclair 75); Edouard.
Subs not used: Toljan, Ntcham, De Vries, Benkovic.
Goals: Forrest 45, Edouard 61, Rogic 69
Manager: Neil Lennon
Referee: Craig Thompson
Odsonne Edouard’s penalty and precise finish from substitute Tom Rogic rubbed salt into Pittodrie wounds as the Reds also had Lewis Ferguson sent off.
Derek McInnes had been looking to lead Aberdeen into his fifth final as boss but both he and his assistant manager Tony Docherty finished the game watching from the stands as they also lost their discipline on the touchline in the face of a green and white onslaught.
Hoops interim boss Neil Lennon will now look to boost his chances of landing the post permanently by wrapping up the club’s third straight domestic clean sweep when they take on final opponents Hearts on May 25.
Lennon’s record at Hampden with Celtic was mixed after notching up six wins and five defeats from his previous 11 visits during his first stint in charge of the Hoops.
But an upset never looked likely this time as Celtic started like they meant business.
Defender Jozo Simunovic was the unlikely early threat but saw two decent chances evaporate as the Dons were forced to weather an early storm.
Dom Ball was shown a second yellow card for a foul that left Ryan Christie unconscious
A stricken Christie required six minutes of treatment before being put in a neck brace
He was eventually stretchered away to applause from all sides and replaced by Tom Rogic
The match turned when Dom Ball was sent off after a late aerial challenge on Ryan Christie
It took Aberdeen 36 minutes to finally conjure a chance as Greg Stewart released Ball down the right, with his cross finding Sam Cosgrove who hooked wide with a volley.
But within seconds the game took a major swing in Celtic’s favour as Ball got his marching orders. Already on a booking for a trip on Forrest, he was shown a second after his head cracked against the cheek of his former Pittodrie team-mate Christie in a sickening collision.
While Ball trudged down the tunnel, there were worrying scenes as medics rushed to attend to the stricken Celtic player.
Christie was placed in a neck brace before eventually being carried off on a stretcher after a five-minute hold-up.
Forrest whipped a sumptuous left-footed drive that curled past Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis
James Forrest celebrates with his team-mates after opening the scoring for Celtic at Hampden
Odsonne Edouard netted a penalty and Celtic’s second after Mikey Devlin fouled Jonny Hayes
Rogic took his place while McInnes was forced to rejig his own plans as forward Stevie May made way for defender Michael Devlin.
Aberdeen’s reaction to the restart was quicker and they almost snatched the lead as Ferguson headed wide.
But it was Celtic who made the breakthrough 75 seconds into the six minutes of added time. Forrest collected a short pass on the right from Callum McGregor then gave Max Lowe the slip with the dip of a shoulder before smashing an unstoppable drive past Joe Lewis.
The Dons keeper was forced to block with his feet as Forrest burst through again looking to put the game to bed before the delayed interval.
Ferguson was then dismissed for a nasty lunge on Tom Rogic just after the hour mark
Tom Rogic drilled in Celtic’s third from the free-kick that resulted from Ferguson’s lunge
Derek McInnes was then also sent to the stands as Aberdeen lost all discipline at Hampden
But Celtic refused to relent as the action resumed. There was a let-off when Lowe cleared a McGregor shot off the Dons line but the clincher came from the penalty spot just after the hour mark.
Devlin got caught ball-watching as Mikael Lustig threw a cross into the box. Unaware Jonny Hayes was lurking behind him, he instinctively threw out a hand, hauling down the Irishman to leave referee Craig Thomson with no choice to award the penalty, which Edouard converted for his 20th goal of the season.
Aberdeen’s day went from bad to worse on 67 minutes as Ferguson was next to go after diving in to Rogic with a disgraceful two-footed lunge.
The Australian took his revenge in the only way he knows how as he bounced up to fire home number three from the resulting free-kick.
Lustig fired into the wall but the ball rebounded straight to Rogic who calmly took a touch before sending a sweet finish into the bottom corner.
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