Aberdeen were defeated for the first time in the league at home this season in a drab game which saw few chances for either side. Two second half goals from Lassad and Mulgrew were enough to give Celtic the three points. There was plenty of endeavour from the Dons but a lack of chances created was their undoing and the SPL champions returned to Glasgow with the 3 points.
After a 4-1 victory over St Mirren the previous weekend, Craig Brown made just one change to that side with Gavin Rae returning in place of Clark Robertson. The Dons lined up with Langfield in goal, a back four of Magennis, Anderson, Reynolds and Considine. In midfield were Osbourne, Clark and Rae with Hayes and Fraser supporting McGinn up front.
Before the game got underway, the sides changed ends and Aberdeen, unusually, were shooting towards the Beach end in the first half of the game. Perhaps this was a tactic to ensure the sun was in the eyes of Jamie Langfield in the first period- with the Merkland end goal the only part of the pitch not in shadow.
When the game got underway the Dons made a reasonable start. Gavin Rae intercepted a wayward pass from the Celtic defence and found Magennis who got the break of the ball and fed Hayes. He powered into the box and unleashed an early shot into the side netting. There were cheers from certain section of the large gathering of the Red Army who thought the ball was in the net.
A Johnny Hayes free kick was dangerously played into the box and cleared for a throw after Ryan Fraser had once again been fouled.
Celtic began to get themselves into the game and looked dangerous from set-pieces. Mark Reynolds mishit a clearance and conceded a corner from which Mulgrew swung the ball in and Wanyama had a free header. The Celtic midfielder really should have done better but blazed his header over the bar.
A long goal kick from Langfield was headed on by Osbourne and after Ambrose dwelt on the ball for too long, Gavin Rae pinched it off him and found Ryan Fraser. He took a shot at goal but it was an easy take for Fraser Forster.
The Dons were lucky not to find themselves behind minutes later- after poor defending at another corner kick. Mulgrew's ball eventually found its way across the box to Kris Commons who crossed back into the box and Tony Watt headed against the upright to deny the Parkhead side.
The visitor's next corner was defended much better. Russell Anderson intercepted the ball and found Chris Clark who was fouled. From the free kick, Magennis went on a good run and played the ball to McGinn who shot just wide of the post on 33 minutes.
A long period of possession by the visitors resulted in a shot from distance by Commons but to no avail for his side as he fired wide of the post.
Excellent play by Considine sent Ryan Fraser beyond the Celtic defence for the first time in the match and as the youngster tried to catch the ball, Fraser Forster ran out of his box and momentum carried them into one another. Forster stayed down for a while and appeared to suggest that Fraser had gone in maliciously.
A few moments later Russell Anderson was punished by referee Craig Thompson for a high boot on Tony Watt although the Celtic attackers head seemed to be unnaturally low. The final real action of the half saw yet another free header for Celtic following a corner- this time Swedish defender, Lustig firing over the bar.
The Dons were forced into a change at the start of the second half when Gavin Rae had to be replaced. His replacement was Clark Robertson.
Celtic began to excerpt pressure on the Dons and dominated possession for long spells in the early part of the second half but the game was being played at a slow pace with few chances being created.
The home side won a free kick though after a foul by Kayal on the edge of the box. Hayes took the free kick short to Ryan Fraser and as he launched the ball Kayal caught him on the follow through- leaving the youngster injured. After treatment on the sidelines Fraser continued for a short time but after a through ball a few minutes later he pulled up and had to be replaced by Scott Vernon on 64 minutes.
Chances remained few and far between for either side but a good break from Jonny Hayes saw him exchange passes with Niall McGinn before firing a shot into the side netting again.
Celtic were forced into a change on 69 minutes when Kris Commons was replaced by Lassad Nouioui. The change was to prove fruitful for the visitors as they took the lead just a few minutes later.
Victor Wanyama found space outside the box and unleashed a fantastic shot at goal which beat Jamie Langfield but crashed off the post. Unluckily for the Dons the ball landed at the feet of sub Lassad who scored his first goal for the Glasgow side. It was a cruel blow to the Dons and scarcely deserved.
Worse was to come just a few minutes later when Charlie Mulgrew capitalised on a blocked Samaras shot to score and double the visitor's advantage.
Rory Fallon then replaced Johnny Hayes as the Dons tried to recover the situation but in truth they created very little in response to going behind despite plenty of endeavour. It looked like the Dons may have had to finish the game with 10 men when Anderson stayed down after a Celtic attack but he recovered sufficiently to complete the game.
Celtic had a goal ruled out for offside as the game petered out in front of a healthy crowd of 18,083 at Pittodrie. Despite being defeated the Dons still sit in a fantastic position in the league and Craig Brown will be looking for his side to bounce back well against 2nd placed Hibernian in the next game.