Celtic ensured they remain nine points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership with a resounding 4-0 victory over Aberdeen at Parkhead on Saturday.

The champions - now also one goal better off given closest challengers Rangers could only manage a 3-0 win at Livingston - took an early lead through captain Callum McGregor's rifled finish.

Reo Hatate doubled the advantage in the 13th minute before making it 3-0 in the 76th. Substitute Liel Abada notched his ninth league goal of the campaign just before the full-time whistle.

Celtic Way:

Ange Postecoglou made three alterations to his starting XI from the 5-1 Scottish Cup win over St Mirren a week prior.

Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull, each carrying injuries but expected to recover in time for next week's League Cup final, dropped out with Matt O'Riley and Reo Hatate assuming their central midfield berths.

Up front, Oh Hyeon-gyu was given a full debut with Kyogo Furuhashi fit for only the bench after a shoulder knock against the Buddies.

Here, The Celtic Way rounds up the best StatsBomb data from the game to give you a match report like no other...


Celtic achieved perfect symmetry of creating 10 chances in both halves, scoring twice in each. 

The opening 45 provided marginally the better chances - 0.97 xG vs 0.72 xG - although interestingly the 'best' chance of the game statistically was not one of the four goals.

That honour instead went to Matt O'Riley's fifth-minute effort; an attempted left-footed half-volley from a Jota pass that went well wide.

The Hoops did score their next best two chances though - Hatate's first and Abada's late strike.

Aberdeen, meanwhile, could manufacture only one opportunity in the opening half - Jonny Hayes's stoppage-time long-ranger. 

Their 'best' chance was Leighton Clarkson's effort eight minutes into the second period and their only shot in the Celtic penalty area.

StatsBomb notes that the final cumulative xG totals stood at 1.69-0.15 in Celtic's favour, reinforcing what was yet another clinical display in front of goal from the champions. The Dons are given just a two per cent chance of victory based on the opportunities each side created.


The champions generated 20 shots in total, scoring four from 10 on target. In addition, nine attempts missed and just one was blocked. Jay Gorter made six saves.

That the shots on target carried a combined 0.79 xG but a post-shot xG of 3.35 highlights just how accurate and clinical the Celts were once again.

Celtic managed to create 15 chances inside the Aberdeen box including the four goals, which were all intriguingly from the same area of the pitch. Four of their attempts were of mid-to-high-quality xG, from which they scored two.

A massive 19 of the 20 efforts were manufactured from open play. The odd one out was Alistair Johnston's 29th-minute attempt from a corner; just the third chance Celtic have created from a league corner since January 18 despite having had 23 in that time.

Aberdeen's map suggests a team largely devoid of attacking ideas. Four of their five attempts were speculative long-rangers, none were of mid-to-high-quality xG and just one found the target, which Joe Hart saved.

That said, the Dons' total xG was still double that of their display at Pittodrie back in December.

Individually, Hatate took the most shots of any player in the match with four. Matt O'Riley, Jota and substitute Sead Haksabanovic all managed three. Hatate's efforts carried the highest combined xG.

Passing, possession & positions

Celtic enjoyed 77 per cent possession - up seven points from the last league match against St Johnstone - and completed 773 of 871 pass attempts for an impressive 89 per cent success rate.

The Dons, conversely, managed 172 successful passes from 257 attempts (67 per cent completion).

The pass network below gives a sense of where the game was played and who was most involved. The warmer the colour the more influential the player, while the thicker the passing lines the more passes between the players.

StatsBomb measures pass contributions in on-ball value (often referred to as OBV, a term breakdown can be read here).

Five players shine through with dark red nodes in this one: centre-backs Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt, right-back Alistair Johnston and midfielders Hatate and Callum McGregor.

All five were the top performers in terms of OBV with Johnston (0.26) the top dog ahead of McGregor (0.22). Abada's second-half contribution also stood out.

Unlike the previous league game against St Johnstone, Celtic were back to having just Hart and Starfelt operating mostly in their own half in this one. 

Indeed the Dons' defensive tactics saw virtually he whole Celtic team occupy the space between the halfway line and the away side's 18-yard line in a rough 2-4-3-1 shape with Jota and Daizen Maeda more central than expected and Oh providing a central focal point.

That trend largely continued into the second half with the exception of the wingers - both the starters and the substitutes - pushing further wide.

Greg Taylor took the most touches with 263 - exactly the same amount as Starfelt topped the lot with against the Perth Saints - and was involved in three of the team's top four most common passing combinations. The left-back also topped the xGChain.

The Reds' network mainly reflected their attempted back three/five but with particular right-sided emphasis to combat the Hatate-Taylor-Maeda axis. Only three Dons - Matty Pollock, Graeme Shinnie and Gorter - returned positive OBV figures.

Celtic Way:

A remarkable 11 different Celts played at least one key pass throughout the match. Taylor, O'Riley, Johnston and Forrest all managed two while Hayes led the way for the Dons with the same number.

Pressing and defending

Celtic made 113 pressures to Aberdeen's 201 but made seven more pressure regains (23 vs 16) and just one fewer tackle (17 vs 18). The most intense battleground was Celtic's left flank but of particular note is the level of pressing actions in that space directly in front of the Aberdeen box too.

Maeda led the way for Celtic with 20 pressures while Dons skipper Shinnie almost doubled that with 39. Ylber Ramadani followed close behind on 34. Oh, on his debut, was the next-best Celt with 15.

A red shirt topped the lot in counter-pressing too - this time it was Aberdeen striker Bojan Miovski with 10. Hatate was top Celt with half as many.

Due to the nature of the match, several Dons racked up the numbers in the traditional defensive metrics but one Celt stood out.

From right-back, Johnston accumulated four tackles, one interception and two clearances while winning both of his aerial duels for the concession of two fouls. 

Elsewhere, Starfelt tallied one tackle, one interception, four clearances and won five of five aerial duels without giving away any fouls.