Celtic roll over sorry Dons

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The Independent Football

HENRIK LARSSON and Mark Viduka led the way with hat-tricks as Aberdeen were taken apart at Parkhead yesterday. After Eyal Berkovic opened the scoring in the 16th minute, Larsson and Viduka both completed trebles as the Dons had no answer to Celtic's speed of movement.

HENRIK LARSSON and Mark Viduka led the way with hat-tricks as Aberdeen were taken apart at Parkhead yesterday. After Eyal Berkovic opened the scoring in the 16th minute, Larsson and Viduka both completed trebles as the Dons had no answer to Celtic's speed of movement.

While Celtic are now four points behind Rangers, who were held at Kilmarnock, with a game in hand at the top of the Scottish Premier League, sorry Aberdeen are stranded at the bottom with just one point from nine matches.

Celtic hit the woodwork twice and David Preece, the Dons' goalkeeper, made two good saves before the home side scored. Viduka fed Berkovic and the Israeli calmly side-footed the ball home from close range.

Berkovic was forced off through injury after 32 minutes, to be replaced by Regi Blinker, but the change did not slow Celtic's progress. They moved two ahead after 40 minutes when Lubomir Moravcik cut inside from the right before finding Craig Burley, who in turn slid the ball towards Larsson. The Swede made no mistake from eight yards.

Celtic were not to be denied a third before the break and, when the busy Moravcik crossed from the left, Larsson was on hand to send a stunning volley past Preece.

Aberdeen had some chances early in the second half but they could find no way past Jonathan Gould in the home goal and, in the 61st minute, Moravcik cut the ball back from the byline and Viduka pounced to score after Robbie Winters had miscontrolled in his own area. The 60,000-plus Parkhead crowd did not have long to wait for another goal as, in the 64th minute, Larsson found Viduka again and, after Preece had blocked his first effort, the Australian tapped in the rebound.

Celtic made it 6-0 after 73 minutes when another Moravcik corner was whipped in for Larsson to rise above the demoralised Aberdeen defence to head in for his hat-trick.

The Swede soon departed to a standing ovation, but his was not to be the only hat-trick as Viduka completed his own treble in the 88th minute, after Blinker had put him through.

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