CELTIC failed to figure out their way through a stuffy and well organised Aberdeen to find the win which would almost certainly have sent them on their way to an eighth league title in a row.

A ten-point lead over Rangers with nine games to go would have been enough, surely, for what is now Neil Lennon’s side to clinch the title.

But the returning hero’s first game back at Celtic Park did not go to plan and this 0-0 gives Rangers at least hope, they remain eight points behind, that a minor miracle could be pulled off.

Aberdeen were set-up to get a draw and while this ploy didn’t help make the game a spectacle, Derek McInnes got his tactics spot-on and in Graeme Shinnie and Scott McKenna, the two best players on the field.

Celtic threw everything at an understandably tired Aberdeen but lacked a cutting edge and, in truth, never looked like getting a winner.

These two have served up better entertainment than this, albeit it was gripping given what is at stake so late into the season.

Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer was a shining light in a first-half that was difficult to watch at times.

At the back and when breaking up the park, the Norwegian played with confidence and poise. It nearly brought him a goal just after the half hour.

Ajer saw a gap in the Aberdeen midfield which he glided through and his shot from just outside the box skimmed the post. He also had a goal chopped off for offside.

The second-half was better and both sides had chances to score.

On 51 minutes, Dominic Ball forced Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain into a fine save at his near post, then seven minutes later, Odsonne Edouard dances past a few tackles before his shot was blocked by Joe Lewis in the Aberdeen goal.

There were other half chances, at both ends, but while Celtic had more of the game, they badly lacked creativity.