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Before Wednesday night, the Scottish Premiership table would have told you there was very little to separate Celtic and Aberdeen after nine matches.

However, as their clash at the Pittodrie showed, the two are miles apart in terms of quality, tactical ingenuity and class.

Celtic dominated Aberdeen on Wednesday. They won 3-0 but, truth be told, it could have been much more. Brendan Rodgers will be casting his greediness aside, though, as he knows how impressive a performance this was from his players.

Sweeping aside their most realistic title challengers in such a fashion, it's extremely difficult to imagine Derek McInnes' men stopping the Hoops' charge towards a seventh successive league title.

The reality is nobody can stop this Celtic side.

Regardless of the impressive work McInnes has done at Aberdeen, the talent and quality Rodgers has at his disposal is too vast for anyone to challenge Celtic's supremacy. It won't last forever, but Celtic's hold on the Scottish league title shows no signs of loosening any time soon.


Their performance on Wednesday was an incontrovertible demonstration of that superiority as they stretched their unbeaten domestic sequence to an astonishing 61 games. If they avoid defeat at home to struggling Kilmarnock on Saturday they will equal a 100-year British record set by Willie Maley's Celtic between 1915 and 1917.

It's not hyperbole to say that few teams since then have matched this Celtic side's dominance and winning mentality.

Moussa Dembélé struck twice after Kieran Tierney's smashing opener to seal the points in emphatic fashion against The Dons. They may be Celtic's closest challengers mathematically, but not even they could lay a glove on the reigning champions – and newspaper coverage of the match very much reflected that.

The Guardian called it a ‘stroll', The Herald referred to the victory as ‘easy', while The Scotsman said Celtic ‘cruised to a comprehensive win.' There was no case of a flattering scoreline here.

McInnes, always refreshingly forthright in his post-match assessments, made no bones about the current state of play in Scotland.

“There are 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,” he said via BBC Scotland.

His counterpart, Rodgers, was particularly effusive about his team's display. “To play at that level and that tactical idea of the game and to see Scottish players play with that quality and understanding was pleasing.

“We should have scored more but how we defended and how we pressed, it was a wonderful demonstration of football,” he said via Celtic's official website.

Not only was it wonderful, it was more than any other team in Scotland are capable of producing.

However, while it's easy to focus on Celtic's ruthlessness, Aberdeen simply didn't do enough to validate their lofty position in the table. After going a goal down to Tierney's superb strike in the 13th-minute, Aberdeen could only muster a feeble response.

They were flat, pedestrian and hopelessly chased Celtic about the pitch as the Hoops controlled possession. Adam Rooney trudged around anonymously up front for 59 minutes before being substituted – the service to him, admittedly, was poor.

But the Dons, playing at home, rarely troubled Craig Gordon, managing only two shots on target. They clearly missed Ryan Christie in midfield, and there was almost a sense of cruelty that he was ineligible to play against his parent club as he was unlikely to have made much of a difference in terms of the outcome.


Regardless of the personnel, Aberdeen supporters would have been bitterly disappointed at the failure to unnerve a makeshift Celtic defence that had conceded five goals in the previous two games (three against Bayern Munich and two against Hibernian).

It was also painful for McInnes to look to the Celtic bench and see Jonny Hayes, his best player from last season. That was a telling barometer of the squad Rodgers has available to him at Celtic Park. He was able to leave Scott Sinclair, Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and Hayes on the bench without ever really needing them.

Celtic are negotiating a bruising and chaotic fixture. By the end of the month, they will have faced Bayern twice as well as three Premiership games and a League Cup semi-final. Next month will hardly be less taxing, with five games including a trip to face Paris Saint-Germain and a double-header against Motherwell, one of which is the League Cup final.

But Rodgers is the only manager in Scotland with the squad to confront such a programme. Considering the energy, enthusiasm and ruthlessness with which they sliced through the Aberdeen defence on Wednesday, it's safe to say they are showing little signs of wear and tear.

And while Celtic were untouchable on the night, this result has wider implications for the so-called title race. For this match highlighted Celtic's undeniable winning mentality. They showed a mettle to survive a scare against Hibs to reach the League Cup final but were nerveless against The Dons, showing a heightened understanding of how to approach the biggest games.

When Celtic sealed a 1-0 win away at Aberdeen in October last year, it was also the tenth game of the season and, while the Hoops were already nine points clear by this point in the last campaign, few would doubt them opening up a similar gap in the weeks to come.

Kilmarnock would have been delighted to get a point at Ibrox midweek, but they will not be looking forward to their quick return to Glasgow when they face a rampant Celtic on Saturday.

McInnes said it best. The gulf between Celtic and the rest of the Scottish league is alarming, but it will only stay that way if they continue to play like this.