Aberdeen were forced to make four changes to the side that dismantled Hibernian at Pittodrie.
Dominic Ball come in for the ill Shay Logan, Mark Reynolds replaced Scott McKenna who had a knock and was only fit enough for a spot on the bench. Kari Arnason also returned after the birth of his child kept him from playing against Hibs as Stevie May also dropped out with an injury and Ryan Christie was ineligible against his parent club so Greg Stewart started.
Backed by a sold out Red Army in the corner, The Dons were looking to give their supporters an early Christmas present at a venue they had not won in since the 2014 League Cup Final.
Celtic had the first opportunity with a free kick on the left. It was rolled back to Sinclair, but Graeme Shinnie put in an excellent tackle. Then Celtic won a corner, which lead to a free kick in an identical area after GMS fouled, but Joe Lewis gathered with ease.
Celtic had all of the ball in the opening stages and Sinclair fed in Tierney on the left, but his cross was cleared away by Considine. The Dons then forced a corner of their own. The led to a good bit of passing for the visitors and Shinnie had a shot blocked. Celtic then broke in numbers and Arnason was forced to foul Dembele, which resulted in the first booking of the match from Craig Thomson.
The hosts were having much of the ball and a short corner to Sinclair was fortunately miss hit by Sinclair and The Dons cleared. The game was being broken up with a number of fouls as both teams cancelled each other out.
Aberdeen had got through the first 20 minutes without conceding, something they have struggled to do at this venue in the past and they were growing into the game. When they got a bit of possession they were passing the ball about well.
GMS then pressed Boyata in the 23rd minute and created an opportunity for himself. The former Celtic man had time and space on the edge of the area and his shot just whistled wide of the post with Gordon beaten. Celtic then broke from an Aberdeen attack and Sinclair was one on one with Lewis, but Joe saved superbly.
The game had come alive and some excellent work from Shinnie carved out another chance for Aberdeen. He managed to twist and turn his way into the box and his low cross was cleared for a corner. Ajer did well to get to the ball in front of Rooney. The home crowd were getting frustrated with their team and Aberdeen cranked up the pressure. Greg Stewart, who was heavily involved at this stage, did brilliantly to beat his man on the right and the shot was parried away by Gordon.
On 29 minutes it was another corner for Aberdeen as they continued to ask questions of Celtic. Considine had a free header but could not hit the target. Shinnie was then booked for a foul on his former teammate, Jonny Hayes on the touchline as again Celtic broke dangerously.
This was a really good spell of pressure from Aberdeen but the crosses into the area lacked conviction.
After a patient build up Hayes managed to wriggle his way into the box on the right. His low cross flashed right across the face of goal, but thankfully found nobody. A bit of a let off for the visitors.
Dominic Ball was next in the book as he pulled back Sinclair on the right and forced Aberdeen to defend a free kick in a dangerous position. Hayes took it, but it was floated over every man in the box and rolled out for a goal kick.
Shinnie took a sore one as the advancing Hayes clattered into The Dons skipper, but he didn?t need treatment. McLean then had a shot from distance that went wide. Both the Aberdeen midfielders were playing really well.
Celtic then took the lead in the 38th minute after a massive slice of luck. Hayes was able to find Lustig at the edge of the box and his effort was deflected off the unfortunate Ball and sent Lewis the wrong way. Referee Craig Thomson also appeared to be in the keepers line of vision. It was incredibly unlucky for Aberdeen and not what their performance and hard work in the first half had deserved.
Sinclair could have doubled the lead minutes later. He managed to get away from The Dons defence, but Reynolds defended well at the crucial moment.
Craig Thomson would soon bring the half to a close. The Dons were very much in this game, but Celtic had the advantage after Lustig?s deflected effort.
Half time Celtic 1 Aberdeen 0
There were no changes at half time and Celtic went straight on the attack after the whistle. A snap shot from Dembele deflected inches wide of the post after Lewis was beaten. From the resulting corner Dembele headed over. Celtic had started strong and Dominic Ball was forced into some good defending after Sinclair and Armstrong combined down the Celtic left.
The hosts continued to give The Dons little opportunity to get on the ball and Dembele and Armstrong both had long efforts, but both failed to trouble Lewis in goal.
Tierney and Sinclair combined down the left again and Tierney made was too quick for The Dons defence and forced Lewis into a save, which he handled well.
Celtic continued to pressure Aberdeen and Dembele broke away in 60th minute. Joe had to commit and the Celtic striker rounded Lewis. The Dons defenders had managed to get back on the line so Dembele played a one two with Sinclair. Dembele then blazed well over, but it was another let off for The Dons.
Aberdeen finally forced some pressure in the Celtic penalty area. McLean had a long effort which was deflected just wide with Gordon scrambling to get there.
Before the corner was taken Aberdeen made a change with Rooney, who had run around tirelessly up front, being replaced by Nicky Maynard. From the corner Arnason?s free header went inches over. So close but it proved to be a big moment in the game.
Then out of nothing Celtic doubled their advantage. A cross from the by-line was headed away by Reynolds but bounced off Arnason and fell kindly for Hayes who slammed home for 2-0 from close range. A real kick in the teeth because Aberdeen probably should have levelled the game moments before.
The game was then killed off with 12 minutes to go. Greg Stewart appeared to be upended on the right, but the referee waved away the protests. Celtic?s hopeful clearance was going nowhere, but Kenny McLean tried to volley back to Lewis and it was way short. Ntcham latched onto it and rounded the Dons keeper to score. Another bitterly disappointing moment for Aberdeen but they got no help from the nearside linesman who was in line with the Stewart foul.
After the goal The Dons went close with another Arnason header as Aberdeen searched for a consolation but the game was over.
On the 83rd minute Frank Ross replaced Greg Stewart. Greg had tired in the second half but had a very good game. He has the ability to keep hold of the ball which is important when playing here.
The tempo to the game had dropped but the Aberdeen players continued to work hard to avoid any further damage. They forced a corner and GMS made way for Daniel Harvie for the final few minutes. Considine headed over from the corner.
The full-time whistle sounded after added two minutes. The Dons had fought bravely this afternoon and just lacked a cutting edge in the final third. They now look forward to back to back home fixtures against Partick Thistle and Hearts to hopefully round off 2017 on a positive note.