Match ends, Celtic 3, Aberdeen 1.
Celtic 3-1 Aberdeen
Celtic ruthlessly dismissed Aberdeen and in the process trampled underfoot the notion that the Dons could threaten the defence of their title.
Once again it was the outstanding Leigh Griffiths who set Celtic on their way, scoring a header just before half time and a penalty just after.
James Forrest added a fine third as the champions took control.
Adam Rooney, who went close three times in the first half, managed a late consolation for the visitors.
Ronny Deila's team buzzed all afternoon and could have added substantially to their total. Three goals hardly reflected their dominance.
It was Aberdeen's 21st consecutive league defeat at Parkhead going back 11 years and it leaves them a distant seven points behind Celtic in the league table.
The Dons have taken just one point from their last five league outings, their fire of early season all but extinguished.
It ended up as a rout, but in the beginning it was a contest, no question. Rooney continually found space in the Celtic penalty area and glanced efforts narrowly past Craig Gordon's goal.
His best chance came on 35 minutes when Jonny Hayes put over a gorgeous cross only for his fellow Dubliner to flick his front post header wide when he really ought to have scored.
In these moments it was a tale of two strikers - the profligate Rooney and the clinical Griffiths.
The Celtic man had earlier been denied by a wonderful save from Danny Ward and then scooped over from close to the penalty spot. The thing about Griffiths, though, is that he is unyielding.
The next chance that came his way was finished wonderfully. It had its origins in a sumptuous delivery from Kieran Tierney, a teenage full-back to quicken the pulse of every Celtic fan.
Griffiths got in behind Paul Quinn and ahead of Ash Taylor and thumped his header past the helpless Ward.
Celtic came out of the traps like greyhounds at the start of the second half and scored their second in quick order.
Taylor, for reasons known only to himself, lunged in on Kris Commons when the midfielder was running away from goal and Griffiths ensured maximum punishment.
Eight minutes later, Tom Rogic put James Forrest through for the third, Forrest's lovely first touch taking him away from the last Aberdeen defender and his second putting Celtic into an unassailable position.
Their play had a real verve to it by then. Griffiths could have got a hat-trick, Stuart Armstrong, a second-half substitute, had a number of chances of his own. The more they attacked the more Aberdeen looked like a quivering shadow of the team from earlier in the season.
Title contenders? Not a bit of it. Celtic were miles ahead of the Dons.
The downside for Celtic was the sight of Jozo Simunovic limping off late in the game, the hope being that he will have recovered in time for Europa League action against Molde on Thursday.
There was also the concession of a ludicrously soft late goal, Rooney finally hitting the mark after some terribly slack Celtic defending. It was the type of moment at the back that has dogged them in Europe this season but it was never going to threaten the three points here.
The hosts were full value. Had they scored six they would not have been flattered. A big day for Deila, another grim experience for Dons boss Derek McInnes.
- 5SimunovicSubstituted forAmbroseat 78'minutes
- 63TierneySubstituted forIzaguirreat 78'minutes
- 49ForrestSubstituted forArmstrongat 67'minutes
- 5TaylorBooked at 53mins
- 4ConsidineSubstituted forQuinnat 23'minutes
- 22JackSubstituted forPawlettat 70'minutes
- 3ShinnieBooked at 30mins
- 10McGinnSubstituted forGoodwillieat 69'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Aberdeen 1.
Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by David Goodwillie (Aberdeen).
Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).
Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Goal! Celtic 3, Aberdeen 1. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jonny Hayes.
Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).
Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Stefan Johansen (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).
Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt blocked. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Substitution, Celtic. Efe Ambrose replaces Jozo Simunovic because of an injury.
Substitution, Celtic. Emilio Izaguirre replaces Kieran Tierney.