John Kennedy’s first game in interim charge of Celtic ended in victory as his side ran out 1-0 winners over Aberdeen at Celtic Park on Saturday afternoon.
Kennedy – who spent a decade at Celtic as a player – was put in temporary charge following Wednesday’s sacking of Neil Lennon.
It was a happy first day in the dugout for the new Celtic caretaker boss, as a deflected Odsonne Edouard strike inside the first 10 minutes saw the Hoops to all three points.
Celtic avoided a couple of early scares prior to taking the lead, with Aberdeen’s Ash Taylor rattling the cross bar with a header before forcing Scott Bain to superbly tip over with another headed effort.
However, with their first real foray forward eight minutes in, Celtic were ahead – and in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Ryan Christie fed Edouard on the edge of the Aberdeen box, and the forward’s strike deflected off the leg of Tommie Hoban past the helpless Joe Lewis in the Dons goal.
The goal gave Celtic a spring in their step, and 15 minutes later they could have doubled their advantage. Jonjoe Kenny picked out Patryk Klimala with a fabulous cross, but his close range effort drifted harmlessly wide.
Christie came close to finding the top corner and Klimala had the ball in the net, only to be penalised for a foul on Hoban in the build up.
Klimala was called to fulfil his defensive duties for Celtic in the second half as Taylor again came close for Aberdeen, the Dons’ defender seeing his header cleared off the line by the Celtic forward.
But the Bhoys held on to narrow the gap to 15 points behind Rangers at the Scottish Premiership summit, although they have now played a game more than their rivals. Rangers travel to Livingston on Wednesday, while Celtic are back in action with a trip to Dundee United next Sunday.