Brendan Rodgers made it two Scottish Premiership wins from two to extend Celtic’s unbeaten run at Pittodrie to 14 games following a 3-1 victory over Aberdeen on Sunday.

Rodgers, who won 12 out of 13 games against the Dons in his first spell as Celtic manager, named the same starting XI that beat Ross County 4-2 in their season opener – and his side led inside 11 minutes when Liel Abada was on hand to convert Daizen Maeda’s header back across goal.

Referee Kevin Clancy initially signalled for offside, but after a VAR review the goal stood. Aberdeen levelled in fine style, however, as Cameron Carter-Vickers misjudged the flight of a long ball to allow Duk to cross for Bojan Miovski to fire low beyond Joe Hart (25).

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Liel Abada grabs the opening goal for Celtic against Aberdeen, with the close-range finish given after a VAR review.

A lively opening period was not finished there, as Celtic were gifted the advantage once more following a mistake by Nicky Devlin as his header back to Kelle Roos was intercepted by the alert Kyogo Furuhashi before finishing in clinical fashion (29).

Aberdeen responded in the second half but, as Celtic retreated, they dealt the classic sucker-punch to end Dons hopes as substitute Hyun-Jun Yang showed good footwork to set up Matt O’Riley for a simple finish (84) to end the contest.

Celtic's Matt O'Riley scores to make it 3-1
Celtic’s Matt O’Riley scores to make it 3-1

Player ratings

Aberdeen: Roos (6), Devlin (6), Rubezic (6), MacKenzie (6), Morris (7), Polvara (6), Clarkson (6), Shinnie (7), Duncan (6), Miovski (7), Lopes (7).

Subs: Sokler (n/a).

Celtic: Hart (6), Ralston (7), Carter-Vickers (5), Nawrocki (7), Taylor (5), O’Riley (7), McGregor (6), Turnbull (6), Abada (7), Furuhashi (8), Maeda (7).

Subs: Yang (7), Holm (6), Hatate (6), Forrest (n/a), Welsh (6).

Man of the match: Kyogo Furuhashi.

Celtic a work in progress under Rodgers

Celtic's Liel Abada celebrates his opener
Celtic’s Liel Abada celebrates his opener

Rodgers started his first spell at Celtic by going 68 games unbeaten domestically, and while replicating that feat is a tall order, he will be very satisifed with how his second stint has started.

Aberdeen caused Celtic plenty of problems in an enthralling first half with Graeme Shinnie harrying in midfield, wide player Shayden Morris impressing on his first Pittodrie start and the Dons’ front two posing a constant threat in behind.

But Celtic enjoyed much more control in the second half and O’Riley’s late goal ensured they went back top of the cinch Premiership after two matches.

Team news

There was no Jonny Hayes for Aberdeen with the winger dropping out of the squad. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Ryan Duncan.

Brendan Rodgers named the same starting XI that beat Ross County in their opening game last weekend. He stuck with David Turnbull in midfield after his double.

Carl Starfelt left the club this week with Hyeon-gyu Oh and Hyeok-Kyu Kwon also not involved at Pittodrie. Sead Haksabanovic, Alex Bernabei and Stephen Welsh were added to the subs bench.

Celtic were unchanged and Aberdeen brought in Ryan Duncan for the absent Jonny Hayes before the game began following a minute’s applause for former Dons boss Craig Brown, in the first Pittodrie game since his death.

Miovski and Furuhashi were just wide from 22 yards at either end in a lively start before Celtic took the lead following O’Riley’s inswinging free-kick in the 11th minute.

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Aberdeen’s front two combine to pull the Dons level against Celtic

Daizen Maeda headed towards goal and Abada was flagged offside after helping the ball home from close range, but the goal was awarded by video assistant referee Andrew Dallas.

Aberdeen continued to press. Shinnie headed over after a well-worked set-piece before the Dons captain won the ball in the centre circle to spark the move that led to a 25th-minute equaliser.

Jack McKenzie’s ball down the channel got Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes in behind Cameron Carter-Vickers and he cut the ball back for strike partner Miovski to knock home from six yards after the striker had reacted quicker than Maik Nawrocki.

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Nicky Devlin switches off and heads the ball back, unaware that Kyogo is waiting to pounce. to give Celtic the lead against Aberdeen.

The volume rose around Pittodrie, which was hosting a crowd of 18,652, but the home fans were silenced four minutes later.

Home debutant Nicky Devlin did not spot Furuhashi as he attempted to head a hopeful ball forward back to his goalkeeper and the Japan striker lashed the bouncing ball high into the net from 18 yards.

Celtic had chances to extend their lead. Abada shot straight at Kelle Roos following good work from Maeda and the goalkeeper tipped over O’Riley’s free-kick.

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi and Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie in action
Kyogo and Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie in action

Aberdeen finished the half strongly, though, and Dante Polvara twice came close.

Celtic made a double switch at half-time. Stephen Welsh came on for Carter-Vickers for his first competitive appearance in 10 months while Reo Hatate replaced David Turnbull.

Furuhashi missed a good chance with his left foot and Maeda was twice denied by interventions from Devlin after incisive counter-attacks, the first through an excellent goal-line clearance.

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Matt O’Reilly extends Celtic’s lead to 3-1 against Aberdeen.

Hatate had helped Celtic get good control of possession from a deep midfield role but he hobbled off in the 70th minute for Odin Thiago Holm to come on.

Aberdeen enjoyed good territory but they could not trouble goalkeeper Joe Hart, with their only real chance in the second half coming when Leighton Clarkson curled just wide following a long ball.

Roos denied Maeda after the Japanese striker was played clean through on the break but substitute Yang Hyun-jun quickly cut the ball back for O’Riley to drill home in the 84th minute.

Rodgers praises top-class attitude of players

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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says his subs helped in a tough win over Aberdeen and that they’re close to a replacement for Carl Starfelt.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers on Sky Sports:

“It was a very good win for us. Barry has his team very well set up and it’s difficult to play against man-to-man and their direct style. I was disappointed with the goal we conceded from a static goal-kick but it’s a tough place to come so I’m pleased. The boys stood up to it and it’s a really good win for us.

“There’s no doubt about the attitude of the players, it’s top class. It’s always a good sign when you can start well and finish strong. The subs settled the game well for us and made a really good contribution.

“There’s lots to work on but there’s a beauty to the squad in that they want to learn and get better. Each day, they’ll get better and better.”

On replacing defender Carl Starfelt, the Celtic manager added:

“Very close, I think in the next week we’ll get that done.”

Analysis: Celtic must improve defensively

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi and Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie in action
Kyogo and Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie in action

Sky Sports’ Chris Sutton:

“It’s been a good start for Brendan Rodgers on his return. I still think that Celtic have a lot of work to do and Brendan would be the first to admit that.

“Most important thing is to get points on the board and build. Celtic had the chances and had a lot of opportunities. They’re very dangerous going forward but there is certainly work to do defensively.”

Hart: We showed our character

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Joe Hart admitted Celtic are not yet at their free-flowing best despite his side beating Aberdeen 3-1 on Sunday.

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart on Sky Sports:

“We’ve got to give a lot of respect to Aberdeen, I thought they pressed us really well and they made it difficult. The pitch was dry, that’s not an excuse it’s a fact. We’re not as free-flowing as we want to be at the moment. A new manager with clear ideas that we’re trying to adhere to and it’s tough. We’re working hard every single day and we’re going to get better.

“I think it shows huge character when we’re not at our silky best, we’re still going to get a big result away from home.

“The manager’s made it clear he’s here for a long time but you can’t just come in and snap your fingers and play the way someone wants you to play after we had such a clear way for two years. It’s not for a lack of trying.”

What’s next?

The attention now turns to the Scottish League Cup for both sides with Aberdeen away to League One Stirling Albion on August 18 and Celtic away to Kilmarnock on August 20.

Celtic’s next Scottish Premiership match is at home to St Johnstone on August 26, kick-off 3pm.

Aberdeen are away to St Mirren on August 27.