Aberdeen suffered their biggest defeat in their history at Parkhead this afternoon as they suffered their worst result since 1965. After a confident rain drenched start to the match that saw a Vernon header cleared off the line the afternoon fell apart for Aberdeen in the 26th minute. Hartley was sent off for deliberate hand ball and Stokes fired in the resultant spot kick. With the Dons trying to reorganise Celtic took advantage and Hooper added two more goals to make it 3-0. In the 40th minute Maguire looked set to pull one back when he was hauled back. Rogne was shown a straight red to even the sides, but with the Dons already 3-0 down it was too little too late. The home side added a second spot kick on the stroke of half time and after the break Magennis added an own goal and Hooper claimed his hat trick to make it 6-0 after 64 minutes. The roof then caved in as Aberdeen suffered a humiliating 9-0 defeat.
Celtic kicked off and won the first corner of the match in the second minute. Aberdeen were almost caught out with a quick corner, but they eventually managed to clear. A minute later Mackie conceded a free kick on the left and Langfield was forced to punch clear before Stokes fired the loose ball well wide of the target. A soft free kick quickly followed before Clark Robertson was spoken to after concededing another free kick in a dangerous position. Fortunately the chance was once again wasted as the home side failed to test Langfield.
Aberdeen managed to venture forward for the first time with eight minutes on the clock, but they failed to carve out a scoring opportunity. Two minutes later McArdle did well to dispossess Hooper and release Maguire. Unfortunately the youngster was penalised despite looking as if he was being obstructed. Celtic launched another attack from the free kick and Stokes went close with a fierce shot. Maguire was then flagged offside in a tight decision before the Dons needed to defend a free kick in the 15th minute.
Aberdeen were defending well at this stage, but were unable to make too much of a threat at the other end. Stokes went close again in the 18th minute and two minutes later Aberdeen created their first chance. Mackie played a great ball to release Maguire and the striker won a corner. An even better chance fell from the set play when Vernon met the corner from Hartley and watched in anguish as his goal bound effort was cleared off the line. At the other end Hartley was dispossessed and Diamond was forced to head a Stokes effort off the Dons line.
A ball over the top found Maloney in the 24th minute and his cut back was dummied by Stokes, but then sliced high over the bar by McGin. Just as Aberdeen were settling into the match they were hit by a double whammy when Hartley was given a straight red card for a handball that earned the home side a spot kick. With the Dons now down to ten men Stokes dispatched the kick past Langfield. Celtic doubled their lead three minutes later when Hooper barged past McArdle before netting.
On the half hour Maguire was upended and required treatment, but no free kick was forthcoming. Three minutes later the Dons were once again carved open as Hooper made it 3-0 when he converted a cross from McGin to end the match as a contest. Young replaced Aluko in the 35th minute as the match was reduced to a damage limitation exercise. Within a minute Aberdeen conceded another corner as Ledley went close and the Dons looked a completely dispirited side. Another corner followed in the 39th minute, but Aberdeen managed to scramble the ball clear.
In the 40th minute Maguire broke forward and was pulled back as he went one-on-one with Forster. Although Rogne was shown a straight red the Dons were already 3-0 down and the award was made on the edge of the box. Where are Hartley and Aluko when you need them? Maguire took control of the situation and forced a great save from Forster as the Dons failed to pull one back. The game erupted again in the 44th minute and the referee appeared to get it completely wrong. Stokes appeared to aim a kick at Derek Young and the Aberdeen player not surprisingly reacted.
After consulting with his assistant the referee booked Young then booked Celtic's Hooper as Stokes escaped a potential red card scot free. Within seconds Maloney broke into the Aberdeen box and Langfield was adjudged to have taken him down despite a quite vocal protest, The keeper was booked and Stokes stepped up to make it 4-0 and end a dismal first 45 minutes for the Dons. Little did they know at this stage that worse was to follow.
Four minutes into the second half Ledley fired wide as the home side looked to pile on the pressure. Two minutes later goal scorers Hooper and Stokes played a one-two before Hooper's shot was deflected wide. The corner was defended safely, but the game had lost a lot of the edge from the first half and no doubt Aberdeen would have gladly cut the losses and headed north. In the 57th minute Cha set up Hooper for his hat trick, but the striker fired wide. Magennis then replaced the tiring Scott Vernon on the hour mark.
Within a minute Aberdeen launched an attack and Maguire delivered a great ball that needed a near post run, but Forster was able to collect. At the other end Celtic forced a corner and the Dons nightmare continued as Magennis headed past his own keeper. In the 64th minute Hooper claimed his hat trick as he headed a cross from Stokes and the Dons record defeat was suddenly under threat. With 72 minutes on the clock the horror show continued with a seventh goal from Ledley. Worse was to follow a minute later.
Maguire lost possession and as Celtic surged forward Stokes claimed the second hat trick of the match as Celtic made it 8-0 and equalled the Dons heaviest ever defeat from 30th January 1965 when they suffered the same reverse at this ground. Mark McGhee's frustration was obvious and the referee spoke with him in the 78th minute. With eight minutes remaining Celtic won another corner, but they appeared to have taken their foot off the pedal and the Dons goal was not breached again. That wasn't to last and a third penalty was awarded in the 85th minute.
McArdle was the offender and substitute McCourt made it 9-0 to inflict the Dons biggest ever defeat. This goal prompted a chant of "We want ten" from the home support and McArdle had to look lively to deny them that request. In the final minute Langfield also denied them and Young and Mackie completed the clearance. The referee then took pity on the bedraggled Aberdeen players as he blew his whistles 10 seconds after the 90 minute mark to put the Dons out of their misery. Aberdeen now have to pull themselves together as they face Inverness without their influential captain before travelling to Ibrox next Saturday.