Scott Sinclair completed his hat-trick amid a spell of four goals in the final seven minutes as Celtic ensured they will be top of the Scottish Premiership going into Saturday’s Rangers game.

Sinclair twice put Brendan Rodgers’ side in front from close range.

But Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove scored penalties in each half to level.

Substitute Odsonne Edouard chipped in Celtic’s third and set up Sinclair for a fourth, before Lewis Ferguson’s late consolation.

Five of the seven goals came in the final 14 minutes as Rodgers secured a fifth successive win at Pittodrie.

And his team will remain at the league’s summit regardless of the outcome of Rangers’ match against Hibernian, while Aberdeen could fall out of the top four if Kilmarnock avoid defeat at Motherwell.

Goals galore on Boxing Day

Sinclair had been the difference when the sides last met in the Premiership, before Ryan Christie netted the winner in this month’s League Cup final – and both players played a big part in the opening goal.

Christie’s chipped pass released Callum McGregor in behind Aberdeen’s defence and though his cross bounced off Dominic Ball, Sinclair was perfectly placed to profit.

It was from a similar move that the hosts pulled level. Niall McGinn got beyond Celtic’s defence to latch on to Shay Logan’s lofted pass and was taken late by Emilio Izaguirre after delivering a cross. May blasted the resulting spot-kick right down the middle.

Edouard, who had missed the weekend win over Dundee, took over from McGregor and the striker’s pass inside Andrew Considine found Forrest, whose cross was turned in by Sinclair.

But Aberdeen came back again with Graeme Shinnie going down after being closed down by Mikael Lustig, the defender penalised for a push, and Cosgrove confidently converted.

Edouard held off two defenders to lift the ball over Joe Lewis and then got to the bye-line to provide the pass for Sinclair’s tap into an empty net.

Celtic looked home and dry but there was to be a further twist as Ferguson netted from Connor McLennan’s cross and substitute James Wilson volleyed Aberdeen’s final chance over.

Odsonne Edouard scores

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 4Considine
  • 5McKenna
  • 3Shinnie
  • 21Ball
  • 19Ferguson
  • 27McLennan
  • 17MayBooked at 52minsSubstituted forWilsonat 76′minutes
  • 10McGinnBooked at 38minsSubstituted forWrightat 45′minutes
  • 16CosgroveBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 7Forrester
  • 8Gleeson
  • 9Wilson
  • 15Wright
  • 20Cerny
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 20Boyata
  • 32Benkovic
  • 3IzaguirreSubstituted forHayesat 45′minutes
  • 8Brown
  • 18Rogic
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forAjerat 89′minutes
  • 17Christie
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forEdouardat 70′minutes
  • 11SinclairBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 15Hayes
  • 21Ntcham
  • 22Edouard
  • 29Bain
  • 35Ajer
  • 56Ralston
  • 73Johnston
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
20,027

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home8
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Celtic 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Celtic 4.

Attempt missed. James Wilson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Booking

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

Booking

Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 3, Celtic 4. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Connor McLennan with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Tomas Rogic.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Kristoffer Ajer replaces James Forrest.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Celtic 4. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Odsonne Edouard.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Celtic 3. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

Delay in match Scott Brown (Celtic) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Filip Benkovic (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Celtic 2. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Penalty Aberdeen. Graeme Shinnie draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Mikael Lustig (Celtic) after a foul in the penalty area.

Foul by Jonny Hayes (Celtic).

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Filip Benkovic (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Wilson (Aberdeen).

Attempt missed. James Wilson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. James Wilson replaces Stevie May.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 1, Celtic 2. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Forrest with a cross.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Joe Lewis.

Attempt saved. Ryan Christie (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Ryan Christie (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Stevie May (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Odsonne Edouard replaces Callum McGregor.

Connor McLennan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Sinclair (Celtic).

Foul by Stevie May (Aberdeen).

Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Ryan Christie (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Stevie May (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

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