ABERDEEN boss Jim Goodwin made no excuses for erecting a red barrier in an attempt to lock out Celtic at Pittodrie.
The hosts were obviously happy to play out a scoreless stalemate against the champions with their negative, suffocating tactics.
And the Dons were within three minutes of regulation time of achieving their ambition with the Hoops frustrated time and time again in their fforts to get the ball behind Dutch keeper Kelle Roos.
The visitors’ spirit and relentless drive kept Goodwin’s men pinned back as they frantically threw bodies in front of shots to deny their opponents.
WALLOP…Callum McGregor unleashes a low left-foot screamer that arrows towards the bottom corner of Dons keeper Kelle Roos’ net for the late winner.
But Celtic refused to throw in the towel and the reward was delivered in the 87th minute when Callum McGregor accepted a pass from James Forrest, took a touch with his right to set up a left-foot shot from the edge of the box.
And the midfielder, playing his first game after over two months on the sidelines, hit a crisp shot low past the stunned netminder.
A beaming McGregor said: “It’s always a difficult game up here and it was the same again, although I thought we dominated large parts of the game.
“At times, though, it probably just didn’t drop for us or our quality wasn’t quite there in the final third.
“But a lot of the game that we want to do and the way we want to play was there. So, a lot of positives and, again, having the character and resilience to go right to the end and get the winner was brilliant.”
JOY BHOYS…Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley – with Giorgos Giakoumakis catching up – celebrate the points-clincher at Aberdeen.
McGregor, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “The manager’s been massive on that since he’s come in, in terms of mentality and going right to the last whistle.
“You’ve seen how many times we’ve done it now over 18 months. It’s not a coincidence, it happens by design.
“It’s about having a real strong mindset and believing in the structure that he gives us to play in – and just be brave. And, normally, fortune favours the brave, in football, as well.
“So, it was excellent and, personally, to get the goal was brilliant. But it’s all about the team and getting three points.”
McGregor’s arrowed points-clincher was the 200th Hoops goal since Postecoglou took charge in June last year and the inspirational 29-year-old onfield leader admitted: ““I didn’t realise that.
“But that just shows you the free-flowing, attacking football and that’s over a period of 18 months, so it shows the intent that we want to do – we want to be an attacking team.
“I love being on the pitch and helping the team, so it’s great to be back.”
THE GREEN PARTY…delighted Celtic players pile on the happiness as they congratulate Callum McGregor after his timely winner.
The evergreen Forrest’s assist to set up the breakthrough strike sealed a little piece of history for the international winger who has now become only the third player to have a century of goals and assists for Celtic, joining legends Jimmy Johnstone and Henrik Larsson.
McGregor added: “And just on Jamesy – that’s 100 assists and over 100 goals, which puts him in there with the very best players at Celtic, so we’re absolutely delighted for him, as well.”
Next up for Postecoglou, McGregor and Forrest and Co is the visit of Livingston in the east end of Glasgow on Wednesday evening.