NEW season, same old Celtic under Ange Postecoglou. The champions saw off Aberdeen on flag day through an early header from Stephen Welsh, a second half rocket from Jota, some scintillating attacking football and a few heart-stopping moments for their fans at the other end. In other words, exactly as you may have expected.

The Premiership trophy was marched up The Celtic Way prior to kick off by club captain Callum McGregor, with thousands of Celtic fans lining the route to laud last season’s title winners as they arrived to kick off the defence of their crown.

Inside the ground, the title party was in full tilt once again, with an impressive display held aloft by fans all around the stadium and a crackling atmosphere greeting McGregor and the rest of the Celtic players as he unfurled the league winner’s flag.

With Carl Starfelt only returning to full training in the days prior to the game and new signing Moritz Jenz also short of match sharpness, Celtic manager Postecoglou opted for Welsh beside Cameron Carter-Vickers at the heart of his defence, and it would prove a wise decision.

None of Celtic’s ‘new’ arrivals from the summer window played a part in the match apart from Aaron Mooy as a late substitute, with Carter-Vickers, Jota and Daizen Maeda all starting and the four other signings starting on the bench.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin on the other hand gave six of his new arrivals their first taste of Premiership football, and perhaps their early season lack of understanding with one another played a part in a dreadful opening for the Dons.

Goodwin will have been seething at how easily his players allowed Celtic to open the scoring just three minutes into the game, as an in-swinging corner from Matt O’Riley found Welsh all alone in the six-yard box and the centre-back simply glanced the ball home past Kelle Roos.

From there, it was all Celtic for a prolonged spell, with Kyogo going close on a couple of occasions and Jota and O’Riley also close to breaking in behind the embattled Aberdeen backline. O’Riley was imperious during this period of Celtic pressure, finding space and threading passes to teammates. What a bargain the former MK Dons man has turned out to be.

It seemed a matter of time before the hosts would double their lead, and they almost did as Anthony Stewart did brilliantly to deny Kyogo with a goal-saving block as he latched onto Maeda’s low cross in the area, before Roos tipped over a fierce O’Riley effort.

Out of nothing though, Aberdeen should have had an unlikely leveller, as a ball over the top caught the Celtic defence napping and Vincent Besuijen raced in behind. He pulled the ball back for former Celtic man Jonny Hayes in acres of space at the edge of the area, but he tried to be too precise with his low finish, steering the ball inches wide of the post.

Celtic had come off the throttle and Aberdeen gained something of a foothold in the game, a the speed that the hosts had been playing with rather dropped off even into the start of the second half.

Josip Juranovic tried to inject some urgency once more as he got a stinging shot away that Roos palmed clear, and the new Dons first-choice keeper got up well to then block O’Riley’s follow-up. The Celtic fans were screaming for a penalty as Reo Hatate vaulted Stewart as he attempted to pick up the scraps, but referee Nick Walsh was having none of it.

There were changes for both sides just after the hour as Luis Lopes and Callum Roberts came on for the visitors, while Postecoglou looked to freshen things up by bringing on David Turnbull, Liel Abada and Giorgos Giakoumakis.

The crowd were getting a little anxious as one or two passes went astray, but just as nerves were starting to jangle, up stepped Jota to almost blow the roof off Celtic Park with a real moment of magic.

The winger had been quiet by his own high standards in the game, but it was soon clear to see why the Celtic fans were so desperate for him to join the club in the summer, and why they were so elated when he finally did so.

He picked the ball up around 35 yards from goal, advanced a couple of yards towards the area and unleashed a rocket of an effort that arrowed past the despairing dive of Roos and into his top right-hand corner.

It was an absolute peach, and from there, the only question was whether or not Celtic would add to their lead.

They should have as Giakoumakis missed a sitter, pulling the ball wide from close range when in on Roos, but it mattered not. In the end, there was little to yet hint at a new dawn for the revamped Dons, while the Celtic bandwagon rolls on under Postecoglou.