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SPL wrap: Celtic snatch late victory

Celtic scored three times in the last 30 minutes to defeat Aberdeen 4-3 in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday.

Celtic, who top the table by 15 points, looked down and out in Glasgow when Aberdeen went 3-1 ahead.

But Neil Lennon’s side produced a stirring comeback as they won their first league match this month.

The winners took the lead after just 12 seconds after a hopeful long punt found Gary Hooper, who played in Anthony Stokes.

And Stokes laid off for Kris Commons who produced a terrific finish to delight the home fans.

Aberdeen drew level in the dying stages of the first half as a smart Josh Magennis cutback was converted by Scott Vernon.

Magennis was to play a key role in the second half, as he scored twice in the first 15 minutes.

Gavin Rae set him up for Aberdeen’s second; and he netted again, silencing Celtic Park when he flicked home a strike Rae had hit from 25 yards.

Celtic pulled a goal back eight minutes later when a Commons corner was improperly cleared, with Charlie Mulgrew’s deflected strike hitting the roof of the net and giving the hosts a lifeline.

Another failure to clear a corner cost Aberdeen again with Hooper on hand to turn home a loose ball with less than five minutes to play.

With the support of a buoyant home crowd behind them, Celtic surged forward in a bid to get a winner.

And it came four minutes into stoppage time when a Commons free-kick was converted by substitute Georgios Samaras, sparking wild celebrations in the crowd.

Second-placed Motherwell also came from behind to win on Saturday, thrashing Hibernian 4-1 at Fir Park.

Tom Taiwo had given Hibs an early lead and it was one they carried into the half time break.

But Michael Higdon bagged the equaliser three minutes into the second half and it was quickly followed up by a James McFadden strike.

Kallum Higginbotham and Tom Hateley also netted goals for Stuart McCall’s side.

Meanwhile Ross County’s terrific 11-match unbeaten run came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Andrew Shinnie and Billy McKay scored for the winners.

Sat 16 Mar, 2013
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