Celtic struggled for much of the afternoon against Aberdeen but a second half goal from Charlie Mulgrew secured the win. The home team opened well and had a patience about their play which prevented Aberdeen from seeing much of the ball.
Aberdeen had the best chance in the opening stages of the game when Fraser Fyvie crossed from the left but Fraser Forster did very well to intercept an awkward cross under pressure. Celtic soon regained control and profited after 17 minutes when Beram Kayal found Gary Hooper, who squared to Ki in space. The Korean midfielder shot low and hard; Aberdeen keeper David Gonzalez could only slow its progress into the net.
Glenn Loovens, who put in a solid shift in Rennes on Thursday and opened well today, retired injured immediately after the goal, giving Daniel Majstorovic a return to the team.
Aberdeen, who lost by 9 goals in the corresponding fixture last season, slowly played their way back into the game as Celtic perceivably wilted. The early fluency from Celtic was clearly absent as the second half got underway. Anthony Stokes was combative up front but struggled to link with Gary Hooper, who is clearly playing below his best.
Ryan Jack drew Aberdeen level just before the hour mark when he jinked past Joe Ledley and Victor Wanyama, and shot into Forster’s bottom right corner.
Celtic then realised they were in a game and applied themselves with greater effect, forcing Aberdeen to defend four consecutive corners within minutes of drawing level, but without a cutting edge up front, they failed to work Gonzalez.
With 20 minutes remaining Neil Lennon recalled Paddy McCourt from a lengthy period out of the team but before Paddy could work his magic Celtic were ahead. Majstorovic knocked a free kick onto Charlie Mulgrew who took a touch before firing high into the net.
McCourt was an effective relief on an uninspiring game and clipped the ball narrowly wide after one of his trademark runs, proving beyond any doubt that he possesses unique abilities.
With 10 minutes remaining referee, Stevie O’Reilly, who has having a poor game, ordered off Ryan Jack for a second bookable offence. The Aberdeen goal-scorer will miss next weekend’s game against Rangers.
Aberdeen’s 10 men caused Celtic a few anxious moments in the final minute of the game but could not find a way past Forster.