The galling drought continues as Aberdeen registered the ignominy of setting a new club record for blanks drawn in front of goal in their 1-0 loss at Celtic Park.
For the first time in the club’s proud 118-year history, the Dons have failed to score in six games.
A record of just one win in the last 10 games makes for a brutal read – one that will pile the pressure further on Derek McInnes.
The current slump raised speculation on McInnes’s future to the extent chairman Dave Cormack and the board were compelled to publicly back him to quash rumours.
That pressure on McInnes to turn it around is mounting with each game they do not win.
Kilmarnock at Pittodrie on Saturday is a must-win.
The Celtic clash could have been a battle for a Champions League qualification spot and Premiership runners-up finish.
Instead, it was a failed fight to prevent setting an unwanted record.
However, the performance after a dismal opening first half at least offers light at the end of the tunnel.
In the second period, the visitors put pressure on the Hoops, with 27.5% of the action in Celtic’s third, compared to 23.7% around the Reds’ area.
The Dons showed they are up for the fight to save the season and to take the heat off manager McInnes.
In the end, they deserved at least a point from this one.
But battling performances are not enough. Aberdeen need wins and need them quickly.
Time is rapidly running out on their bid to save the season and leapfrog Hibernian to finish third.
In a season where Celtic faltered badly with just one win from six in January, the Reds should have capitalised to push for second.
Instea,d they suffered a tailspin in form.
Celtic, with this their fifth straight win, have come out of their slump – Aberdeen have not.
Kamberi looks likely man to end drought
When the goal drought eventually ends, it will most likely come via loan striker Florian Kamberi, who in particular looked dangerous.
The St Gallen striker produced intelligent play, good movement, hit the post and forced some saves.
He had the most shots of any player in red, with four efforts – with one of those saved and another blocked.
Strike partner Fraser Hornby – who won 11 aerial duels during his time on the pitch – managed two shots.
Celtic dominated the early possession, but it was Aberdeen who forced the first clear chance.
Dean Campbell dispossessed Ryan Christie before feeding Kamberi with a short pass.
Kamberi raced beyond Stephen Welsh and powered at goal before unleashing a 20-yard shot that was straight at Scott Bain.
Then, in the 40th minute, Kamberi collected a pass from McCrorie before unleashing a right-footed shot that smashed off the post.
It was unlucky as Bain was well beaten.
Again Kamberi came close in the 48th minute when he met a Lewis Ferguson free-kick, but his glancing header flew just wide.
Dons boss McInnes was given the green light to sign three loan strikers on transfer deadline day – Kamberi (St Gallen), Hornby (Stade de Reims) and Callum Hendry (St Johnstone) – in a bid to solve a glaring attacking problem.
None of the three had regular game-time for their parent clubs in months, nor had they scored.
The concern is mounting that by the time one of them hits scoring form, if at all, it could be too late.
The Dons have used seven different strikers in the hunt for an elusive goal in the barren scoring streak.
Prior to Kamberi, Hornby and fellow loanee Callum Hendry, McInnes used the now-sold Sam Cosgrove, released Curtis Main, loaned-out Bruce Anderson and Connor McLennan up front.
Defensive stats as miserable as attacking ones
Aberdeen have now lost 28 of their last 30 away league games at Celtic – that does not bode well for the return to Parkhead a week on Saturday.
Aberdeen have registered just four clean sheets in the last 106 games against Celtic.
It is a shocking statistic spanning two decades. Chances of a fifth clean sheet were blown away by shocking defending.
Celtic went ahead in the 14th minute through slack pressing from Aberdeen, with David Turnbull given the freedom of the park to score.
Callum McGregor slid a pass to Turnbull, who was allowed to move forward and unleash a 25-yard drive that flew into Joe Lewis’ bottom-right corner.
He should have been closed down by the midfield.
🔴 ⚪️ Aberdeen had 0 'big chance' moments, according to Opta, in last night's 1-0 defeat to Celtic. A club-record sixth consecutive match without a goal.
— EveningExpress Sport (@ee_sport) February 18, 2021