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Jota strikes as Celtic launch title defence with Aberdeen win

Glasgow (AFP) – Jota produced a moment of class as Celtic launched the defence of their Scottish Premiership title with a 2-0 win at home to Aberdeen on Sunday.

Celtic centre-back Stephen Welsh headed the Hoops in front in the third minute to the delight of the Glasgow giants’ fans at Parkhead.

But although a side managed by former Australia boss Ange Postecoglou remained on top for most of the match thereafter, it wasn’t until 15 minutes from time that Jota made the game safe for Celtic.

The Portuguese winger let fly with a powerful shot from 20 yards that gave Aberdeen goalkeeper Kelle Roos no chance on his first Premiership appearance.

Celtic had gone ahead when Welsh rose highest in the Dons area to glance in Matt O’Riley’s corner.

Roos was soon in for a busy match, Hoops midfielder Reo Hatate testing him with a long-distance shot in the 10th minute.

He then made an even better save to deny Kyogo Furuhashi’s powerful drive and Roos then tipped a drive from O’Riley over the bar for a corner.

But a rare Aberdeen attack saw former Celtic winger Jonny Hayes send a low drive past the post when he ought to have at least hit the target.

Sunday’s other match in Scotland’s top-flight ended in a 1-0 victory for 10-man Motherwell over St Mirren, with Kevin van Veen’s first-half penalty giving a side managed by caretaker boss Steven Hammell all three points.

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