Returning captain Callum McGregor scored a fantastic late winner as Celtic finally overcame a stubborn Aberdeen side to restore their nine-point Scottish Premiership lead.
McGregor – who was making his return after two months out with a knee injury – hit the net from 20 yards out with three minutes of 90 remaining.
It was Celtic’s 33rd shot at Pittodrie as they finally exhausted Aberdeen’s deep defensive block, which ultimately proved fruitless as they finished the game with two efforts on goal.
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic are down nine ahead of Rangers, while Aberdeen will end the day in third place due to postponements elsewhere.
It was only fitting for Celtic that their pivot McGregor grabbed the crucial goal, having been out since early October, but it was just the latest example of the champions finding something in the death.
Ross County, St Johnstone, Motherwell and Dundee United have all been downed in the dying moments of games so far this term, and McGregor’s low shot into the bottom corner added Aberdeen to the list.
And even though it took until the 87th minute, in truth Celtic should have had the game sewn up long before. Kyogo Furuhashi had the best chance of the lot, but somehow Liel Abada’s cross was pushed wide wide.
Aberdeen keeper Kelle Roos turned down Abada, Reo Hatate, Jota and others as the home side came close to grabbing a valuable point.
But the fact that they didn’t question their defensive approach as they barely managed 100 passes in the game and had two attempts on goal, both wide of the target.