Lacklustre Celtic get lucky with Langfield clanger

Celtic 1 Aberdeen 0

celtic park

Kris Commons' late winner got below-par Celtic off to a successful start in the defence of their Premier League title. However, they had Aberdeen's goalkeeper Jamie Langfield to thank for the three points.

The visitors looked comfortable until Langfield, nicknamed Clangers, made an horrendous mess of Commons' shot from distance at his near post after the midfielder had played a short corner with Joe Ledley. It was a lacklustre display by Celtic, although goalkeeper Fraser Forster had little to do. Celtic captain Scott Brown and James Forrest failed fitness tests and with defender Charlie Mulgrew suspended after being sent off in a pre-season game against Ajax, manager Neil Lennon was forced to reshuffle his team.

In came defender Thomas Rogne, midfielder Beram Kayal and striker Anthony Stokes. Dons manager Craig Brown gave competitive debuts to former Celtic winger Niall McGinn, Jonny Hayes and Gary Naysmith.

In the 10th minute Celtic's stand-in captain Georgios Samaras was caught with a flying boot from Aberdeen defender Ryan Jack but resumed after treatment to his bloodied face and with a new shirt.

In the 21st minute, Langfield was forced into a decent save from Commons' 25-yard drive before Samaras curled a shot from the left-hand side of the box which went just wide of the far post.

Aberdeen had a half-chance shortly after the start of the second half when Hayes' corner from the right was punched out only as far as striker Scott Vernon, but from 12 yards he drove the ball high and wide.

Samaras was replaced by Kelvin Wilson in the 55th minute with defender Victor Wanyama moving into midfield, but Celtic could not shrug off their sluggishness.

Commons fired in a low 25-yard drive which Langfield saved down at his left-hand post but the home fans became increasingly exasperated. Lennon's last throw of the dice came when he threw on striker Daryl Murphy for Stokes, and two minutes later the Hoops were in front when Langfield allowed Commons' speculative shot to squirm through his hands at the near post.

Lennon claimed his players were tired from the first-leg Champions' League win over HJK Helsinki in midweek. "We got a bit of luck with the goal but we were in control of the game without being brilliant," he said.

"We defended very well when we had to but there was a flatness about us. I think the exertions of Wednesday night took their toll and the players were complaining about being a bit leggy."

Celtic Forster, Matthews, Wanyama, Rogne, Izaguirre, Commons, Kayal (McCourt, 70), Ledley, Samaras (Wilson, 55), Stokes (Murphy, 77), Hooper.

Aberdeen Langfield, Jack, Anderson, Considine,Naysmith (Clark, 72), Osbourne, Hughes, Rae, Hayes (Fraser, 79), McGinn (Magennis, 89), Vernon.

Referee Calum Murray.

Attendance 48,251.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee