A horror first half saw Aberdeen lose 4-0 to Celtic in the Premiership at Pittodrie.
The defeat leaves the Dons fifth in the table after they conceded all four goals in a dismal opening 45 minutes against the champions.
Hopes had been high the Reds season was on the up after the 3-0 win against in-form Motherwell at Fir Park last weekend, but they were disjointed and torn apart.
Going into the lunchtime kick-off – the first meeting of the sides this term – Aberdeen hadn’t beat the Hoops since the final day of the 2017/18 season (1-0 at Parkhead).
For a Pittodrie Reds victory, you would have had to go all the way back to February 2016, where Jonny Hayes, on the bench for Neil Lennon yesterday, and Simon Church secured a 2-1 win.
The visitors had won six Granite City league clashes on the spin since then.
Derek McInnes made one change, with James Wilson out for Connor McLennan. Defenders Zak Vyner and Greg Leigh were retained in midfield.
Celtic were without suspended former Dons loanee Ryan Christie, who equalised against Lazio in the Europa League during the week, and Jeremie Frimpong came in at right-back for Hatem Abd Elhamed.
Both teams started brightly, with Sam Cosgrove getting a lot of attention from the Hoops defence early on.
However, it was the visitors who scored first and it couldn’t have been easier, with the Dons parting like the Red Sea to allow Odsonne Edouard a run and finish into Joe Lewis’ bottom left corner.
Four minutes later Celtic had another, with Niall McGinn beaten to the ball by Frimpong.
The defender played it to Edouard in the Aberdeen area and the striker’s return pass was initially hit towards goal by Shay Logan.
Lewis blocked this unintentional shot, but Frimpong was there to turn the loose ball home.
Aberdeen steadied themselves a bit, but needed a goal back to get the crowd going.
Andy Considine was booked after sliding in on Mohamed Elyounoussi in the 28th minute.
With half an hour played, Boli Bolingoli had to head a dangerous Jon Gallagher cross behind in a fleeting moment of promise for the Dons.
However, it was 3-0 on 37 minutes, a straight ball through from Tom Rogic finding Elyounoussi on the edge on the Dons box as the home defence stood rooted to the spot.
The winger’s back was to goal, but James Forrest took the ball off of him at speed to finish the move and the game as a contest.
Aberdeen’s defending was too slow, with the visitors were allowed too much room time and again to knock the ball around and through them.
They couldn’t even make it in for the break without conceding again, with Elyounoussi outmuscling Mikey Devlin to a Tom Rogic cross at the front post before turning to volley into the far corner past Lewis.
Celtic were clinical, but it was too easy for them to get at the Dons.
At half-time, the ineffectual McLennan was hooked as Craig Bryson was sent on to add experience to the midfield. Wilson also came on for McGinn.
However, the visitors continued to dominate, with Edouard sending a free-kick just over not long after play had resumed.
On 65 minutes, another Edouard free-kick was tipped round the right post by Lewis.
As you’d imagine, though, the second half was a non-event, with Celtic content to prod the more organised Reds.
Leigh, pushed into an attacking role, headed over – the home team’s first effort at goal – with less than 20 minutes to play, while Frimpong blazed over Lewis’ goal when he found space on the right of the box.
By full-time, many of the 15,000 or so inside Pittodrie had left.
McInnes and his team will hope – after a 5-0 loss at Ibrox and League Cup exit – the approaching games including Hamilton, Kilmarnock, Ross County and St Johnstone – can see Aberdeen restore stability of selection and results to put themselves in the hunt for Europe.