Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic4AberdeenAberdeen0

Celtic 4-0 Aberdeen

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland
  • Champions go six points clear in title race
  • Celtic hit three second-half goals
  • Celtic have one game in hand over Dons
  • Aberdeen's long unbeaten run ends

Celtic moved a huge step closer to the title as they ended Aberdeen's 13-game unbeaten run and opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premiership.

Second placed Dons were more impressive in the opening half, but fell behind to Jason Denayer's header.

In trying to chase the game after the interval, Aberdeen lost their shape and Celtic took full advantage.

Leigh Griffiths, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stefan Johansen helped themselves to goals in a one-sided second-half.

Celtic, chasing a fourth consecutive title and a domestic treble, also enjoy a game in hand - at home to St Johnstone on Wednesday - and a superior goal difference.

And, on this evidence, Aberdeen are unlikely to recover ground in their remaining 11 matches.

Celtic's performance was initially sombre, with the assertiveness of their opponents acting like a sedative.

The home side's lethargy affected minds as well as bodies - the encounter coming less than 72 hours after Celtic's 10 men lost to Inter Milan in the San Siro - and their first-half play was littered with carelessness and indecisiveness.

Jason Denayer scores
Jason Denayer rose highest to score Celtic's first goal of the game

Aberdeen sought to make their sharper instincts and authority count. A quick free-kick allowed Niall McGinn the space and time to measure a curling chip on goal that Craig Gordon had to reach at full stretch to tip over.

Andrew Considine then steered a header just over from a mis-hit Kenny McLean shot.

However, Aberdeen could not build on that early promise and were eventually undone by their own flaws.

Goalkeeper Scott Brown sclaffed a straightforward clearance that forced him to save from Griffiths. He could not deal with the centre-forward at the resulting corner-kick, though, allowing himself to be restricted to his goal-line as Denayer headed the ball powerfully into the net.

The goal would have infuriated Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, since it undermined the assurance his side had brought to the game.

Misjudgements were not confined to the opening half. Aberdeen tried to rescue the game after the break, continuing to play a high defensive line and committing players forward at every opportunity.

Considine headed over and Ryan Jack sliced wide, but Aberdeen's adventure left them vulnerable.

Gary Mackay-Steven slotted home Celtic's third goal against second-placed Aberdeen
Gary Mackay-Steven slotted home Celtic's third goal against second-placed Aberdeen

Celtic's counter-attacks were swift and ruthless, and left the visitors looking painfully stunned and bewildered. Basic obligations were cast aside in the confusion, and it was only an offside flag that saved Aberdeen when Griffiths burst clear and clipped the ball into the net.

Wastefulness continued to be a boon to Celtic, and the home players took full advantage of McGinn's misplaced header on the halfway line, and seconds later a disorientated Mark Reynolds tripped Johansen to concede a penalty kick. Griffiths converted decisively.

With freakishly impressive stamina, Johansen grew in influence as the game progressed. Another burst into the penalty area, full of energy and deadly instinct, and Brown had to move quickly to block the midfielder's shot.

Aberdeen were reeling and their resolve was soon entirely extinguished. Mackay-Steven steered a shot in off the post from 20 yards out then Johansen coolly converted a cut-back from 16 yards.

Celtic's victory was as bold as the state of Aberdeen's second-half collapse, as their 13 game unbeaten league run came to an end in emphatic fashion.

Leigh Griffiths scores
Leigh Griffiths calmly beat Scott Brown from the spot to give Celtic a 2-0 lead over Aberdeen
Mark Reynold brought down Celtic's Stefan Johansen for the second half penalty
Mark Reynold brought down Celtic's Stefan Johansen for the second half penalty
Gary Mackay-Steven celebrates after scoring Celtic's third goal of the game
Gary Mackay-Steven celebrates after scoring Celtic's third goal of the game
Midfielder Stefan Johansen finished neatly to send Celtic into a 4-0 lead against Aberdeen
Midfielder Stefan Johansen finished neatly to send Celtic into a 4-0 lead against Aberdeen
Ronny Deila was delighted to see his side go six points clear of the second-placed Dons
Ronny Deila was delighted to see his side go six points clear of the second-placed Dons

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Gordon
  • 4Ambrose
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van Dijk
  • 2Matthews
  • 6BittonBooked at 49mins
  • 8BrownBooked at 41mins
  • 25Johansen
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forArmstrongat 11'minutesSubstituted forStokesat 73'minutes
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 28GriffithsSubstituted forGuidettiat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Guidetti
  • 10Stokes
  • 14Armstrong
  • 24Zaluska
  • 32Wakaso
  • 49Forrest
  • 53Henderson

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 20Brown
  • 2Logan
  • 28Daniels
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3Considine
  • 11HayesSubstituted forPawlettat 33'minutes
  • 8FloodBooked at 41mins
  • 22JackBooked at 87mins
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forGoodwillieat 70'minutes
  • 7McLean
  • 9RooneyBooked at 83minsSubstituted forTaylorat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Langfield
  • 5Taylor
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 16Pawlett
  • 17Goodwillie
  • 21Shaughnessy
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
50,256

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home10
Away10
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 4, Aberdeen 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Aberdeen 0.

  3. Post update

    Stefan Johansen (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Adam Matthews (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Booking

    Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Post update

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

  10. Post update

    Stefan Johansen (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Ash Taylor replaces Adam Rooney.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 4, Aberdeen 0. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Matthews.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Gary Mackay-Steven.

  17. Post update

    John Guidetti (Celtic) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Anthony Stokes replaces Stuart Armstrong because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Adam Matthews.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 1st March 2015

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic26203356134363
2Aberdeen27183647252257
3Inverness CT28165742291353
4Dundee Utd27144949381146
5Hamilton29125123940-141
6Dundee2810993939039
7St Johnstone27115112427-338
8Kilmarnock2797112935-634
9Partick Thistle2777133535028
10Ross County2756162852-2421
11St Mirren2863192246-2421
12Motherwell2763182051-3121
View full Scottish Premiership table

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