Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic3AberdeenAberdeen2

Celtic 3-2 Aberdeen

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
Patrick Roberts scores for Celtic against Aberdeen
Patrick Roberts' stunning opener set Celtic on their way to victory

Celtic sealed a fifth successive league title but only after a second-half scare from their closest challengers.

Their triumph was already an inevitability, but the celebrations began in earnest as Patrick Roberts scored two fine early goals.

Aberdeen, who offered a stout challenge all season, looked dead and buried when Mikael Lustig scored after the break.

But quickfire goals from Niall McGinn and Andrew Considine took some of the gloss off the title party.

Champions profit from high-tempo opening

Celtic may have lost just three league games on their way to this latest triumph but manager Ronny Deila is departing in the summer.

The Norwegian cannot match the points tally from his debut season and this victory illustrated an inconsistency that has dogged his side throughout his second campaign.

The champions were irresistible in the first half but disjointed after the interval as Aberdeen ate into their lead.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila and Scott Brown
Innjured captain Scott Brown (right) celebrates with his manager after the final whistle

The Dons - runners-up for a second year running - knew even a first league victory at Celtic Park since 2004 would have no bearing on the destination of the Premiership trophy since they trailed by nine points and a huge goal difference margin with three games to play.

Photo gallery: How Celtic won a fifth straight title

Feature: Celtic reflect on another title triumph

But Derek McInnes was determined to beat Celtic for a third time this season, to reaffirm his belief that they have narrowed the gap.

Had Niall McGinn not directed a shot wide from point-blank range inside the opening five minutes, they may have had a chance of doing so. As it was, Celtic went on to be utterly dominant in the first period.

Roberts - the teenage winger on loan from Manchester City - again showed why the English club paid £12m for his services, as he darted in off the right touchline, away from Graeme Shinnie and found the top corner with a ferocious strike from 25 yards.

Aberdeen were sitting too far off their opponents, who looked hungry to secure the championship in style, and allowed Leigh Griffiths time and space to pick out Roberts inside the box. This time the youngster curled inside the far post.

The third goal was every bit as impressive. Callum McGregor did brilliantly to trick his way past Shinnie and his cutback was swept into the net by Lustig.

The atmosphere inside a packed Celtic Park was joyous, with the team looking every bit like the best team in the land.

Spirited Dons reply

But as has been the case on several occasions on Deila's watch, Celtic's concentration slipped and after a couple of warnings, Aberdeen got a foothold in the game when Jonny Hayes provided McGinn with the chance to slide the ball past Craig Gordon.

That was compounded seven minutes later when McGinn's free-kick was headed emphatically past the keeper by Considine.

Andy Considine scores for Aberdeen against Celtic
Considine (centre) brought Aberdeen back to within a goal of Celtic

Shay Logan missed the best chance Aberdeen had to equalise when he headed wide from only a few yards as Celtic held on to move 12 points clear at the top of the league.

All sense of anti-climax vanished at full-time as the stadium broke into rapturous applause and the players basked in the glory of the club's 47th league title.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigBooked at 17minsSubstituted forJankoat 73'minutes
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 21MulgrewSubstituted forAmbroseat 45'minutesBooked at 63mins
  • 63Tierney
  • 6Bitton
  • 42McGregor
  • 27Roberts
  • 18RogicSubstituted forJohansenat 82'minutes
  • 14Armstrong
  • 9Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 3Izaguirre
  • 4Ambrose
  • 17Christie
  • 19Allan
  • 22Janko
  • 25Johansen
  • 26Bailly

Aberdeen

  • 19Collin
  • 2LoganBooked at 40mins
  • 4Considine
  • 5TaylorBooked at 61mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 8FloodBooked at 50minsSubstituted forRobsonat 79'minutes
  • 22Jack
  • 10McGinn
  • 7McLean
  • 11Hayes
  • 18ChurchSubstituted forReynoldsat 42'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Reynolds
  • 15Robson
  • 20Brown
  • 23Storie
  • 26McKenna
  • 27Wright
  • 41Nuttall
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
47,877

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, Aberdeen 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Aberdeen 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Patrick Roberts.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Patrick Roberts (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen).

  8. Post update

    Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stefan Johansen replaces Tomas Rogic.

  11. Post update

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Willo Flood.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Nir Bitton.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) header from very close range is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Foul by Saidy Janko (Celtic).

  18. Post update

    Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

  19. Post update

    Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic36258385295683
2Aberdeen36225962431971
3Hearts361710956381861
4St Johnstone36157145452252
5Motherwell36145174455-1147
6Ross County36136175058-845
7Dundee361114115252047
8Inverness CT361210144948146
9Partick Thistle36128163645-944
10Hamilton36119164060-2042
11Kilmarnock3698193859-2135
12Dundee Utd3676233865-2727
View full Scottish Premiership table

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