On a sunny Sunday at Celtic Park the champions ran out 4-0 winners against their nearest challengers Aberdeen. Much was made of this game, especially of Aberdeen’s title credentials and the challenge which they could provide a Celtic team fresh from a Europa League exit in Milan. Well, in clinical fashion Celtic batted away the Dons with a devastating second half performance.
Aberdeen looked the better team in the first half and that showed in the stats regarding possession, shots on goal and corners. Craig Gordon was forced to make some early stops from Mcginn and Pawlett. However, Celtic’s defence stood strong and Aberdeen were unable to capitalize on all their dominance even with Efe Ambrose starting at left back for the injured Emilio. On the 37th minute Aberdeen goalkeeper Scott Brown gifted the ball straight to Celtic and this led to their first real chance which Brown saved as Griffiths looked to find the net. From the resulting corner, however, Jason Denayar headed in from close range to send the stadium into raptures. This was against the run of play and Aberdeen now, after playing so well faced a monumental challenge to get back into the match. At halftime the score was 1-0.
The second half saw a more open and attacking game with Aberdeen seeing the bulk of the ball once more. After the ball seemingly struck Nir Bitton’s arm it fell kindly to Jack who could not hit the target and Aberdeen had let yet another chance pass them by. This would turn out to be costly as moments later Celtic broke and Johanson found himself upended in the box by Renolds. The referee pointed to the spot and Leigh Griffiths coolly converted to make it 2-0. This would be his final contribution as Guidetti was brought on.
The tide turned completely following the penalty as Aberdeen lost concentration and could have lost 7 or 8 with the chances they were giving Celtic. Their passing and shape completely went and Mackay Steven took full advantage as he ran at the defence and swept a shot from 20 yards out in off the left hand post. Minutes later a Matthews run and cutback fell to Johanson who found the net for the fifth successive league match. Celtic were now 4-0 up and tormenting Aberdeen. Every pass was cheered as they strolled the final ten minutes gaining another domestic clean sheet and win in stylish fashion.
The trademark ‘Ronny Roar’ jubilated the crowds after the full-time whistle as Celtic inch closer to another title and towards their ultimate goal of the treble. Going on their second half performance they should be untouchable domestically but Aberdeen should take confidence from a very good first half showing.