• SPL round-up

Stunning Celtic fightback downs Aberdeen in thriller

ESPN staff
March 16, 2013
Georgios Samaras hooked home Celtic's winner © PA Photos

Celtic scored three goals in the final 22 minutes to come from 3-1 down to continue their march towards the SPL title on Saturday, while the battle for European football between Inverness and Ross County went the way of Thistle.

Neil Lennon's Celtic side led inside 15 seconds against Aberdeen, but the goal did not spark the expected onslaught as the visitors levelled by the break. Instead it was Aberdeen who powered into a 3-1 lead, but the Bhoys rallied in a big way to snatch victory 4-3 in injury-time.

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown had not even taken his seat when Kris Commons opened the scoring for Celtic, driving home on the angle.

However, Scott Vernon equalised on the stroke of half-time to stun the home support before Josh Magennis completed the turnaround with a brace in the opening 15 minutes of the second period.

Charlie Mulgrew pegged the visitors back from the edge of the area with 20 minutes remaining, and then Gary Hooper found a late Celtic equaliser. Still there was time for a winner, and it came from substitute Georgios Samaras who hooked home right at the death.

Billy McKay's controversial penalty secured Inverness a 2-1 home win against Highland rivals Ross County, lifting them above the Staggies into third place. The Northern Ireland striker's 24th goal of the campaign ended County's 11-game unbeaten run and has all but ensured Inverness will have their first ever top-six SPL finish.

McKay netted the winner in the 59th minute after referee Iain Brines pointed to the spot when Charlie Taylor went down, but there were strong suggestions the full-back was making a meal of it.

It came after Andrew Shinnie's fifth-minute close-range opener for Caley Thistle was cancelled out by a magnificent 30-yard strike from County's Paul Lawson. The defeat leaves County fourth, two points behind Inverness.

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