Aberdeen – match report vs celtic 25/10/20

After back to back losses for Celtic, they faced an in-form Aberdeen side who were looking to draw level on points with Celtic with a win. Aberdeen lined up in a 3-5-2 formation, but their attacking wingbacks were always in their defensive positions when Celtic were in possession to form a back five. Aberdeen were forced into a change after 25 minutes due to an injury, which changed their game plan a bit. Aberdeen took the lead via the penalty spot just before half time, however Celtic dominated possession but created no real chances against a solid defensive effort from Aberdeen.

Celtic’s midfield three and front three weren’t creating enough, with their main attacking outlet coming from right back Emmanuel Frimpong. The game was more open in the second half after Celtic pulled level due to more attacking intent from Aberdeen had. They soon regained the league after striker Sam Cosgrove came off the bench and caused problems for the Celtic defence. Celtic turned to Leigh Griffiths from the bench and he had an instant impact, scoring a great goal to make it 2-2, and within minutes Celtic took the lead for the first time in the game from the penalty spot. Celtic were gunning for a fourth goal whilst Aberdeen were trying to tie level which resulted in a very open last 15 minutes; it was Aberdeen who benefitted from the open nature of the game as they won another penalty in the second minute of injury time. No one wanted the game to end but a draw was a fair result.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for their level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Lewis Ferguson

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Scottish
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 24/08/1999
  • Current Club: Aberdeen
  • Career: Hamilton Academical, Aberdeen
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Lewis Ferguson impressed me from the off with his out of possession screening. Ferguson was always on his toes, looking to intercept potential Celtic through balls. He was constantly scanning to his sides and behind him, so he knew what was going on and whether there were any Celtic players making dangerous runs in behind him. Moreover, Ferguson used good body gestures to let his teammates know who he was marking and who his midfield partners need to keep an eye on. This maturity and leadership from just a 21-year-old is really impressive and looked like an experienced professional. The young midfielder often jockeyed when an opposition player was shaping up to dribble at him which gave him more space to intercept a ball, but it also allowed the Celtic player to advance forward without pressure.

Ferguson and the other Aberdeen midfielders struggled to get on the ball much, Aberdeen didn’t have much possession, especially when leading the game, but when the centre-backs were on the ball they often skipped playing through the middle third and went long to target man Edmondson. Ferguson got on the ball more after an Aberdeen injury resulted in him playing more centrally, he was comfortable using both feet and played a lovely first-time ball over the top with his weaker left foot. On the only occasion Ferguson got forward, he won a penalty for his team using clever play. He got on the end of a through ball and deliberately slowed down which forced Olivier Ntcham into the back of him, it was a very clumsy foul to give away but the intelligence and awareness from Ferguson to get his body in between the player and the ball and to draw the foul was years above his actual age. The Scotsman took up a lot of responsibility in the game as well, he took the majority of set pieces which were mostly good and accurate however they could have had more pace and whip on them. He also stepped up to take both penalties and slotted both of them away calmly, making it 8 goals in 11 league appearances this season.

Overall, it was a very good performance from Ferguson who was vital in stopping Celtic creating chances from good positioning, tackling and interceptions. His maturity and intelligence were more impressive however as you can’t teach this, and he looks like a born leader. Despite signing a new contract last year until 2024, I think it’s only a matter of time until he moves on, however I would love for him to stay at Aberdeen and be the key man for a potential title challenge in the coming years.

Rating – A1

Ross McCrorie

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Scottish
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 18/03/1998
  • Current Club: Aberdeen
  • Career: Rangers, Dumbarton (L), Portsmouth (L), Aberdeen
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

McCrorie started the game in the right wing back position which isn’t his natural position. He didn’t get on the ball much however he maintained good defensive discipline and he never left his right-hand side exposed. McCrorie had good energy in the first half, he pressed well by completing presses in short sharp stints. He closed the ball down well and blocked the pass down the line on several occasions, intercepting a few balls. After 25 minutes, McCrorie moved to centre-midfield after an Aberdeen injury and he continued his solid but unspectacular performance; his defensive positioning was good like Ferguson’s but he didn’t get as stuck in as much and he went about his business quietly.

He was comfortable on the ball and showed okay passing but didn’t attempt many difficult passes and kept things simple. One thing that was impressive about McCrorie was his desire to get into the box. On two occasions, the Scotsman made a late back post run and got on the end of two crosses but didn’t threaten the Celtic goalkeeper on either occasion.

Overall, it was a quiet but solid performance from McCrorie. I would like to see him want the ball more and get involved in the play as he seemed to leave the responsibility on Ferguson’s shoulders to create something.

Rating – B1

Ryan Edmondson

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 19
  • Date of Birth: 20/05/2001
  • Current Club: Aberdeen, on loan from Leeds
  • Career: York (Y), Leeds, Aberdeen (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Edmondson came into this game off the back of a brace and an assist in 55 mins last week against Hamilton, but he couldn’t replicate this performance today. Edmondson stands at over 6-foot-tall and has a very stocky build for a large man. His build could have been very useful for a game like today where his team were under the cosh, but he didn’t utilise his physicality to great effect. Sometimes, Edmondson was too high up the pitch when Aberdeen were penned in their own half defending. This meant that when Aberdeen half cleared the ball, Celtic regained the ball with his as Edmondson was too far away; and when he did gather the ball from a clearance there was very little support for him due to the large gap between him and the midfield. On the other hand, Edmondson did well to hold the ball up when he received it. He used his physicality to hold off defenders and mad it difficult for them to get the ball off him and he could use multiple parts of his body to control the ball. This included good chest control, solid one touch passing and layoffs to start counter attacks, and a couple of nice headed flick-ons that found on-running teammates.

Due to the nature of the game, Aberdeen didn’t have much possession so I didn’t get to see much of Edmondson on the ball, however he sometimes looked to make a run down the channel however he isn’t the fastest and failed to keep up with a counter-attack that he started. He also was too physical sometimes, giving away needless fouls when pushing or shoulder barging Celtic defenders. Defensively, Edmondson had okay work rate – he jogged around up front but the other Aberdeen players were sharper and more energetic when pressing or getting back into their defensive positions. Although, when Edmondson lost the ball due to a heavy touch, he worked hard to win it back and made a good sliding interception in his own box.

I’m not overly convinced by Edmondson; however he is only 19 and it’s his first season in professional football. I feel like he could learn a lot and improve his game in Scotland before returning to England and he has the potential skillset to be a good striker but I would have to watch more of him when Aberdeen dominate the ball to make these conclusions, but he needs to improve his hold up play which looks to be his main asset.

Rating – B2

Note – Scott Wright (23) and Sam Cosgrove (23) both came on in the 57th minute and made great impacts. Wright’s direct dribbling and pace was what Aberdeen lacked in the game; and Cosgrove’s presence and scoring instincts was key for Aberdeen’s second goal and he showed much more quality than Edmondson.

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