Celtic started the match and the SPL season on an immaculate looking Pittodrie surface in front of an eager crowd. Celtic carved out the first chance in the 3rd minute as Langfield made a poor punch from a Fox cross, but fortunately McDonald fired the loose ball over the top. Maguire was brought down by Fox a minute later, but although Mulgrew delivered a decent ball it was well cleared. Celtic were looking the more dangerous at this stage, but a McGeady shot in the 7th minute was pulled well wide.
A loose pass from Kerr allowed Donati to break in the eighth minute but the Dons captain managed to get back and retrieve the situation. Aberdeen were under severe pressure at this stage and were required to keep their concentration levels high. Miller played a nice flick into the path of Aluko, but Boruc was out quickly to save. Celtic won the first corner of the match in the 15th minute, but the ball went harmlessly out for a goal kick. At the other end Foster failed to control a Maguire cross as both teams looked to settle. Maloney was eventually stopped by Langfield after he went on a dangerous run after McDonald had released him on the left.
In the 21st minute Langfield made another stop from Maloney before McGeady fired over. Aluko went on a good run two minutes later before being taken from behind by Nguemo. Mulgrew delivered the ball, but Kerr scooped it over the top as it fell to the captain on the edge of the box. At the other end Aluko showed some great skill to play the ball out of trouble, but minutes later Celtic took a rather fortunate lead after Langfield had done really well to close Maloney down and block his effort, but an unlucky bounce found the ball at the feet of McGeady who easily steered the ball home. A great tackle by Foster and a fine save from Langfield prevented further damage as the Dons started to wobble
Mackie replaced Duff in the 38th minute as McGhee tried to steady the ship. Unfortunately a second goal was conceded in the 42nd minute and once again it was Aiden McGeady. The Celtic man was given far too much space on the edge of the box and he fired a shot into the left hand corner giving Langfield no chance. A third followed two minutes later as Scott McDonald added a simple third and although the sun had started to shine over Pittodrie there was a darkness descending around the Dons fans.
Aberdeen won their first two corners of the match in the opening two minutes of the second half, but Celtic defended well and won their own corner at the other end. After an almighty scramble the ball was half cleared but Celtic won a free kick on the left as normal service was resumed. Aberdeen continued to be pinned back and Paton replaced Maguire in the 55th minute before Fortune headed inches wide a minute later. Aberdeen showed a bit more promise around the hour mark and created a couple of half chances.
This pressure paid off and resulted in a great strike from Sone Aluko. Miller fed the ball wide right to Paton and his cross was half cleared into the path of Aluko on the left and he hit a sweet volley past the despairing Boruc. Aberdeen were now playing with renewed confidence although free kick awards in the Dons favour were hard to come by. Aluko almost juggled his way past the Celtic defence in the 66th minute before Ifil was booked for his first foul of the game only 25 yards from goal.
The wall did its job well and a minute later Langfield was at full stretch to parry away a Samaras effort. Ifil made a great challenge on Samaras in the 70th minute to concede another corner and Langfield did well to punch the ball clear. Fortune and Brown threatened the Dons goal with fifteen minutes remaining as Celtic once again took control of the match. The Dons woes continued in the 79th minute when Diamond was stretchered off following a collision with team mate Mark Kerr.
He was replaced by Andrew Considine and Aberdeen should have added a second goal in the 84th minute after more great play by Aluko found Paton who watched in agony as his shot was deflected wide. Seconds later McDonald scooped the ball over the bar as the Dons continued to try and find a second opening. Langfield then pulled off another wonderful save from Samaras before Foster won a clean challenge on Maloney, which earned Celtic another soft free kick. Despite lengthy delays for treatment to Diamond and Maloney plus five second half substitutions there was only three minutes of injury time played.