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Aberdeen 2 Celtic 1: Hayes and Church throw title race wide open

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 3 Feb 2016

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Aberdeen threw the Scottish Premiership title race wide open with a crucial 2-1 win over champions Celtic at Pittodrie on Wednesday.

Jonny Hayes, who played despite requiring stitches in his hand after being bitten by a dog this week, and Simon Church scored in the space of six first-half minutes and the visitors were unable to respond until Leigh Griffiths’ stoppage-time consolation.

Hayes’ strike was the goal of the game, the winger beating Craig Gordon with an unstoppable half-volley on 31 minutes, before debutant Church bundled home from close range after a Kenny McLean header had been blocked on the line.

Griffiths scored his 21st Premiership goal of the season by cutting inside and finding the bottom corner deep into injury time, but it came too late to set up a comeback.

In-form Aberdeen, who are unbeaten in 11 league matches, now trail Celtic by only three points at the top of the table.

It has been a dreadful week for under-pressure Celtic boss Ronny Deila, who also saw his team crash out of the League Cup to Ross County on Sunday.

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