Stokes strike seals Celtic win
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A later winner from Anthony Stokes handed Celtic a 1-0 away win at Aberdeen Sunday to put the Glasgow giants top of the Scottish Premier League with a two-point cushion on Old Firm rivals Rangers.

Celtic's promising start to the campaign, a fortnight after Rangers dropped points in a draw with Hearts, was however tempered by defender Emilio Izaguirre's injury blow.

The Honduran, who won two player of the year accolades at the end of last season, left the pitch early on with a suspected broken ankle. If confirmed, the injury will rule him out for at least several weeks.

Aberdeen had yet to score in their two previous games and, after Scott Vernon twice missed chances to open their account, that is how it remains for Craig Brown's side.

Celtic created a number of opportunities and, until Stokes's 74th-minute strike, Aberdeen keeper David Gonzalez was equal to them.

Neil Lennon was frustrated by the number of chances his side missed. "Our build up play and passing was very good to work the ball into good areas, but we were wasteful and picked the wrong option at times," Lennon said.

"We felt we maybe had to be patient at half-time and take 1-0 and in the end it was a very well worked goal and for once we picked the right option."

Brown was disappointed not to get anything from the game. "I thought we did enough to get at least a draw from the game. The goal was the only shot on target," Brown said.

The win puts Neil Lennon's side top of the table, a point above Dundee United and St Mirren and two above Rangers. 

We felt we maybe had to be patient at half-time and take 1-0 and in the end it was a very well worked goal and for once we picked the right option.
Neil Lennon, Celtic manager

The Hoops scored 21 times and conceded just once in five matches against the Dons last season and Commons came close to opening their account for this term when his swerving 30-yard drive was tipped round the post by Gonzalez.

Strike partners Gary Hooper and Stokes combined to set up Commons moments later but his attempted chip was easily gathered by the keeper.

The Parkhead club were dealt a blow in the 15th minute when Izaguirre was stretchered off after a challenge with Peter Pawlett, who received a yellow card five minutes later for a late tackle on substitute Charlie Mulgrew.

Gonzalez was happy to see Beram Kayal's rising shot go inches over before holding a stinging shot from Stokes as Celtic had a period of concerted pressure.

Aberdeen forward Darren Mackie released Scott Vernon, whose low shot was beaten away by Lukasz Zaluska in the home side's first meaningful effort of the half. South Korean internation Ki Sung-Yeung had Gonzalez scrambling across his goal when his glancing header from Matthews cross looked to be sneaking in just after the break.

Vernon then completely missed Mackie's cross from the left when the striker only had the keeper to beat. Gary Hooper went down in the box under pressure from Andrew Considine, who then used his body to block Commons' follow up shot.

Former Dons defender Mulgrew then blasted a free-kick high and wide as Celtic's frustrations began to grow. However, the Hoops finally made the breakthrough. Commons robbed Ricky Foster of possession before hitting the by-line where he cut the ball back to the penalty spot for Stokes to sidefoot the ball past Gonzalez.

The keeper then saved well with his legs as substitute James Forrest tried to slide the ball under him. Georgios Samaras replaced Stokes and the Greek international came close when he sent a header from Mulgrew's cross just wide of the post.