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Celtic survive Aberdeen scare to stay on top

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic hit back after blowing a two-goal lead to beat Aberdeen 3-2 on Wednesday and maintain a slender one-point advantage over Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Jota and Matt O’Riley’s deflected effort had Ange Postecoglou’s men cruising towards an eighth consecutive victory.

But the visitors were stunned as Aberdeen came out a different side after the break and struck twice in five minutes through Christian Ramirez and Lewis Ferguson.

Barely 60 seconds after the Dons had levelled, Celtic retook the lead when a loose ball broke to Jota in the box and he fired home his fourth goal in three appearances against Aberdeen.

Celtic still needed to see out a nervy final 30 minutes, but got over the line to stay just in front of Rangers in the title race.

“This is not an easy place to come and win, so great character and a good reaction to get the third goal,” said Postecoglou.

“As you saw in the second half there are still areas where we can improve and that’s what we need to do.

“We could have maintained our composure better. I thought we were rushing.”

Rangers had a much more comfortable evening as they struck early in each half to beat Hibernian 2-0 at Ibrox.

Captain James Tavernier’s penalty opened the scoring after Paul McGinn’s needless challenge brought down Ryan Kent on five minutes.

Tavernier then turned provider for Rangers’ second six minutes into the second half as he fed Alfredo Morelos, who unleashed a thunderous strike high into the roof of the net.

Dundee moved off the bottom of the table with a shock 2-1 win at third-placed Hearts.

St Johnstone, who won both domestic cups last season, replace them in the sole automatic relegation place after losing 2-1 at St. Mirren.

Dundee United leapfrogged Motherwell into fourth with a 2-0 win at Tannadice.

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