Aberdeen need a colossal second-half showing to salvage their Betfred Cup final hopes as Celtic lead 2-0.
Tom Rogic and James Forrest were the scorers for the Hoops as the Dons struggled to fashion real opportunities.
The Glasgow club are now just 45 minutes from their 100th major trophy while Derek McInnes cut a frustrated figure on the sideline.
The Aberdeen boss made one change to the team that dispatched Inverness 3-1 last week, opting to shore up his defence.
Centre-back Ash Taylor came in for forward Jayden Stockley as Aberdeen showed respect to the Hoops’ attacking power.
The game started off at a frenzied pace, with both sets of support creating an electric atmosphere.
Celtic started to get the ball down and play it around with confidence.
After 10 minutes, Aberdeen had just 13% of the possession as Brendan Rodgers’ side monopolised the ball.
Moussa Dembele almost improved his Betfred Cup record just three minutes later with the game’s first real chance.
Stuart Armstrong freed Emilio Izaguirre and the Honduran’s fantastic cross was met by the former Fulham forward, but Joe Lewis produced a great save to keep the header out.
James Maddison showed his quality with a series of delightful touches and won a free-kick in a dangerous area but Kenny McLean’s effort hit the wall.
After 16 minutes, Celtic showed their clinical edge and took the lead through the goalscorer when the two met at Pittodrie last month, Rogic.
The Australian cut in from the right and his superb shot found the bottom-left corner, leaving Joe Lewis with no chance.
Aberdeen almost had an immediate response as James Maddison’s floated free-kick was headed on goal by Andrew Considine, drawing a good save from Craig Gordon.
The game ebbed and flowed with both sides looking to break with pace but the execution was poor, with little being created.
Forrest’s blocked shot from outside the box on 28 minutes was the closest either team came within the
McInnes was infuriated by a series of physical challenges by Celtic captain Scott Brown, who was a destroyer in the midfield.
Celtic almost extended their advantage as Forrest narrowly fired wide just after the half-hour.
But he made no mistake on 37 minutes as he was able to fire home from the right-side of the box after Anthony O’Connor backed off.
No further real opportunities followed as Celtic looked to solidify their position before the break.
Aberdeen have 45 minutes to improve their attacking threat if they are to stand any chance of a comeback.