Stewart's late winner stuns Celtic

Celtic 2 Aberdeen 3
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The Independent Online

John Stewart snatched a remarkable victory for Aberdeen at Parkhead last night with the final kick of the ball to inflict the first Scottish Premier League defeat of the season upon the champions.

The teenager struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time, robbing Stanislav Varga and escaping to steer a low shot past goalkeeper David Marshall to stun Celtic, who had come back from a two-goal deficit.

John Hartson's double had cancelled out the shock, early lead supplied by Darren Mackie and Fernando Pasquinelli but no-one expected the final twist.

Mackie struck after five minutes when he ghosted in at the back post to meet Pasquinelli's header from Derek Adams' corner and bundled it in from close range.

Then Neil Lennon was short with a back pass and Marshall, almost in a trance, thumped his clearance against Pasquinelli who found the empty net.

Parkhead was stunned. Hartson and Juninho then squandered great chances, blazing their shots over the bar. However, Celtic's intense pressure finally yielded a goal in the 45th minute when Lennon's free-kick was laid into the path of Hartson by Chris Sutton and the Welshman's low shot beat substitute keeper Ryan Esson.

Aberdeen tried to regroup after the interval but Hartson came close in the 53rd minute by conjuring up a volley that Esson beat out.

Sutton - carrying an injury - and Juninho made way for Aiden McGeady and Momo Sylla, but it was Hartson who provided the equaliser in the 69th minute.

Varga burst upfield and swapped passes with Stilian Petrov before clipping a low-angled cross that was finished off by the Welshman who spun and thrashed a right-foot volley past Esson who looked suspect.

Celtic (3-5-2): Marshall; Varga, Balde, McNamara; Agathe, Petrov, Lennon, Juninho (McGeady, 59), Wallace; Hartson, Sutton Sylla, 59). Substitutes not used: Hedman (gk), Pearson, Lambert, Beattie.

Aberdeen (3-5-2): Preece (Esson, 13), McGuire, Severin, Anderson; Hart, Adams, Tosh, Clark, McNaughton (Stewart, 78); Mackie, Pasquinelli (Foster, 56). Substitutes not used: Morrison, Considine, O'Leary.

Referee: W Young.

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