Celtic underlined why they will soon be crowned Scottish Premier League champions with an astonishing fightback to beat Aberdeen in a seven-goal thriller.

There were a full 94 minutes on the clock when substitute Georgios Samaras stooped to score with a clever overhead kick to cap a most dramatic afternoon.

The home side were 3-1 down after an hour, with Kris Commons' first minute strike equalised by Scott Vernon, before an early second-half double from Josh Magennis put the Dons two clear.

Charlie Mulgrew began the Celtic comeback with a deflected shot before top-scorer Gary Hooper bundled the ball in four minutes from the end of normal time to bring the match level, and fully to the boil, in front of a noisy home crowd.

If the Celtic supporters were jubilant at that, they cranked up the volume even further when Samaras met fellow sub Lassad's added-time knockdown to hook the ball home with his back to goal.

It was a sensational goal to end a sensational match, which was book-ended with two fine goals, 95 minutes apart.

That's what you call box-office value for money.

Not that Aberdeen will be happy to have participated so well in such an entertaining spectacle. The visitors will be wondering how a first league win at Celtic Park in nearly nine years escaped their grasp.

The Dons had to recover from losing one of the SPL's fastest ever goals; Anthony Stokes feeding Commons to drill in a shot after only 13 seconds.

There was no hint of panic, however, from the soon-to-retire Aberdeen manager Craig Brown, who watched his side regain their composure and deservedly equalise when Magennis capitalised on a Kelvin Wilson mistake to offer Vernon a tap-in just before half-time.

Within 15 minutes of the restart, Aberdeen had established a two-goal cushion.

Magennis continued making a total nuisance of himself for the Celtic defence by shooting through goalkeeper Fraser Forster after gathering a Vernon pass before he got the final touch to a wonderful long-range effort from Gavin Rae.

Celtic hopes were restored when Mulgrew's powerful shot took a strong deflection to deceive the helpless Jamie Langfield in goal for Aberdeen.

And when Gary Hooper was the first to react to team-mate Efe Ambrose's header which was blocked on the line, Celtic's comeback was nearly complete.

The enigmatic Samaras was left to steal the show with the last meaningful action of the match, to restore Celtic's 15 point lead at the top of the table, and send a valiant Aberdeen side north scratching their heads.

Matches between these two sides are never dull. Celtic are now unbeaten in their last 16 games with Aberdeen, and have scored 47 goals in those encounters.

However, few of those past meetings have been as dramatic as a stoppage-time overhead kick to seal a 4-3 comeback triumph.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (4)

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 04 Ambrose
  • 06 Wilson
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 23 Lustig
  • 15 Commons
  • 16 Ledley
  • 33 Kayal (Samaras - 61' Booked )
  • 10 Stokes (Nouioui - 67' )
  • 88 Hooper

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 25 Rogne
  • 18 Rogic
  • 46 McGeouch
  • 09 Samaras
  • 11 Nouioui
  • 37 Atajic

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 02 Jack
  • 04 Anderson Booked
  • 22 Reynolds Booked
  • 23 Shaughnessy Booked
  • 05 Rae
  • 10 McGinn
  • 11 Hayes (Pawlett - 66' Booked )
  • 18 Hughes (Milsom - 90' )
  • 09 Vernon
  • 21 Magennis Booked

Substitutes

  • 30 Rogers
  • 13 Low
  • 08 Milsom
  • 15 Pawlett
  • 14 Fallon
  • 34 McManus
  • 38 Smith
Ref: Mclean
Att: 46,395

Match Stats

Shots

18 6

On target

13 5

Corners

9 6

Fouls

8 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:17 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +4:14 Booking

Booking Booking for Georgios Samaras for persistent infringement.

90:00 +4:00

Assist by Lassad Nouioui.

90:00 +4:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Georgios Samaras - Celtic 4 - 3 Aberdeen Georgios Samaras finds the net with a fantastic goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 4-3 Aberdeen.

90:00 +3:05

Free kick crossed by Kris Commons.

90:00 +3:05 Booking

Booking Russell Anderson booked.

90:00 +2:59

Unfair challenge on Gary Hooper by Russell Anderson results in a free kick.

90:00 +1:23

Kris Commons produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.

90:00 +0:20 Substitution

Substitution Stephen Hughes leaves the field to be replaced by Robert Milsom.

89:48

Kris Commons takes a outswinging corner.

88:34

Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the left by-line, Mark Reynolds manages to make a clearance.

87:16

Inswinging corner taken by Kris Commons from the right by-line, Joe Shaughnessy manages to make a clearance.

86:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Gary Hooper - Celtic 3 - 3 Aberdeen Gary Hooper grabs a headed goal from close in. Celtic 3-3 Aberdeen.

85:42

Corner from the right by-line taken by Kris Commons, Efe Ambrose takes a shot. Russell Anderson makes a clearance.

84:33

Gary Hooper concedes a free kick for a foul on Russell Anderson. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free kick.

83:55

Short corner taken by Peter Pawlett from the right by-line.

83:00

Peter Pawlett fouled by Lassad Nouioui, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Russell Anderson.

80:09

Kris Commons takes the inswinging corner, Jamie Langfield makes a save.

79:53

Gary Hooper takes a shot. Save made by Jamie Langfield.

79:34

Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

79:34 Booking

Booking Caution for Peter Pawlett.

79:27

Peter Pawlett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fraser Forster.

78:05

Kris Commons restarts play with the free kick.

78:05 Booking

Booking Booking for Joe Shaughnessy.

77:59

Georgios Samaras fouled by Joe Shaughnessy, the ref awards a free kick.

77:33

The ball is crossed by Gary Hooper, clearance made by Joe Shaughnessy.

74:12

Kelvin Wilson takes the free kick.

74:12 Booking

Booking The referee books Josh Magennis for dissent.

74:04

Scott Vernon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kelvin Wilson.

69:55

Gavin Rae gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons. Shot comes in from Charlie Mulgrew from the free kick, save by Jamie Langfield.

68:46

The assistant referee flags for offside against Josh Magennis. Fraser Forster takes the indirect free kick.

67:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Charlie Mulgrew - Celtic 2 - 3 Aberdeen Charlie Mulgrew scores a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Celtic 2-3 Aberdeen.

67:31

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons from the right by-line.

67:21

The ball is delivered by Mikael Lustig, clearance by Mark Reynolds.

66:17

Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.

66:17 Substitution

Substitution Lassad Nouioui is brought on as a substitute for Anthony Stokes.

66:17

Joe Shaughnessy is penalised for a handball.

65:40 Substitution

Substitution (Aberdeen) makes a substitution, with Peter Pawlett coming on for Johnny Hayes.

64:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Anthony Stokes on Russell Anderson. Direct free kick taken by Russell Anderson.

64:11

Mark Reynolds is caught offside. Free kick taken by Efe Ambrose.

63:36

Joe Ledley produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.

61:25

Emilio Izaguirre restarts play with the free kick.

61:25 Booking

Booking Booking for Mark Reynolds for unsporting behaviour.

61:16

Mark Reynolds challenges Kris Commons unfairly and gives away a free kick.

60:37 Substitution

Substitution Georgios Samaras comes on in place of Beram Kayal.

59:41

The assist for the goal came from Gavin Rae.

59:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Josh Magennis - Celtic 1 - 3 Aberdeen Josh Magennis grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 1-3 Aberdeen.

59:11

Corner taken by Johnny Hayes, Mikael Lustig manages to make a clearance.

58:08

The referee blows for offside. Fraser Forster takes the indirect free kick.

56:59

Kris Commons takes a shot. Jamie Langfield makes a save.

55:50

Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Save by Jamie Langfield.

55:05

Foul by Josh Magennis on Charlie Mulgrew, free kick awarded. Mikael Lustig takes the free kick.

53:55

Emilio Izaguirre crosses the ball, Kris Commons takes a shot. Save by Jamie Langfield.

52:05

Assist by Gavin Rae.

52:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Josh Magennis - Celtic 1 - 2 Aberdeen Goal scored by Josh Magennis from inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Celtic 1-2 Aberdeen.

49:22

The ball is delivered by Emilio Izaguirre, save by Jamie Langfield.

47:23

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the left by-line, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Russell Anderson by Mikael Lustig. Jamie Langfield takes the direct free kick.

47:14

The ball is crossed by Emilio Izaguirre, blocked by Johnny Hayes.

45:36

Unfair challenge on Johnny Hayes by Beram Kayal results in a free kick. Russell Anderson restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +0:43 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

44:02

Assist on the goal came from Josh Magennis.

44:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Scott Vernon - Celtic 1 - 1 Aberdeen Goal scored by Scott Vernon from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Celtic 1-1 Aberdeen.

43:28

Header by Scott Vernon from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

43:11

The ball is sent over by Niall McGinn, Kelvin Wilson makes a clearance.

42:23

The offside flag is raised against Joe Ledley. Indirect free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.

41:17

Anthony Stokes produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.

40:29

Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Save by Jamie Langfield.

39:15

Beram Kayal concedes a free kick for a foul on Niall McGinn. Johnny Hayes restarts play with the free kick.

37:21

Centre by Anthony Stokes, clearance by Mark Reynolds.

35:36

Anthony Stokes is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.

34:12

Johnny Hayes takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.

32:47

Effort on goal by Kris Commons from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

32:37

The ball is sent over by Kris Commons, Russell Anderson manages to make a clearance.

29:01

Shot from just outside the box by Beram Kayal misses to the right of the goal.

22:44

Short corner taken by Johnny Hayes.

20:26

A cross is delivered by Anthony Stokes.

19:56

Corner from right by-line taken by Johnny Hayes.

19:31

Johnny Hayes takes the outswinging corner, Efe Ambrose makes a clearance.

19:06

The official flags Kris Commons offside. Direct free kick taken by Mark Reynolds.

18:05

Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Vernon on Charlie Mulgrew. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

13:26

Beram Kayal challenges Stephen Hughes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Hughes.

12:17

Mark Reynolds gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Stokes. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

10:44

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Johnny Hayes.

7:13

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Charlie Mulgrew.

6:16

Foul by Johnny Hayes on Kris Commons, free kick awarded. Charlie Mulgrew shoots direct from the free kick.

5:09

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Niall McGinn by Emilio Izaguirre. Johnny Hayes produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Fraser Forster.

2:27

Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, clearance by Josh Magennis.

2:13

Kris Commons takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Russell Anderson.

0:07

Anthony Stokes provided the assist for the goal.

0:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Kris Commons - Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen Kris Commons fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen.

0:00

The match begins.

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