Celtic win proved gulf between champions and Aberdeen - Derek McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes and Celtic's Brendan Rodgers
Derek McInnes' side were again second best to Brendan Rodgers'

Derek McInnes says Celtic's 3-0 win over Aberdeen was evidence of the gulf between the Scottish Premiership leaders and his second-placed side.

And he believes there was little more he could do tactically to counter Brendan Rodgers' side when on form.

"We tried to be brave with our selection - two strikers," he said.

"But, you know what, I can rack my brains for what system, what personnel - Celtic, when they are in that mood, will win the game."

Kieran Tierney's 13th-minute goal put Celtic in control and Moussa Dembele added two more either side of the break as the visitors stretched their unbeaten domestic run to 61 games and moved three points clear at the top of the table.

"There's basic parts of the game we didn't do well enough, but there's got to be an honesty - when Celtic play like that, they can do that to any team domestically," Dons manager McInnes told BBC Scotland.

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Scottish Premiership highlights: Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic

"Even though we're trying to be competitive with them and will continue to try to be competitive, the gulf is huge in terms of what they can do and bring to the club."

McInnes was unable to field Ryan Christie, the midfielder on a season-long loan, against his parent club and he pointed out that Jonny Hayes, bought from Aberdeen by Celtic this summer, was a substitute at Pittodrie.

"They take my best player from last season," he said. "My best player this season is a Celtic player and we can't play him tonight.

"And our fight, as much as we want it to be with Celtic, is with the rest of the teams and we'll be ready to go again on Saturday.

"We can learn from tonight. There will be a bit of soul-searching from myself, but I've asked my players to forget about it and be ready for Saturday."

McInnes admitted that it looked like his players had stood off their opponents.

"Celtic were very good from the first minute to the last minute," he said.

"I thought their movement ahead of the ball gave us real difficulties.

Celtic's Scott Brown, Jonny Hayes and Moussa Dembele celebrate
Former Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes (centre) was a Celtic substitute

"They went with that extra midfielder and, in hindsight, we could have maybe done something similar.

"I know it looks to supporters that we need to be more aggressive, but we tried to be.

"We just expect a bit more of ourselves in terms of the goals we lose and, when we lose those types of goals, you can see we lose confidence.

"Celtic made it difficult and it was a tough night, a tough watch."

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for his team.

"A very good performance, an outstanding display against obviously a very good team," he concluded.

"To come and play with that composure and the quality in our game was very pleasing.

"I said we need to be faster in our play and I thought the speed of our game was very good.

Rodgers played down the significance of the victory ahead of next week's Champions League match against Bayern Munich, pointing out that they had a hard game ahead on Saturday against Kilmarnock to think about first.

However, he added: "You gain great confidence from performing like that in the big games.

"I said ahead of the game that it have been one of the things for me over the 16 months - the performance level in terms of the big games.

"Another big game, another great victory for us."

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