Celtic striker Georgios Samaras described his stoppage time winner that sealed a dramatic 4-3 victory over Aberdeen as the most exciting of his career. The Greek striker, a second half substitute for Beram Kayal, popped up five yards out to send an unstoppable overhead kick past Jamie Langfield four minutes into stoppage time to cap a remarkable comeback.
Kris Commons had got the home side off to a dream start with the fastest Scottish Premier League goal ever after just 12 seconds. However, Celtic failed to build on their advantage and Scott Vernon levelled on the stroke of half time.
Josh Magennis' second half double put Aberdeen 3-1 ahead with 30 minutes to go before Charlie Mulgrew's deflected shot gave the Hoops some hope in the 68th minute. Gary Hooper nodded home the equaliser in the 87th minute before Samaras struck in stoppage time to spark scenes of wild celebrations.
The win keeps Celtic 15 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League but more importantly prevented them from losing three successive league games for the first time since 1994. "It was a great goal for the team. When you are 3-1 down with 25 minutes to go then to come back and win the game is something very special," Samaras said.
"It's a great result with great character shown. When you have a comeback like that then the confidence will be high. But we don't need a game like that to believe in ourselves. "We have believed in ourselves all season. Sometimes we have played bad and lost games and sometimes we have won but nothing compares to this game. It was a special goal in a very difficult game.
"It was the most exciting goal of my Celtic career. I think the way the game went it is one I will remember." Before the game Celtic manager Neil Lennon had demanded a response from his players following back-to-back defeats to Motherwell and Ross County and he praised his side's fighting spirit.
"It was absolutely brilliant. People were accusing the players of complacency and not showing enough desire but I think when the fourth goal went in you could see what it mean to them and the supporters," Lennon said. However, after conceding eight goals in three games Lennon acknowledged his side need to tighten up at the back.
"I know we have got a few defensive problems that we need to sort out," Lennon said. "I don't detect a lack of confidence but they are just not playing to the levels that I know they can do and I don't know the reasons why. The international break may do them the world of good with a change of scenery."
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown, who announced last week that he is set to retire at the end of the season, lay some of the blame of the defeat at his own door. "It is a very painful defeat as we are trying to get into the top six and I think we deserve to be in the top six," the veteran manager said.
"I've been involved in many games but I can't recall a game like that when you lose a goal within 12 seconds, you come back to have control of the game and then you capitulate at the end like that.
"I fault myself in that I should have put on a big striker as a defender. I thought if I did that and put on Rory Fallon, who is a good defensive header of the ball, it would send a negative message to the defence."