Celtic fans were walking ten feet tall at 5pm, as they witnessed the green and white half of Glasgow rampage through the Aberdeen defence like Mongol hordes. Hat tricks from Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes guided Celtic back to the top of the SPL, albeit until Rangers take on St.Mirren tomorrow afternoon, as the demolished Mark McGhee’s Aberdeen side 9-0. Under-fire Mark McGhee labelled the defeat, the worst in the club’s 107 year history.
For the first half hour, the game was finely balanced as both sides looked for openings, however a moment of madness from former Celtic midfielder Paul Hartley, captaining Aberdeen, saw him head for an early bath for handball in the box.
Stokes scored the resulting penalty and Celtic doubled their lead through former Scunthorpe United striker Gary Hooper, before Stokes once again scored from the penalty spot.
However soon after Celtic defender Thomas Rogne was sent off, for a professional foul as he hauled down Chris Maguire, preventing a goal scoring opportunity.
Into the Second Half and Aberdeen imploded, as the Dons fans could only look on in heartache, amazement and sheer anger.
Substitute Josh Magennis headed into his own net three minutes after coming onto the field, before Gary Hooper completed his hat trick with a fine header. Welshman Joe Ledley made it 7-0 to Celtic with a long-range effort which deceived Jamie Langfield in the Dons goal, with help from a fresh air shot from Anthony Stokes. And the Irishman bagged his hat trick as Celtic continued to pile on the misery.
And there was time for Celtic to achieve a hat trick of penalties after Shaun Maloney was brought down in the box. Substitute Paddy McCourt stepped up and despatched it past Langfield to make it 9-0.
The jubilant Celtic fans were demanding a tenth, but time ran out and they had to be happy with just the nine.
Rivals Rangers are two points behind Celtic, however Walter Smith’s men take to the field tomorrow against St.Mirren and should secure all three points.
As for today’s result, it set a new SPL record beating the previous record set by Celtic in 2006 when they beat Dunfermline 8-1.
Aberdeen fans have been on some hidings to nothing in recent years by Celtic, but this latest defeat eclipses defeats in 1999 and 2002 at Celtic Park, when both finished 7-0 in favour of Celtic. And this game could signal the end of Mark McGhee’s time as Aberdeen manager.
Photos courtesy of Number 7 via Kerrydale Street