Not even the belated introduction of Lisbon Lion Bobby Lennox, could avert this devastating defeat. Joe Harper netted again - in the three seasons (up to May, 1979) since his return to the famous red strip his total would be 88 goals.
25,000 saw a dramatic start in the sunshine when the Aberdeen fans in the crowd cheered as the ball entered the Celtic net from a Steve Archibald header. The cheers turned to groans as the standside linesman had his flag raised. It was evident early in the match that this was going to be a tough encounter and within 10 minutes Chic McLelland and Edvaldson had been booked.
Joe Harper, looking sharp as usual, had a great effort in 15 minutes. Drew Jarvie headed a Stewart Kennedy cross to Harper and his volley blasted against Latchford. However, in 21 minutes Aberdeen sored the goal that their play warranted. Jarvie, scampering into the Celtic half, sent Harper away, and the keeper failed to hold the striker's shot. Archibald was on the spot to stroke the ball over the line.
90 seconds later the Dons increased their lead. Dom Sullivan raced into the penalty box and was upended by Edvaldson. Harper hit the resultant penalty-kick low and hard into the net. Aberdeen were turning on the style now with an exhilarating performance. Celtic were being ripped apart by the Dons' piercing thrust from midfield.
In 33 minutes the incessant pressure paid off with another goal. Archibald backheaded a Sullivan cross for Jarvie to send a glancing header past Latchford. The ball was in the net again 3 minutes later but Harper was adjudged offside. 2 minutes before half-time Celtic came with a late burst and McAdam motored in to convert a Provan cross.
As was to be expected Celtic started the second half with some frenzied pressure. Glavin took the place of Edvaldson and Conroy moved into defence. The Dons' defence held firm against the green and white onslaught, and, having weathered the storm Aberdeen began to reassert themselves.
When Jarvie was brought down by Filippi there were confident shouts for a penalty but referee Gordon waved on play. However, Aberdeen were not to be denied and the decisive fourth goal duly arrived in 54 minutes. A brilliant run and shot by Harper appeared to have done the damage but Archibald was on the spot to ensure the ball went over the goal-line.
The game may have been decided but there were still challenges which were over-physical and the little black book was being used. Manager McNeil, recently boss of Aberdeen but now back with Celtic, sent on Lennox for Burns in an effort to salvage something from the game. Aberdeen, however, continued to dominate, especially in midfield, and as the game neared its conclusion many Celtic fans drifted away, while others stayed to cheer and sing. At the end the Dons received a well-earned ovation. They had been magnificent.