THIS was the first 0-0 draw between these two at Celtic Park since 1994.

You did come away wondering whether it was a bad day for Celtic or, as Neil Lennon said, nothing really had changed and with an eight- point lead in the league and finishing line in sight, a draw was no need to panic.

It was a bit of both.

Both teams had chances, not a lot of them it must be said, but if ever a match deserved to finish without a goal it was this one.

For Aberdeen, it’s now all about tomorrow night and the cup replay at Ibrox.

As for Celtic, of they win at Dundee next Sunday they then will go into the Old Firm game at Parkhead with the chance to make it at least eleven points between them and their city chum with seven games to go. That would make them champions.


There are some who don’t believe the Aberdeen manager is deserving of the praise he gets. They are wrong.

Before going back to this match, let me say this. Rangers missed a huge trick not getting this guy.

Aberdeen were set-up to frustrate Celtic for the first half hour or so, which they did, and chose carefully when to get up the park.

Scott Brown had no room to do his stuff, the back four pushed up and left little space for Celtic to create anything, neither Scott Sinclair or James Forrest were given a chance to do much, and when late on Aberdeen did get up the other end of the park, they might have nicked a winner.

Sure, this all made the game less of a spectacle but McInnes’ job is to get the best for Aberdeen, which on Saturday was a draw in Glasgow.

That’s two wins and a draw in the city this season. There isn’t any talk of a hoodoo now.

There is a way to play against Celtic which is to give them almost too much time on the ball but nothing else.

McInnes was without some key players, he always is, and so this disciplined performance was superb. Graeme Shinnie and Scott McKenna in particular were excellent.

Oh, and that’s 50 clean sheets for Joe Lewis since he’s been at Pittodrie.

Just imagine what he could do with money to keep his team together and buy better.


Absolutely, but they will miss the suspended Sam Cosgrove.

Aberdeen might have to settle for third this season but there is a confidence about them that I didn’t expect them to have after losing so many good players in the summer and before.

The tussle between McKenna and Alfredo Morelos will be a fascinating watch and if the Scotland centre-half plays the way he did then he’ll fancy doing a job on the country’s most in-form player.


Neil Lennon decided to go with Oliver Burke in the No9 role instead of Odsonne Edouard or Timothy Weah. Both were on the bench Brendan Rodgers did the same.

Burke has done fine for Celtic but he’s not a striker. And if the other two aren’t good enough to start - Edouard was put on at half-time - then that’s a problem.

Since the Larsson/Sutton/Hartson axis, Celtic’s two best centre-forwards have been Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths.

Griffiths won’t play again for this season at least. And that’s a 100-goal striker Lennon will need to replace and a player worth £20m. Not easy.

When Forrest got the ball in the first-half, he would look up and there was nobody in the middle to aim at. Indeed, when a low cross was played in, Burke wasn’t there ‘tap home’ from a few yards out because that doesn’t come naturally to him.

This was a match in which if Celtic were to score it was most likely to come from someone getting on a loose ball, say from a rebound or at a set-piece, but Lennon doesn’t really have a poacher.

For someone so young, and with a big price tag, Edouard has 17 goals which is a decent return. But he could do with some help up there.


The Celtic midfield is not the same without their chief playmaker.

Apart from his goals and assists, both pretty important elements in football, McGregor is always positive and when not in possession will get forward looking for a pass.

Neither Brown or Nir Bitton do much of that.

McGregor can also run past players, take defenders out the game and gets on the end of crosses.

He’s Celtic’s best player and they need him back because he makes that team tick.


Lennon was right to point to the players being leggy after Tynecastle and Easter Road, so to criticise them after an average performance would have been futile and harsh.

But had Celtic won, and this was the first points dropped at home all season, they could have been called champions-elect.

They probably still are. Rangers are not going to win every single one of their remaining games which means Celtic have wiggle room. Win their next two and that’s it. But it should be over already.