Aberdeen boss McInnes: Moments of madness cost us but we had our chances to win Celtic contest

Celtic's Kieran Tierney in action with Aberdeen's Shay Logan.

Boss Derek McInnes today claimed “moments of madness” condemned the Dons to a 10th straight defeat to Celtic.

The Pittodrie gaffer admits that dismal losing streak against the league leaders does not sit well with him.

Yet he insisted progress has been made as previous Dons sides not just struggled to beat the Hoops but also the league’s lesser teams

Celtic made it 10 wins in a row over third-placed Aberdeen with a 2-0 win in a Premiership clash where both sides were reduced to 10 men.

It was a nightmare debut for January signing Sam Cosgrove who was red-carded just eight minutes into his Dons debut.

Aberdeen now trail the defending champions by 12 points and are also three behind second-placed Rangers.

McInnes said: “We have beaten Celtic previously in my time here but haven’t managed to beat this Celtic team over the last couple of seasons. It is not a statistic that we are proud of.

“It was a statistic that was common for a while.

“There was a time here we couldn’t even get results against Inverness, Ross County and the like, so there has been a lot of progress here.

“For us to go and make our mark and beat this Celtic team we have to do those little things a lot better than we did this time.

“But the thought was there, the work-rate was there, the players made tackles.

“At least we gave ourselves a chance to win and we will take that with us going into the rest of the season.”

Aberdeen slumped to a second straight Premiership defeat following a 2-0 loss at Hibs.

McInnes had claimed his side were “murdered” after the Easter Road loss but reckons his side were vastly improved.

He said: “The effort from the players was everything I wanted and we looked like a proper team.

“We had the better of the chances and we nullified Celtic’s threat and stopped their better players really having an impact in the game.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win or get something from the game but ultimately we didn’t.

“There were a lot of aspects of the game I was pleased with.”

Aberdeen fell behind to a Moussa Dembele first-half header.

However, they were given renewed hope of ending that losing streak when Mikael Lustig was sent off with 15 minutes remaining for a second booking.

Ultimately, it was 10-man Celtic who netted when a Dons free-kick broke down and Kieran Tierney netted on the break.

The Reds’ day worsened when Cosgrove, 20, received a straight red for a reckless challenge on Celtic skipper Scott Brown.

Striker Cosgrove had been introduced off the bench just eight minutes earlier for his Dons debut having signed from Carlisle United last month.

McInnes said: “We have been guilty of a couple of moments of madness.

“Sam Cosgrove got caught up in the game and it looked for me like a red card.

“There has to be that restraint, as keen as he is to go and make an impression. However, we still had one or two little opportunities at 1-0.

“Then we had a chance to put the ball in the box and ask the question again and Celtic counter on us.

“Not many teams have the quality to punish you on that but Celtic do.

“You have to commend Tierney for his endeavour and willingness to get up the pitch to get the second goal.

“But from our own point of view when we are taking a set-play we have got to be better when that ball comes out.

“I am not pointing the blame at anyone but we slit our own throat in terms of that second goal.”

Aberdeen created chances as well with McGinn, McLean, Arnason, May and O’Connor all having clear opportunities.

Ultimately the Reds, who travel to Motherwell on Premiership action on Wednesday, could not capitalise.

“Celtic provided more quality in the final bit although we had more chances,” said McInnes.

“There was a great block from McGinn, the keeper made a save from McLean.

“Mackay-Steven is in two minds to shoot or play it on a plate and Stevie May is inches away from it.

“O’Connor did the follow-up and choked it wide.

“UIltimately it is about putting the ball in the net – and we didn’t.”