Scott Brown’s second-half goal ensured the Hoops completed a clean sweep of victories over their nearest title challengers, with the head-to-head record between the two sides ultimately going a long way in deciding the destination of the title.
Brown broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half, breaking up an Aberdeen attack on the edge of his own area before racing up the pitch and tapping in Stuart Armstrong’s delivery.
The home side gave Celtic a guard of honour to mark their recent title win, but they probably deserved at least a point from the afternoon as they made the Parkhead side work extremely hard for their win.
Indeed, Aberdeen looked the likelier to break the deadlock early on with Barry Robson at the heart of a lot of their good work. He went close for the Dons after 11 minutes, playing a neat one-two with Niall McGinn to evade Brown before driving a shot just wide from about 30 yards.
The hosts went even closer just a few minutes later. Robson’s shot was deflected up into the air and headed down into the six-yard box by Andrew Considine into the path of Mark Reynolds, who got in front of the onrushing Craig Gordon but he could only prod his effort wide.
Robson then forced Gordon into action with a low, whipping free kick from 25 yards.
Celtic didn’t really threaten until just after the half-hour mark when PFA Player of the Year Stefan Johansen picked up a pass from Armstrong on the edge of the box but his effort was tame and well wide.
Johansen went much closer five minutes later, however, springing the offside trap and latching on to Emilio Izaguirre’s through ball before trying to chip Scott Brown in the Aberdeen goal, but the Dons keeper was able to palm the ball behind.
Youngster Darnell Fisher then had a great chance to grab his first goal for the Hoops five minutes before half-time after being picked out by Leigh Griffiths but he blasted his ferocious drive from the edge of the box just over the bar.
The hosts started the second half at pace, with Jason Denayer’s mistake nearly leading to an opening for McGinn but his effort was weak and easily gathered by Gordon.
Instead, it was the visitors who took the lead after 48 minutes.
Brown robbed Robson on the edge of the Celtic box just as he was getting ready to shoot and proceeded to break into the Aberdeen half before laying the ball off.
The Celtic skipper continued his run into the six-yard box where he met Armstrong’s delivery to poke the ball into an empty net.
McGinn then went close after a great run into the Celtic box but he blasted over when he could have looked to pick a team-mate out with a cut-back.
Dons keeper Brown then kept his side in it with a great double stop to deny Griffiths and then Kris Commons on the hour mark.
Jonny Hayes was then shown a yellow card following a challenge on Denayer where he took the ball but caught the man with his follow through, much to the annoyance of Celtic captain Brown.
Griffiths again forced Brown into a good stop two minutes before the end but the Dons keeper was on hand to beat the ball away.
Substitute Lawrence Shankland had a glorious chance to grab a point for Aberdeen in the dying minutes but he sent his diving header wide of the target.
Brown then pulled off another double save, this time from Johansen and then substitute James Forrest as Celtic looked to add a second goal.