Sutton outwits Aberdeen to restore Celtic's title lead

Aberdeen 0 - Celtic 1
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The Independent Online

Chris Sutton sent Celtic back to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a predatory finish at Pittodrie yesterday. It was the former Chelsea striker's 11th goal of the season.

Chris Sutton sent Celtic back to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a predatory finish at Pittodrie yesterday. It was the former Chelsea striker's 11th goal of the season.

"It was a hard game, especially in the second half," reflected Martin O'Neill, the Celtic manager. "I was pleased just to get the points, because against Aberdeen you will take anything."

Celtic made the breakthrough after 24 minutes. Sutton and John Hartson exchanged passes in the centre circle to release Stilian Petrov, whose low cross into the box found Sutton re-emerging to hit a venomous shot that was deflected by Philip McGuire to go beyond the Aberdeen goalkeeper Ryan Esson.

Goals: Sutton (24) 1-0.

Aberdeen (3-5-2): Esson; Anderson, Diamond, McGuire (Winter, 53); Hart, Adams (Tosh, 53), Heikkinen, Clark (Kristjansson, 76), McNaughton; Whelan, Mackie. Substitutes not used: Ilic (gk), Stewart, Foster, O'Leary.

Celtic (4-4-2): Douglas; McNamara, Baldé, Laursen, McManus; Juninho (Camara, 76), Lennon, Petrov, McGeady (Wallace, 90); Hartson, Sutton. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Lambert, Lawson.

Booked: Aberdeen Anderson; Celtic Baldé.

Referee: K Clark.

Man of the match: Sutton.

Attendance: 17,051.

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