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Thursday 14 December 2017

Celtic boss Ronny Deila: Dons still in the tittle race

Bhoys boss wary despite big lead

Celtic manager Ronny Deila celebrates victory
Celtic manager Ronny Deila celebrates victory

Ronny Deila refused to dismiss Aberdeen's title challenge despite watching Celtic beat the Dons 4-0 at Parkhead.

The win lifts Celtic six points clear of Derek McInnes' side with the chance to increase that further when they play their game in hand at home to St Johnstone on Wednesday night.

Jason Denayer scored the only goal of the first half, somewhat against the run of play, but after the break Celtic piled forward with goals coming from Leigh Griffiths, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stefan Johansen.

"We are in a really good position in the league but I won't take anything for granted," Deila said. "I've been in football for many years with my former club three times we were leading by seven points but it took till the third time to win the league.

"I know how quick things can turn around if you lose focus on the right things. If we do everything that we have done so far the rest of the season will be very hard for Aberdeen.

"Everything can happen in football. We just have to keep working hard and developing as a team and individuals."

Aberdeen took the game to Celtic from the first whistle with the hoops looking sluggish after their exertions in Milan.

The Dons were on the front foot as they chased the goal that would open up the title race but none of their half chances fell to Adam Rooney.

Seven minutes from the interval a rushed clearance by Scott Brown in the Aberdeen goal led to Celtic's first corner of the match.

When Stuart Armstrong's corner came into the box Brown was too occupied by Griffiths allowing Denayer to power in a header to give Celtic some breathing space.

Celtic picked the Dons off in the second half with Griffiths scoring from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute before Mackay-Steven put the game beyond doubt with a low 20 yards drive six minutes later.

Anthony Stokes made his first appearance in four matches, replacing Armstrong in the 72nd minute, with Johansen completing the scoring ten minutes from the final whistle.

After celebrating with the Ronny roar Deila admitted: "It was a wonderful afternoon, I'm so happy with the performance and the result, I'm proud of the boys. They have played a lot of games, it's been tough."

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