SPL

New signing Kuhn rescues point for Celtic as fans protest at transfer business

By Sports Desk February 03, 2024

Nicolas Kuhn scored his first goal for Celtic but pre-match dissent from the visiting supporters at Pittodrie was amplified as a strong second-half performance from Aberdeen earned the hosts a point.

Celtic ran out to chants of “sack the board” and a banner which read “Celtic board, on your heads be it” as the fans expressed their displeasure over the club’s transfer window business.

Their team had a goal disallowed and hit the bar twice in a one-sided first half but Bojan Miovski gave Aberdeen the lead with their first effort at goal in the 50th minute and his 19th goal of the season.

German winger Kuhn levelled in the 64th minute in his second appearance for Celtic but the game remained in the balance and the 1-1 draw ended a run of six consecutive wins for the cinch Premiership leaders since they lost back-to-back games in December.

Aberdeen had first-team coach Peter Leven in charge following the sacking of manager Barry Robson and he handed a first start to the club’s sole January signing, on-loan Crystal Palace midfielder Killian Phillips.

Celtic had both of their new signings, German winger Kuhn and on-loan Norwich forward Adam Idah, on the bench as Maik Nawrocki replaced the injured Cameron Carter-Vickers.

The defender’s ball over the top earned Celtic their first real chance and Luis Palma was celebrating after converting the rebound from Liel Abada’s saved effort. The Honduran winger was clearly offside though, however it took the VAR team several minutes to disallow the goal.

Celtic continued to create a steady stream of first-half chances. Kelle Roos saved comfortably from Palma and Abada and the former missed a great opportunity after Alistair Johnston’s cross found him in space on the corner of the six-yard box. His shot hit the top of the bar and went over.

Paulo Bernardo lobbed a delicate effort over a crowded goalmouth and off the top of the bar as Celtic continued to dominate. They had 13 first-half shots at goal, but only three on target with Matt O’Riley and Alexandro Bernabei off target just before the break.

Aberdeen had barely managed to get the ball in the final third but they re-emerged from the interval with a new-found vigour and quickly turned defence into attack when a Celtic move up the left broke down.

Dante Polvara’s forward pass set Miovski up to run at Nawrocki and the striker shifted the ball inside before curling home from 18 yards.

The game was transformed. Aberdeen threatened from a series of set-pieces with Celtic blocking several shots and Phillips almost made himself an instant hero with an audacious 45-yard chip which had Joe Hart beaten but just drifted off target.

It was another recent signing that was soon celebrating though. Kuhn and Idah came on along with Anthony Ralston in the 59th minute and the winger soon made his mark as he cut in from the right, played a one-two and then got the ball back from Idah before shooting in off Nicky Devlin.

Both teams went all out to get ahead. O’Riley saw a deflected effort hit the outside of the post and Hart saved from Connor Barron after Nawrocki’s poor clearance.

The offside flag went up after good chances at either end and Graeme Shinnie looked all set to score only to hit Hart with his shot. Leighton Clarkson looked offside from Shinnie’s header before he got the ball back.

Miovski was definitely offside when he beat Hart to Clarkson’s low cross and knocked the ball into the net from close range.

Celtic finished strongly but Roos came off his line to foil O’Riley and substitute Stephen Welsh headed over with the last action of the game before the away supporters resumed chants against the board while applauding the players.

Related items

  • Nagelsmann urges Germany to beat pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts Nagelsmann urges Germany to beat pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts

    Julian Nagelsmann is confident his side can beat the pressure of being the host nation as they prepare to kick off the tournament against Scotland on Friday.

    The 36-year-old is taking charge of his first major tournament with Germany after taking over from Hansi Flick in September and has lost just one of his eight games since taking over.

    Germany have struggled in recent major tournaments, getting knocked out of Euro 2020 in the round of 16 before crashing out of the 2022 World Cup in the group stages.

    However, Die Mannschaft are aiming to end that run, chasing a fourth European title and their first since 1996, with Nagelsmann confident his team can channel their nervous energy into positive performances.

    "I think we're a bit nervous, but it's an important point, we have to have a certain nervousness," he said. "There was such a buzz [in the camp], a bit like in school. It was really loud: 'Can everyone please calm down a bit!'.

    "I look in our players' eyes and see the belief and will to win. I want us to believe in ourselves: we have great players, good togetherness, home advantage, we've had great training sessions and a good mentality.

    "We have everything: we just have to show it tomorrow, and that's why belief is very important.

    "We can beat pressure, and we can beat Scotland as well."

    Scotland arrive as heavy outsiders and are making just their fourth appearance at the Euros compared to Germany's record 14.

    The Tartan Army qualified second in their group after a strong opening to their campaign, and Nagelsmann praised their performances under Steve Clark.

    "They don't have world stars, but that makes them very dangerous," he added. "They work very hard and have a classic mentality, but it's not a kick and rush team. They can do that, but they can play football.

    "We will have more pressure on us than Scotland, and they will want to capitalise on that."

  • Orlando City v Los Angeles FC: Pareja seeking injection of confidence Orlando City v Los Angeles FC: Pareja seeking injection of confidence

    Oscar Pareja believes it is important for Orlando City to rediscover their self-confidence ahead of Saturday's clash with in-form Los Angeles FC at Inter&Co Stadium.

    The international break means Orlando have been out of action since a 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on June 2, their third straight game without a victory.

    While they sit a lowly 11th in the Eastern Conference standings with 17 points, LAFC are second in the West with 30 points after winning five in a row in MLS play.

    Asked about the value of having time off to reflect on their poor run, Pareja said: "It's important, because with the work we do, the intensity of how we do things is important.

    "We are optimistic after having a refresh when we needed it."

    On the challenge of facing LAFC, the Orlando coach added: "Many teams have challenges with players being away. We are professionals, we expect a team that is playing well.

    "But at the same time, it's a great opportunity for us to play well and raise our confidence, to get the points we need right now." 

    In all competitions, LAFC have won their last six matches without conceding, becoming the first team from MLS to ever accomplish that feat.

    Head coach Steve Cherundolo believes that achievement is the result of a team effort, saying: "I think the team is playing a mature, professional, complete 90 minutes.

    "Some teams have better defensive solutions against us so we don't have quite as many chances, but in every game we are creating chances and we are not giving up many chances.

    "Our collective defending is very good. You're seeing it all come together."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH 

    Orlando City – Nicolas Lodeiro 

    Lodeiro has been involved in nine goals in MLS play against Los Angeles (five goals, four assists, including playoffs). 

    Only Cristian Espinoza (15) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11) have been involved in more versus them.

    Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga 

    Bouanga scored LAFC's goal in their 1-0 win over FC Dallas last time out on June 1. 

    The goal was Bouanga's 48th in all competitions since the start of last season, 16 more than any other MLS player in that time.

    MATCH PREDICTION – LOS ANGELES FC WIN

    LAFC are unbeaten in four all-time meetings with Orlando (two wins, two draws), though the Lions did eliminate them on penalties from the quarter-finals of MLS is Back in 2020.

    Orlando are winless in their last five home matches, drawing two and losing three while failing to net in each of their last three – they had only previously gone three home matches without netting in their second, third and fourth home MLS games back in 2015.

    LAFC, meanwhile, have won seven successive matches in all competitions, the last six of them to nil. They will fancy their chances of victory, even without home advantage.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Orlando City – 37.7%

    Los Angeles FC – 35.9%  

    Draw – 26.4%

  • Ito becomes first signing for Kompany at Bayern Ito becomes first signing for Kompany at Bayern

    Bayern Munich have announced the signing of Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart.

    The defender becomes the first signing under new head coach Vincent Kompany, signing a four-year contract to keep him at the club until 2028.

    Ito joined Stuttgart in 2021, on an initial loan from Japanese side Jubilo Iwata, before making the move permanent the following year.

    He made 97 appearances for Stuttgart in all competitions, including 29 in 2023-24, as he helped the club to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga and Champions League qualification.

    "It's a great honour for me to be able to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world," Ito told the club website.

    "Bayern is also a big name in Japan. I always gave my all for Stuttgart and am grateful to the club. Now I'm looking forward to the challenge in Munich and I want to play my part in FC Bayern winning lots of trophies.

    "It was time to take a new step, and for me, Bayern is the perfect club to do so."

    Bayern finished below Stuttgart in the Bundesliga last season in third, ending their run of 11 consecutive league titles, while falling at the semi-final hurdle in the Champions League.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.