Derek McInnes made two changes to the side which beat Partick last time out. Wes Burns came back into the side whilst Ash Taylor returned to the starting XI. Skipper Ryan Jack missed the game after failing ill overnight.
Although the midfielder had a very late fitness test, he was not able to play.
Aberdeen lined up in a back three of O'Connor, Taylor and Reynolds.
The Dons almost got off to the perfect start. After Scott Brown was dispossessed Shinnie played the ball to Considine and his long ball was chased down by Burns. The winger comfortably beat Tierney and ran towards the front post. Shinnie had made a great run to get up in support but from a tight angle Wes tried to beat de Vries and his shot went well over. It was probably the wrong option.
Celtic had a lot of possession in the opening stages but did nothing of note. In the 7th minute Sinclair set up
Griffiths but his shot never troubled Lewis.
However with some much of the ball it was only a matter of time before they started creating.
In the 10th minute the Dons were lucky to escape when Tom Rogic was given too much space on the edge of the area. The Australian showed what he was capable of when he fired in a dipping shot which beat Lewis but crashed off the bar. In the 14th minute the Dons were not so lucky. Griffiths collected a pass from James Forrest.
The striker then evaded McLean with a nutmeg when the Aberdeen had dived in on the edge of the area. The Scotland striker then unleashed a tremendous shot which beat Lewis, hit the post and went in.
Celtic forced the first corner of the game on 18 minutes but Aberdeen defended the set piece well.
Aberdeen had enjoyed very little possession in the opening 20 minutes. They could have two behind in the 21st minute when Griffiths picked out an unmarked James Forrest in the area but he steered his shot wide.
Wes Burns then managed to get the visitors up the park which at least gave the defenders some rest bite. A long throw was chipped back into the box by Considine and although Burns did well to win a header de Vries got to the ball ahead of Rooney.
In the 27th minute Aberdeen had another attack but Considine's cross drifted over the bar. By now O'Connor had moved into the middle of the park and the Irishman was helping Aberdeen to get up the pitch and stop the relentless pressure. It was a great tactical move and it was to pay off.
On the half hour mark O'Connor again won the ball in the middle of the park with another well timed interception.
He played it wide to McGinn on the left hand side. Niall comfortably beat Lustig and his low cross was blocked by the outstretched leg of Kolo Toure. Adam Rooney though reacted quickest and on the turn the striker hit a fantastic shot past de Vries. The keeper only dived once the ball was past him, such was the power in the hit.
Despite have very little of the ball in the first 30 minutes, the Dons had taken their chance and were level.
Suddenly it was a completely different game and different atmosphere within the stadium.
A few minutes after the goal the Dons had another opportunity when Logan picked the ball up on the right in a promising position and with bodies in the box but frustratingly his cross found a green and white shirt.
Then at the other a great challenge by Reynolds just as Griffiths looked to be getting clear.
On 36 minutes what a chance for Aberdeen. An awful clearance by keeper de Vries, who was not really under any pressure despite McGinn starting to close him down. The ball landed straight at the feet of McLean about 30 yards out. The striker had a yard on Tourne but the defender used all his experience to stop Kenny getting the ball onto his left side and was able to make a last ditch tackle. It really was a wonderful opportunity.
The miss was made worse when out of nothing Celtic re-took the lead after 42 minutes. Rogic was allowed to play the ball to Forrest whose movement managed to find a pocket of space inside the area and his side footed shot was too good for Lewis.
On the stroke of half time Bobby Madden let play go on despite Shinnie being fouled on the half way line. Celtic broke and Griffiths really should have scored but poked a shot wide.
Despite the loss of the goal before half time the pattern of the play at the end of the first half continued with Aberdeen on the front foot.
In the opening five minutes they forced Celtic back into their own half and had a couple of half chances. A free kick was won by O'Connor in the air but he could not direct his header goalward. Then McLean played a clever cross field pass for Considine who played in Burns but his cross/shot was blocked at the near post with the Celtic defence not looking comfortable. A long throw was then flicked on by Taylor and the ball just fell behind McGinn. He would have been in a great position to score if the ball had landed in front of him
Aberdeen kept up the pressure but when Rogic spread the ball wide the Dons were in trouble. The ball was squared to Sinclair who looked certain to score but somehow Ash Taylor managed to make a diving block and the ball was diverted wide. Incredible defending which stopped an almost certain goal.
At this point the Dons players really looked like they believed they would get something from the game.
On 56 minutes a McGinn free kick was over hit and a minute later Forrest was replaced by Roberts and the other scorer Griffiths also came off to be replaced by Dembele. An hour in it was a very even contest, the Dons were now competing really well.
On 65 minutes Roberts used his pace down the right, the Dons blocked an initial shot before Britton from the edge of the area curled an effort just wide. On 68 minutes a good cross from Rooney picked out Burns and the Welshman did well to get up and win the header but his effort just went over the bar.
Then on 70 minutes after great play by Shinnie and O'Connor to work an opening the ball was crossed over for McGinn at the back post. Aberdeen had bodies in the box but frustratingly Niall's header back across was misdirected and too strong and went over the bar. Then a couple of minutes later another promising Aberdeen free kick was over hit.
The Dons set pieces were not good today.
Aberdeen continued to look the better team. A Graeme Shinnie cross had to be punched clear by de Vries and then the same player on 75 minutes missed a great chance on the edge of the area after the Celtic centre backs had again lost out in the air. Shinnie deserved a goal, he was outstanding today.
At the time you thought a goal would surely have to come but in the end it proved to be the best chance of the half. Had it gone in the result would have been very different.
Both teams looked tired in the final ten minutes. Celtic tried to freshen things up - Callum McGregor came on Britton. In the 82nd minute of the game a mistake by Considine let Roberts in and Reynolds was forced to bring him down on the edge of the area. Mark picked up the first yellow card of the game but it was a clever foul to commit, especially as the home side they wasted the resulting free kick.
In the final seven minutes Aberdeen went for it as Storey and Stockley come on for O'Connor and Rooney.
But with four minutes to go, disaster.
Sinclair got the wrong side of Logan and as Shay and Reynolds tried to retrieve the situation Mark was adjudged to have fouled the Celtic player. Referee Bobby Madden gave the home side a penalty and Reynolds a second booked. Sinclair then scored the spot kick. At the time it looked a very harsh decision.
The Referee then made another controversial call which handed the home side another. Rogic went to ground about 25 yards out and was awarded a free kick. There appeared to be very little contact. Tom Rogic then curled in a fourth with a well taken free kick.
A really harsh score line in the end.
To win these games you need to work extremely hard, take your chances and have a bit of luck. The Dons players certainly worked tirelessly throughout. However they missed a couple of great opportunities at crucial times in the game and they certainly got no luck. Even before the game, losing Ryan through illness was a big loss. And then the Dons can feel very aggrieved about the penalty incident.
24.Dorus de Vries,
23.Carl Mikael Lustig,
06.Nir Bitton (42.Callum McGregor 80),
49.James Forrest (27.Patrick Roberts 57),
09.Leigh Griffiths (10.Moussa Dembele 58).
Unused Subs: 01.Craig Gordon,
Aberdeen Teamsheet Lewis
84).Unused Subs: Morris, McKenna, Wright, Alexander.Bookings: Reynolds
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: Bobby Madden