Aberdeen Manager Jim Goodwin during a cinch Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie
Aberdeen held out until the 87th minute against Celtic

On the opening day of the season, we lost 2-0 to Celtic. We tried to play at Rangers and lost. We tried to come up with a plan to hit Celtic on the counter attack.

The Aberdeen manager summed up the dilemma faced by all teams coming up against the Old Firm after their loss to Celtic.

Is it a good idea to press or sit? Do you want to stick or twist? In three tries against Glasgow's big two, Aberdeen came out with zero points.

The Aberdeen boss will be under pressure to be less defensive in his approach as the Rangers visit Pittodrie on Tuesday.

Aberdeen 'embarrassing' against Celtic?

He made no apologies for his team's tactics against Celtic, even though they were seven minutes away from a draw.

He said it was all about containment. It's not something I like to do, but we respected the opposition before the game.

It would have been our sixth draw in 46 games against Celtic if we had come away with a win.

Aberdeen had two shots, both of which were not on target, with their total chances being 0.06xG. They completed 118 passes, to Celtic's 754, with the visitors taking 33 shots from their 81% of possession.

If they had held on, a draw against the league's best side would have made the tactics worthwhile.

Willie Miller, former Aberdeen captain, said on Sportsound that he thinks he's way off the mark.

Fans wouldn't have been happy with it. I don't think it's acceptable that Aberdeen came out with a point.

The fans got their hopes up by watching exciting football and turning up in their numbers.

Some teams have tried to shut down space in the final third to frustrate Celtic.

St Mirren beat Celtic 2-0 earlier this season, the only side in the country to do so, and that was before the match.

It was the template for Aberdeen, but there were two differences that made the difference.

While Stephen Robinson used a back five and three shuttling across to outnumber Celtic's wide players, the Paisley side were not as deep and were able to get closer to Celtic in possession.

St Mirren v Celtic average positions graphic
St Mirren (black) average position against Celtic (purple) in their 2-0 win on 18 September
Aberdeen v Celtic average position graphic
Aberdeen (black) average positions against Celtic (purple)

Because they got higher up the pitch, they were able to get their wing-backs to cross for their forwards.

Bojan Miovski and Duk did a lot of touches at Pittodrie. Two of the crosses were scored from by the team.

It doesn't make sense to suggest that they set up the same way.

Michael Stewart is a former Hearts player.

It wasn't as open and expansive as Aberdeen were. You need to be more generous at home. It's embarrassing to host anyone with less than 20% possession.

So, should Aberdeen have a go?

In previous games against Celtic and Rangers, they had conceded six goals and one goal.

He said that they got a lot of praise for going to Ibrox and trying to be aggressive and press high up the pitch. They were out played.

There is a balance to be found between the two approaches. They could have retreated a bit after scoring a goal.


On 23 October, Hearts went toe to toe with Celtic and ended with more shots and a better xG rating. They lost by a score of 4-3.

The result was the same as Aberdeen's, but Hearts fans left feeling entertained, which makes a difference to the mood around a result.

Aberdeen had won six of their seven home games before Celtic came to town. They had two of the best forwards in the division.

If not on the road, the success of attacking football has been demonstrated at Pittodrie. The Rangers are coming next.

The Irishman is under a lot of pressure to find the right formula with the squad he has without resorting to the same tactics he used against Celtic.

"Rangers are not the same beast as Celtic, but I know they got a pasting at Ibrox, but that's not a big deal," said former St.

Three of the four players are playing out of position. It would be a crime to set that up against the Rangers.

There is a chance there. He is not as expansive as he was. When they win the ball back, he has to come up with a solution.

They have taken points against the Old Firm using a number of different strategies. The same can be done by Aberdeen, who have more resources.