Aberdeen lost their first competitive game under Derek McInnes as Celtic ran out two-nil winners at Pittodrie. The scoreline was harsh on the Dons who played reasonably well. They suffered a setback on the stroke of half time when Georgios Samaras ran through the defence and evaded the challenge of Russell Anderson before being tackled by Jamie Langfield. Referee Calum Murray deemed it a sending off and a penalty, from which Kris Commons gave the visitors the lead. The Dons competed well after that and there was nothing much in the game until the 86th minute when James Forrest's deflected effort found its way into the back of the net.
The Dons went with the same starting XI who won three-one at Fir Park the previous weekend. This saw Mark Reynolds continue at left back and Michael Hector partnered Russell Anderson in the centre of defence. Calvin Zola retained his place up front with Niall McGinn.
And the home side made an energetic start to the game, creating a few half chances and pressurising a Celtic team looking towards their midweek Champions League play off tie in Kazakhstan. The Dons won a free kick on the edge of the box after a poor challenge on Hayes by Samaras but McGinn fired it well over the bar.
On 15 minutes Mouyokolo made a bad challenge on McGinn right in front of the vocal fans in the Main Stand. Johnny Hayes took the free kick and played in a wonderful ball but there was no one able to get on the end of it to fire home.
The threat of Calvin Zola was causing the visitors a problem at times as they struggled to cope with his presence up front. On the 24th minute a neat passing move in midfield fed the ball out to Mark Reynolds and he played in an excellent cross but again it evaded the attackers. However, Hayes did catch the ball at the far post and headed back across goal but it was just too far in front of the approaching McGinn.
Aberdeen had dominated proceedings but Celtic began to get a foothold in the game at this point and created their first chance of the game on 27 minutes but Commons couldn't reach the inviting ball across the box.
Joe Ledley and Scott Brown then combined down the right- the latter then running past Mark Reynolds into the box and drawing a save from Langfield. At the other end Peter Pawlett made a superb run and got the better of Mouyokolo. He then advanced beyond the defender but his final ball was poor and drifted out of play.
Disaster struck though for the Dons though on the stroke of half time. Georgios Samaras broke through the Dons defence and bore down on goal. He managed to evade the desperate challenge of Russell Anderson on the edge of the box only for Jamie Langfield to bring him down. Referee Calum Murray showed no hesitation in producing the red card and the Dons were forced to send on Nicky Weaver in place of Calvin Zola. The resultant penalty was slotted away by Kris Commons as the Hoops took the advantage at a crucial stage in the game.
After the break there was an early booking for Charlie Mulgrew after an awkward challenge on Anderson. The Dons started the half well and were denied by a fantastic save from Forster on 51 minutes. Reynolds played a super ball to the feet of Johnny Hayes whose magnificent cross into the box was headed on target by McGinn but Forster pulled off a good save to deny the Northern Ireland international.
Celtic reacted well to the Dons pressure and frustrated the home side by having lengthy spells of possession. On one of these occasions the ball ultimately fell to Mulgrew who curled a shot just wide of Weaver's right hand post.
Derek McInnes made his second change of the game on 55 minutes when Josh Magennis replaced the industrious Peter Pawlett. Again though, it was Celtic who nearly doubled their advantage a few moments later when Commons got the better of Anderson in the box and crossed for Samaras but he dummied and Brown managed to get a shot away which went just wide of the post. Minutes later Nicky Weaver made a tremendous save to deny Joe Ledley from close range.
On 73 minutes the Dons made their final change as they attempted to try and haul their way back into the game with Gregg Wylde replacing Russell Anderson. This also saw a tactical reshuffle with Johnny Hayes heading to left back and Reynolds joining Hector in the centre of defence.
Nicky Weaver was called into action again on 80 minutes when he made another good stop after substitute Mikael Lustig had touched on a Commons free kick. At the other end, Gregg Wylde made a super run down the left and crossed into the box but Forster averted the danger. Wylde was then the recipient of a terrible challenge by James Forrest, the Scotland International receiving a yellow card despite the cries of the large home crowd for a red one.
Celtic then dealt a hammer blow to the Dons' hopes of getting anything out of the game when Forrest ran into the box and his cross from a narrow angle deflected off Mark Reynolds and landed in the back of the net.
That was the last action of the game and it was harsh on the home side who had acquitted themselves reasonably well.