FILIPE JOTA claimed his fifth goal in as many games as Celtic dug deep into their reserves to overcome a stubborn Aberdeen team at Parkhead yesterday.

The lively on-loan Portuguese raider hoisted his overall tally to eight since his arrival from Benfica in the summer.

He struck in the 19th minute in an emotional afternoon in the east end of Glasgow following a minute’s applause for club legend Bertie Auld who passed away on November 14 at the age of 83.

Jota turned in an impressive performance to lift yet another Man of the Match award and he played another key role for Ange Postecoglou’s side who saw their goal advantage wiped out by a controversial decision by referee Kevin Clancy when he gifted the Dons a penalty-kick after defender David Bates had gone down theatrically following a non-challenge from Liel Abada.

HIT…Filipe Jota smashes in the opener with Dons keeper Joe Lewis helpless.

Lewis Ferguson gratefully lashed the spot-kick beyond the helpless Joe Hart to make it all-square at the interval.

However, the Hoops did get a rub of the green when a clearance from Jonny Hayes ricocheted off Callum McGregor and spun into the visitors’ net on the hour mark.

Jota almost ended the match as a contest when he sped through on the left from an astute pass from his skipper, but his low show thumped off the base of the far upright and bounced to safety.

The 22-year-old attacker was pleased with his contribution, but, more importantly, the fact the Hoops had picked up three points that could prove to be priceless at the completion of the Premiership campaign.

MISS…Filipe Jota looks heavwards after thumping an effort off the post.

Jota, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “We knew this was going to be a tough game. Aberdeen have their strengths and we were looking forward to beating them – and we did it. I thought we played a good match and now it’s on to the next one.

“Some teams just play with a back five and it’s really difficult to go at their defence because once you go through one, there’s always another one and another one, so we just needed to find the space, control the ball, keep possession and just finish it.

“That demonstrates our character and personality – we are a team that wants to have the ball, be aggressive and score goals – and once that doesn’t happen, we just stay calm and try to play our football and I think most of the time that’s what happened.”

Jota and his team-mates will be put to the test again on Thursday night at Parkhead when Hearts visit.


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