GEORGIOS SAMARAS described the winning goal as the most exciting of his career and he celebrated it that way, swirling his shirt above his head in jubilation.
If the pain of the defeat was etched on the faces of the Aberdeen contingent, there was no disguising the emotions of the Celtic players as they celebrated that winning goal and the unlikely fightback from 3-1 down.
Their manager lauded their character in coming back from the dead, while his opposite number Craig Brown admitted his side had been incapable of defending set pieces and coping with the aerial bombardment they were exposed to in the latter stages of the match.
He said that a draw would have felt like a bad result “so a loss is a very bad result”.
For Celtic, though, the victory was well-earned, with Samaras’ exquisite strike not merely the winner but the icing on the cake. “It was a great goal for the team,” said the striker. “We were 3-1 down with 25 minutes to go so to come back was something special. Well done to the boys. It was a great result.
“Nothing compares to this game. It was a special goal to score in the last seconds so I think you can show some of your emotions.”
But while happy with the goals scored by his side, Celtic boss Neil Lennon was far from pleased with the defensive lapses.
“We have to eradicate them quickly. They can’t expect others to go and score four at the other end,” said Lennon.
Yesterday they ultimately had the character and the players who could do that. Aberdeen are probably still wondering how.