Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was left stunned by the sight of a galloping Kristoffer Ajer down Celtic’s right flank on Sunday as Neil Lennon’s picked up a 2-1 win at Pittodrie, The Scottish Sun report.
With the Scottish Premiership fixture locked at 1-1 and Celtic looking well on their way to dropping points, it was Ajer who found himself free of the Dons defence, latching on to a James Forrest pass and smashing home a winner.
It was a tremendous physical and skilful effort from the makeshift right-back, who had sprinted the length of the pitch with attacking ambition before firing home.
McInnes couldn’t help but admire the player after the match, telling The Scottish Sun: “We were actually in a decent position defensively for the second goal. But then I saw Ajer running past me – he’s like a racehorse and has that desire to get in the box.
“Sometimes it comes down to that little difference and you can’t but admire the determination of the boy to get forward and the calmness of his finish.
“We put a ball in their box with Ajer there and 10 seconds later the ball is in the back of our net.”
Ajer’s hunger continues to impress
The young Norwegian, still just 21, has had his fair share of dodgy moments in a Celtic jersey this season. Defensively he can look a bit suspect at times, although overall has formed a consistent partnership with Christopher Jullien.
What can’t be denied though is his sheer determination and hunger to win at all costs. Whether in our own box or being used in an unfamiliar role on the right flank, he never gives anything less than maximum effort.
His lung-bursting run today typified that and his finish simply showed how good a footballer he is. It was a strike many forwards would be proud of, in a high-pressure moment.
As McInnes notes, it’s individual sequences like that that win games and ultimately it’s those wins that secure trophies.
Ajer is a huge part of our trophy push and today demonstrated why perfectly.