Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen1Celtic3

Aberdeen 1-3 Celtic

Champions Celtic scored three times in a blistering opening 11 minutes to overcome Aberdeen at Pittodrie and move to within two games of completing an unbeaten Scottish Premiership season.

Dedryck Boyata headed Celtic in front in three minutes, with Stuart Armstrong doubling the lead five minutes later.

Leigh Griffiths fired in a third, before Jonny Hayes gave the Dons hope with a curling shot within 60 seconds.

But the hosts could not to stop Celtic taking their points tally to 100.

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Aberdeen 1-3 Celtic: Derek McInnes and Brendan Rodgers post-match interviews

Derek McInnes' side may look back ruefully at referee Steven McLean's decision not to award them a penalty when Craig Gordon collided with Graeme Shinnie.

But they will likely also reflect on their slow start to a fantastic contest, with Celtic apparently out of sight within 11 minutes.

Patrick Roberts signalled an early warning when he escaped and tested Joe Lewis, but that was not heeded and Griffiths' deep corner was headed in by an unchallenged Boyata.

Wonderful Griffiths skill created the second, the striker escaping on the right and feeding Callum McGregor. His shot was blocked by Shay Logan, but Armstrong was on hand to slam in a composed finish.

It quickly got even worse for Aberdeen. Griffiths turned, fired powerfully from distance and found the net, although Lewis should have done better than help the ball into his top-right corner.

Dedryck Boyata
Dedryck Boyata opens the scoring after just three minutes

It was a devastating start from the champions and the game looked finished. Aberdeen boss McInnes must have feared his side were on course for a damaging hammering in the run up to their meeting with Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.

But the Dons showed remarkable strength and ability to claw their way back in. Hayes was the inspiration for a revival when he turned and fired a wonderful left foot shot over Gordon and into the net.

Jayden Stockley should have netted a second moments later but his header slid marginally wide.

Aberdeen pressed on with confidence and Niall McGinn could only hit straight at Gordon from a great position. It could have been 3-3, or 5-3, with both sides looking likely to score again.

Shinnie claimed for a penalty when he nicked the ball before Gordon took him out but referee McLean said no, much to Aberdeen's fury. It looked a spot-kick and could have made such a difference.

It was mainly Aberdeen pushing forward in the second period. Kenny McLean should have hit the target when he broke into the box but fired off-target, as did McGinn shortly after.

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths took his goals tally to 16 for the season

With the home side unable to turn pressure into goals, Nir Bitton's introduction for Celtic seemed to take the sting out of the game in the latter stages.

Both teams have much to ponder before coming together again at Hampden Park; positives and negatives.

Aberdeen looked all over the place defensively in the early stages, but responded strongly and caused Celtic problems. From that, they will take great belief.

Celtic manager Rodgers will be disappointed at how things panned out after that clinical opening period.

His side failed to control long periods of the contest and had to absorb a lot of pressure, which they did, but more than was comfortable.

However, the champions did demonstrate that when they fire, they are pretty much unstoppable.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 5Taylor
  • 6ReynoldsSubstituted forWrightat 89'minutes
  • 15O'Connor
  • 2LoganBooked at 89mins
  • 7McLean
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 85mins
  • 4Considine
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forCampbellat 90+2'minutes
  • 11Hayes
  • 17StockleySubstituted forRooneyat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Rooney
  • 25Alexander
  • 26Wright
  • 27Ross
  • 36Ross
  • 39Storey
  • 47Campbell

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forSviatchenkoat 78'minutes
  • 5Simunovic
  • 20Boyata
  • 63TierneyBooked at 54mins
  • 14Armstrong
  • 18RogicSubstituted forBittonat 56'minutes
  • 27Roberts
  • 42McGregor
  • 11Sinclair
  • 9GriffithsBooked at 72minsSubstituted forForrestat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2K Touré
  • 6Bitton
  • 12Gamboa
  • 24de Vries
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 49Forrest
  • 88Kouassi
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
16,015

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away8
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 3.

Attempt saved. James Forrest (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match James Forrest (Celtic) because of an injury.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jozo Simunovic.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Dean Campbell replaces Niall McGinn.

Booking

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Mark Reynolds.

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

Attempt saved. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Delay in match Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) because of an injury.

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

Booking

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Erik Sviatchenko replaces Mikael Lustig.

Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Patrick Roberts (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic363240992574100
2Aberdeen362241066343270
3Rangers351710851401161
4St Johnstone35157134744352
5Hearts351210135447746
6Partick Thistle351012133842-442
7Ross County35912144254-1239
8Kilmarnock35814133250-1838
9Dundee35106193755-1836
10Hamilton35614153152-2132
11Motherwell3588194065-2532
12Inverness CT35513173867-2928
View full Scottish Premiership table

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