Celtic struck twice in added time through Derk Boerrigter and Kris Commons to beat Aberdeen in an enthralling Scottish Premiership encounter.
The latter player had earlier opened the scoring in the 35th minute before Niall McGinn levelled against his former club in the dying moments of the first half. Georgios Samaras and McGinn both hit the woodwork as the sides swapped chances in the second half before Boerrigter, a substitute for Teemu Pukki, prodded home in the first minute of added time after Jamie Langfield parried Virgil van Dijk’s header.
The visitors were stunned again moments later when Commons rammed the ball in from close range to extend the leaders’ unbeaten league run to 13 games.
Aberdeen have not won in the league at Parkhead since 2004 and they will feel aggrieved they did not leave Glasgow with a point.
The game started at high speed with the home side looking to make a quick breakthrough. In the fifth minute, Emilio Izaguirre found Scott Brown with a cross to the back post but Scotland’s captain failed to make proper contact.
Samaras had an effort blocked by Langfield before the Aberdeen goalkeeper saved a Pukki header from close range.
Commons’ goal came when Langfield punched clear only to see it fall straight to the former Derby and Nottingham Forest midfielder, who fired back into an empty net.
The goal looked to be enough to give the home side the interval lead but the Dons drew level in added time. Jonny Hayes’ corner was headed back into the box by Andrew Considine, with Calvin Zola beating Fraser Forster to flick the ball on and McGinn bundling it over the line from a yard out.
As the game opened up after the interval, Celtic’s midfielder Charlie Mulgrew sent Samaras through the middle of an exposed Dons defence but the Greece striker’s shot struck the post before Langfield made a fine save from Commons’ angled drive. Celtic Park was bracing itself for a traditional late onslaught when Joe Shaughnessy headed over from an unmarked position with nine minutes to go. In the final stages, McGinn drove a shot off the post after a mistake by Izaguirre.
But, following Mulgrew’s last-ditch corner, Boerrigter bundled home before Commons gave Celtic an added bonus ahead of the Champions’ League clash against Milan on Tuesday with almost the last kick of the game. “We are unbeaten in 13 games which is a brilliant start to the season,” said Lennon. “We will be very strong coming into the Milan game.”
Celtic (4-4-2): Forster; Fisher (Lustig, 73), Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Mulgrew, Brown, Ledley (Baldé, 80), Commons; Pukki (Boerrigter, 64), Samaras.
Aberdeen (4-2-3-1): Langfield, Shaughnessy (Vernon, 90), Anderson, Considine, Reynolds; Hector, Jack; Hayes (Wylde, 72), Pawlett, McGinn; Zola (Magennis, 72).
Referee: Craig Thomson.