Celtic’s players and supporters had paid tribute to Bertie Auld at the Premier Sports Cup semi-final at Hampden last weekend and again at the Lisbon Lion’s funeral on Friday.

But this was the first game the Glasgow club had played at Parkhead since Auld’s sad passing and they honoured their former midfielder once more in fine style.

Before kick-off, clips of the former midfielder in action were shown on the giants screens, the European Cup he lifted in 1967 was placed pitchside and there were emotional renditions of You’ll Never Walk Alone and The Celtic Song.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor and Aberdeen vice-captain Scott Brown laid wreaths on the centre circle and then joined both teams in a minute’s applause. “Ten-Thirty” would have been chuffed.  


Celtic fans hoped that James McCarthy would fill the void left by their departing skipper Scott Brown when the experienced Republic of Ireland internationalist signed back in August.

But the former Hamilton, Wigan, Everton and Crystal Palace player has hardly featured – he had only made three starts before today - and when he has he has been unable to make a significant impact.

He took over from Nir Bitton, who had limped off injured against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on Thursday night, in the deep-lying midfielder role. It was a chance for him to finally shine.

McCarthy did well. He was comfortable in possession, passed the ball crisply and was involved in Celtic’s second goal. His manager Ange Postecoglou is convinced his summer acquisition is poised to show what he is capable of. He will take heart from this assured showing. 


Ange Postecoglou’s players have been lauded for the entertaining football they have produced at times this season.

But this game showed they there is still room for improvement against teams who come to Parkhead, sit back and defend in numbers.

They got the victory they wanted at the end of the 90 minutes. But it took a lucky Callum McGregor goal – the ball deflected off the midfielder and into the Aberdeen net after Jonny Hayes had tried to shell it clear to safety - to secure the three points.

Most visiting sides will be happy to grind out a draw when they visit the East End of Glasgow and Celtic must become more adept at wearing down their resistance.