STAND-IN skipper Charlie Mulgrew came to Celtic’s rescue for the third time in a week with the 72nd-minute winner to see off Aberdeen.
Mulgrew’s header at Kilmarnock the previous weekend earned Celtic a draw after being three goals down with his free-kick for Joe Ledley in Rennes earning an unexpected Europa League point.
Twelve months ago Celtic demolished Aberdeen 9-0 with hat-tricks from Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes delighting the natives who roared their encouragement.
For 13 minutes yesterday – between Ryan Jack’s equaliser and Mulgrew’s winner – the home support were about to pass judgement on a side that hasn’t got close to the form of last season when they put 23 goals past Aberdeen in five outings including two Hampden semi-finals.
Rangers 2-0 lunchtime win away to Hearts set the tone for a testing day at Parkhead with the only comfort coming from taking the points after a midweek European trip.
“I thought our performance was alright,” Neil Lennon claimed. “We had good control of the game and scored a great first goal. We then lost Glenn (Loovens) to injury and lost a bit of momentum.
“We didn’t start the second half as well as I would have liked and we lost a poor goal. I would much prefer it if we were keeping clean sheets, which is something we took a lot of pride in last season but we should have won the game more comfortably, we created plenty of chances.
“We were not at our brilliant best today, but I was pleased with the performance and the result.”