Brendan Rodgers hailed his Celtic players for what he describes as the “incredible” achievement of reaching 100 points in the Scottish Premiership this season after their 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Three goals in the first 11 minutes from Dedryck Boyata, Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths saw the champions stretch their unbeaten run in domestic football this season to 44 games. Celtic, who are also now just one short of 100 league goals for the campaign, remain on course to break their own record of 103 points set by Martin O’Neill’s side in 2002.
“It’s an incredible achievement,” said Rodgers. “Our targets going into the game tonight were ‘Could we get 100 points and could we get 100 goals?’
“The way we started by getting three, I thought we might get the four goals we needed. One of our targets in pre-season was to get 100-plus goals so hopefully we can go on and achieve that in the final two league games.
“To get 100 points with two games remaining shows the level, the quality and, most of all, the focus of the team. I think people are waiting for the game where we go soft and lose our focus. But that’s not the case. We are preparing every single day for every single game, to train the best we can and win.
“It was a brilliant win for us. It’s a tough place to come but we had a great start to the game. We scored three very good goals and looked a real threat any time we went forward and broke their defensive line.
“The context of the game changed a little bit when they got it to 3-1. But I’m really, really proud of our team tonight because we had to withstand it against a team who went very direct. There was no sequence of passes, it was from the keeper or back four, everything direct or long ball.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was upset by referee Steven McLean’s refusal to give his side a penalty early in the second half when Graeme Shinnie went down under Craig Gordon’s challenge.
“It was ridiculous,” said McInnes. “It was a penalty kick every day of the week. It’s a foul every day of the week in any other area of the pitch. Gordon’s hesitant and Shinnie’s managed to get a touch and Gordon clatters into him.
“It’s a big decision and we needed a big referee to give it and we didn’t get it. At that time we could have cranked it up even more.”
Rodgers had some sympathy with McInnes’ viewpoint but ultimately backed McLean’s call.
“I can see both sides,” said Rodgers. “If you are Derek, you want it. Craig thought he got a touch on it and that it should be a corner.”