Aberdeen 1-3 Celtic: Match Report
Celtic race out of the blocks to beat Aberdeen
Dedryck Boyata, Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths all scored within 11 minutes as Celtic raced out of the blocks to secure a 3-1 victory at Aberdeen.
Jonny Hayes pulled a goal back for the Dons after 13 minutes, and although there were no further goals, the sides served up a highly entertaining match at Pittodrie.
The Ladbrokes Premiership champions took the lead in the second minute. Joe Lewis turned Patrick Roberts' shot away for a corner, from which Griffiths' delivery found Boyata at the back post, and the Belgian headed home the opener.
It was 2-0 after eight minutes, and Griffiths was again involved. The Scotland forward nutmegged Mark Reynolds on the right wing and, though his cross was cut out, the ball was drilled into the net by Armstrong.
Aberdeen's hopes were fast disappearing, and they vanished without a trace when one touch from Griffiths saw him escape the attentions of Anthony O'Connor and Ash Taylor and his shot swerved wickedly past the helpless Lewis to make it 3-0.
The Dons found themselves back in the game two minutes later, as Graeme Shinnie slipped a pass to Hayes, who cut inside and opened himself up to find the top-left corner from 20 yards.
It could have been so different had Jayden Stockley not headed wide from eight yards when an equaliser seemed likely after just 15 minutes, but the gap remained at two goals, and the error-strewn half-hour that followed was highly entertaining.
Just after the half-hour, Kenny McLean's slice fell to Niall McGinn, but his shot was beaten away by Craig Gordon.
McLean himself saw a clipped shot narrowly miss the target shortly before the break, but Celtic could have netted again when Scott Sinclair raced into the area, only for a well-timed Hayes tackle to stop him in his tracks.
Aberdeen had a penalty claim early in the second half when Gordon and Shinnie collided, but it looked as though the Dons man sent the ball out of play long before the goalkeeper arrived on the scene.
The home side still looked the more likely to find the net again, and midway through the second half they looked to be in as McLean beat the offside trap to latch onto Shinnie's pass, but the usually-reliable Scotland cap blasted wildly high and wide.
Sinclair attempted to add a fourth for the visitors with 15 minutes to go, but he shot wide after a flowing passing move.
McGinn flashed over the bar with a 15-yard volley at the other end, but it remained 3-1 as Brendan Rodgers' men hit the 100-point mark with two games still to play.