UNHAPPY Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes claimed Celtic’s winning goal last night came from a dodgy free-kick that shouldn’t have been awarded.
Kieran Tierney was challenged by Jonny Hayes and from Scott Sinclair’s left-wing delivery, Dedryck Boyata netted what proved to be the only goal of the game.
Dons gaffer McInnes moaned: “I’ve seen it again and it wasn’t a free-kick.
“I thought it was when it was first given, but I have watched it back again and it wasn’t a free-kick.
“Tierney slipped, but a combination of that, the delivery and us not getting tight enough cost us.”
Despite the fact there are now 27 points between the champions and the Pittodrie outfit, McInnes insisted his side showed that they are capable of matching Brendan Rodgers’ men.
He added: “There’s disappointment, frustration and anger we didn’t take something from the game.
“The performance merited a point. It was about getting the balance between attacking and defending and I thought we showed great tenacity in our pressing.
“Celtic never got in to any real rhythm with their progressive passing, which they are usually so good at.
“We did so much right in the game, so to lose from a set-play was so disappointing.
“That goal separated the two teams because we were more than competitive in between both boxes.
“We got in to some good areas, but just lacked a bit of conviction or quality in the final third.
“But it was all hands to the pump to get something from the game.”
McInnes didn’t comment on the unsporting decision taken right under his nose by his team not to return the ball to Celtic after it had been put out of play in the final few minutes following a head knock to Dedryck Boyata.
Celtic players, particularly Liam Henderson, expressed their anger to Dons players at the final whistle. The row ended with Henderson pointing up to the big screens which were showing the final score.
Celtic, zeroing in on a sixth successive Premiership crown, are now unbeaten in 28 domestic games and are 25 points clear of second-top Rangers, who were thumped 4-1 by Hearts in Edinburgh last night.
Aberdeen have a game in hand over a Rangers side that has an appalling record on the road against top sides in their league. Last season they lost both matches to Hibs and Falkirk away and this year they have gone done twice at Tynecastle, got hammered at Parkhead and lost at Pittodrie.
Rangers have forthcoming trips to both Pittodrie and Celtic Park so Aberdeen will be looking at securing second place.