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Tierney loves to score for Celtic support because he's one of them, hails Rodgers

Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Moussa Dembele bagged a brace as Celtic dismissed Ladbrokes Premiership title rivals Aberdeen with a commanding 3-0 win at Pittodrie.

Only goal difference separated the sides at the top of the table at the start of the evening, but a huge gulf in class was revealed as first-half goals from left-back Kieran Tierney and the French striker had the desperate Dons on the ropes.

Dembele, who had come off the bench to score twice in the 4-2 Betfred Cup semi-final win over Hibernian at the weekend, headed in a second in the 63rd minute.

The Hoops have now gone 61 domestic games unbeaten and, on this form, a second successive Scottish treble without losing a game cannot be discounted.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers enthused after the game: "It was a very good performance, an outstanding display against a very good team. It was very pleasing. We have to play a fast game and that was the message.

"Kieran Tierney is such a talent and still learning. He scored a goal and made a great cross and run for the second. He is focused and determined.

"He loves the fans. He is one of them. He cannot wait to score a goal so he can celebrate it with half his mates in the stand!"

Coping with a heavy fixture list, Ulsterman Rodgers brought in Dembele, winger James Forrest and midfielder Tom Rogic.

Home captain Graeme Shinnie tested Hoops keeper Craig Gordon with two early drives but Celtic's response was to race up the park and take the lead.

Dembele sped down the right past defender Kari Arnason and his cross evaded everyone until it found Tierney who, from an unlikely angle, lashed a shot high past Dons keeper Joe Lewis.

Dembele was booed by the home fans when he went down easily as Arnason challenged inside the box, referee Craig Thomson taking no action.

In the 38th minute, when Tierney raced 40 yards down the left and crossed for Dembele to knock in, the points looked safe.

As the home side were forced to gamble in the second half, Rodgers' outfit broke with speed.

Dembele and Rogic had efforts before Arnason did brilliantly to block a Callum McGregor shot.

The inevitable next Celtic goal came from a deep Stuart Armstrong free-kick headed back by Dedryck Boyata for Dembele to head in from almost on the line.

There was an ignored claim for handball against Celtic skipper Scott Brown inside his own penalty area but the Hoops had eased off by then.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Arnason, McKenna, Considine, O'Connor, Mackay-Steven (Tansey 67), Shinnie, McLean, May (Rogers 77), Rooney (Wright 59). Subs not used: Reynolds, Stewart, Maynard, Ball.

CELTIC: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Bitton, Tierney, Brown, Armstrong, Forrest (Hayes 77), Rogic (Sinclair 72), McGregor, Dembele (Griffiths 82). Subs not used: Roberts, Ntcham, De Vries, Ajer.

Man of match: Dembele

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Craig Thomson

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