BRENDAN RODGERS was the man with a plan as 10-man Celtic overcame Aberdeen 2-0 at Pittodrie this afternoon.
The champions had to play the remaining 15 minutes without the services of right-back Mikael Lustig who was sent off after picking up two bookings.
The Swede clattered into former team-mate Gary Mackay-Steven and referee Bobby Madden had no hesitation in dismissing him.
The Dons, however, couldn’t make capital of the extra man and lost a second goal to Kieran Tierney on a classic breakway in the 83rd minute.
The champions were already a goal ahead with an effort from Moussa Demble in the first-half when the left-back sped through to thump the killer strike behind Freddie Woodman.
Rodgers said: “We have a plan when we go down to 10 men.
“We did it before at Hamilton. The players understand the shape of the team when we go down to 10.
“Lots of players would just hook the ball away, but young Odsonne Edouard takes a touch, plays it out and then the speed of the four players breaking forward was great.
“Kieran wins the race, a great pass by Moussa and he shows why he is the quickest player in our squad. Officially.
“To run so quick and shoot with that power is fantastic.”
Rangers, who saw his team go back to nine points ahead in the Premiership over Rangers, added: “It was a brilliant win, 72 hours back from Russia, arguably the toughest place to come away to so soon after that.
“I thought we dealt with everything really well. It was another signpost to where we want to go.”
It was Celtic’s 10th successive win over the Pittodrie outfit – nine under Rodgers.
Dons substitute Sam Cosgrove, on for Stevie May in the 76th minute to make his first appearance, was shown a straight red card for a lunge at Scott Brown just after Celtic’s second goal.
Rodgers claimed his skipper was on the wrong end of a “naughty challenge” by the debutant.