MURDO MACLEOD reckons that Aberdeen got ‘battered’ by next Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final opponents Celtic when the teams last met at Pittodrie last Friday.
And while the former Celtic and Scotland man recognises that the ‘battering” lasted for only ten minutes or so in that time the Dons had conceded 3 times and effectively lost the game.
He also recalls a similar collapse when Rangers opened the flood-gates in the final ten minutes in their game last month in Aberdeen. The game was goalless going onto the final ten minutes with Aberdeen pushing for the opener their play deserved. Then they conceded and one quickly became two and then remarkably three.
That was regarded as a one off buy lightening seemed to strike twice at Pittodrie on last Friday evening just before 8pm.
Maybe Aberdeen have put all that behind them and last night they picked up their first win at Ibrox since 1991, much to the delight of their traveling Red Army.
These guys will be back at Firhill on Saturday before a week later coming down the road again to play Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final.
But MacLeod, who made 281 appearances for Celtic and scored 55 times for the Hoops, reckons last week’s match, which Celtic eventually won 3-1, will have a bearing on the final, whether Aberdeen like it or not!
“You look at Aberdeen and they got battered in the first 12 minutes in that game. To their credit they created plenty of chances after that, but Celtic were still comfortable at 3-1,” Macleod said.
“On their day Aberdeen have to bring their best performance, and then they’ll need Celtic to have an off-day, if they’re to win the cup.
“But that happens more often than you’d think in cup finals.
“And Aberdeen have had plenty of experience of Hampden Park in recent years, so that will help a lot, it won’t faze them going down there and putting on a good display,” he said.
“The concern is for Aberdeen though, is when you look at their last two games versus Celtic and Rangers, is how they collapsed in a very short space of time.
“That doesn’t happen. It should never happen.
“You can’t concede three goals in 11 minutes, even to Celtic, and it was three goals in about four or five minutes to Rangers. That doesn’t happen. But now it has – twice – and that’s a big concern.
“That’s something they’ve got to work on quickly. They’re a very good team, but that doesn’t happen.
“They’ve got nothing to lose now though, and I know people are putting a bit of pressure on to stop Celtic winning the treble.
“But that’s not Aberdeen’s target. They’re target is to win the cup for themselves. That’s what the manager will be telling them, that’ll be for sure, to win the cup for themselves.
“But if they can’t control those collapses, they’ll have no chance.”
*Murdo MacLeod was speaking to Ladbrokes.com