Celtic 5-2 Aberdeen

Scott Brown and Kris Commons each scored twice as Celtic earned maximum points against Aberdeen in the meeting of the Scottish Premiership's top two.

The champions took the lead when captain Brown rifled a fine shot past Jamie Langfield, but they were pegged back when Niall McGinn levelled.

Brown netted again before the break and Antony Stokes fired Celtic's third.

And, despite Shaleum Logan netting a ferocious drive, Commons put the result beyond doubt with two late strikes.

Though Aberdeen failed to add to their points tally, they are now assured a Europa League qualifying berth next season because of Dundee United's draw in Inverness.

However, the defeat for Derek McInnes' men mean they go into the last two fixtures with Motherwell hot on their heels, with only a point between the two sides.

Celtic, unchanged from last week's 6-0 win over Inverness, went close early on when PFA Scotland player of the year Commons flashed a shot wide.

At the other end, McGinn also sent a shot the wrong side of the upright.

The hosts made the breakthrough when a neat turn from Brown inside the box gave him the chance to shoot, and his low effort beat Jamie Langfield at his near post.

Brown scores the first of his two goals in the 25th minute

Aberdeen equalised thanks to a dreadful pass-back from Adam Matthews. It presented McGinn with time and space in the box and the former Celtic player kept his composure to round Fraser Forster and score.

There was a blow for Aberdeen 10 minutes before half-time when an injury forced striker Adam Rooney from the field, Scott Vernon coming on.

A sharp one-two between Stokes and Commons led to the latter rifling a shot straight at Langfield.

But, just before half-time, Celtic took the lead again and it was Brown with his second of the match, the midfielder drilling a low shot home.

As the second half got under way Barry Robson tested Forster with a 25-yard drive, which the England international did well to parry.

But almost immediately after that Celtic went 3-1 into the lead. Some neat play from Stokes and Charlie Mulgrew inside the box - plus some hesitant Aberdeen defending - allowed Stokes the chance to drive the ball home from close range.

However, if there were any thoughts Aberdeen were out of this match they were blown out of the water by Logan. The defender waltzed forward and from 25 yards lashed a wonderful strike past Forster.

Some Commons magic almost restored the Celtic two-goal lead; he twisted and turned at the edge of the area before attempting an audacious chip but Langfield moved his feet well to get back and tip the ball to safety.

Aberdeen were then denied a penalty claim when Johnny Hayes nutmegged Efe Ambrose. The Nigerian defender appeared to trip the Dons winger but referee Iain Brines was not convinced, much to the dismay of the away support.

The visiting fans were even more downcast soon after as Celtic swept through the Dons defence and Commons was on hand to apply a left-foot finish.

Minutes later it was almost 5-2, but Mulgrew's fierce drive was batted away by Langfield.

Aberdeen kept pushing for a way back into the match and a swerving long-range fizzer from McGinn was punched over by Forster.

The giant Celtic keeper then got the slightest of touches to a long-range daisy-cutter from Willo Flood, which came back off the post.

But Neil Lennon's side did increase their lead and it was Commons again with his 30th goal of the season. He sprung the offside trap and lashed home a low effort to complete the scoring.

As It Stood

4Dundee Utd361610101958
5Inverness CT3615912-154
6St Johnstone3615714852
7St Mirren3610818-1838
9Partick Thistle3671415-2035
10Ross County369720-2034
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