Aberdeen were beaten 3-0 by Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
The Dons ended with nine men after Dom Ball was sent off for two bookings in the first half and Lewis Ferguson received a straight red card midway through the second period.
Reds gaffer Derek McInnes was also sent off in the second half for reacting to a sectarian chant about him and his assistant Tony Docherty had been dismissed at half-time for comments made towards referee Craig Thomson.
The Reds made two changes to the side which beat Dundee 2-0 at Dens Park last weekend.
Captain Graeme Shinnie was suspended with 18-year-old Dean Campbell starting in midfielder and Niall McGinn missed out after snapping an ankle ligament in training, with Stevie May coming in.
Celtic almost created an opening in the first minute when Odsonne Edouard beat Scott McKenna to a long ball and fed Callum McGregor down the right, but thankfully for the Dons’ Andy Considine cleared the cutback.
In the fourth minute Jozo Simunovic was allowed to charge forward 30 yards past a static Aberdeen midfield and unleash a low left foot shot from 18 yards which Joe Lewis had to tip round the right post.
From the resulting corner Ryan Christie’s inswinging delivery from the right was flicked on and Simunovic scuffed wide from six yards.
Soon after former Aberdeen player Jonny Hayes skipped past Ball down the left, but his low cross found nobody in the middle of the box.
After that nervy start the men from the Granite City grew into the game as it became a battle in the tightly congested midfield.
Midway through the first half, James Forrest was correctly booked by ref Thomson for diving in the box as he tried to con the whistler into awarding a penalty.
Chances of note were at a premium, but on the half McGregor fizzed a 20-yard shot over for the Hoops after a prolonged spell of possession.
Aberdeen’s first decent opportunity was on 36 minutes when Greg Stewart combined with Ball down the right and the latter’s cross was met by Sam Cosgrove, who sent a volley wide from 14 yards.
But just second later the Dons’ gameplan was ripped up as Ball was sent off.
The Englishman jumped with Christie for a header, the Celtic player won the ball and Ball ended up heading Christie’s head.
Ref Thomson quickly flashed a second yellow card for Ball and then a red. Although the clash with Christie may have been worthy of a booking, his first in the 26th minute was incredibly harsh for a trip on Hayes when he barely touch the winger.
After five minutes of treatment Christie was stretchered off with Tom Rogic coming on, McInnes also made a change with Mikey Devlin coming on at right-back and May withdrawn.
Incredibly after the sending off the Reds almost scored as Stewart’s clipped ball from the left found Ferguson, but his header drifted narrowly wide.
But in the second minute of first half injury-time Aberdeen’s good work was undone as Celtic went ahead.
McGregor found Forrest, who turned away from Max Lowe and unleashed a left foot shot from 25 yards which whistled into the top left corner.
Moments later Lewis had to be alert to repel Forrest again after Edouard fed him on the right side of the box, but the Dons goalie saved with his foot.
Conceding just before the break was a bitter blow for Aberdeen, a man down and a goal down it was a big ask for the Dons to turn it around in the second half.
Lowe’s intervention prevented Celtic scoring a second goal. Hayes found McGregor, who ghosted into space down the left, and his cross-cum-shot was cleared by Lowe, who was almost on the goal line.
The Dons were hanging in, but their resistance was shattered just after the hour.
Mikael Lustig’s long ball was left Devlin who didn’t realise Hayes was behind him, the winger nipped in and Devlin tripped him.
Thomson had no choice but award a penalty and Edouard buried the spot-kick into the bottom left corner.
It was disappointing that an individual error had undone the Reds and extinguished hopes of a possible comeback.
It went from bad to worse for Aberdeen on 67 minutes when Ferguson was given a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Rogic 25 yards out.
Ferguson didn’t mean to catch the Australian, but it was a late challenge and was a red card offence.
Lustig lashed the resultant free-kick into the wall, but the ball broke back to the Swede who teed up Rogic to steer home a low left-footer from 25 yards.
It was painful to watch for the Red Army and in the 73rd minute McInnes was sent off, it seemed for a gesture at the Celtic supporters for a sectarian chant aimed at McInnes, with fourth official Nick Walsh appearing to report it to Thomson.
It then emerged that Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty had been sent off at half-time for comments made towards Thomson.
With the Dons down to nine players there were opportunities for Celtic to add more goals in the closing stages.
The best of which was with five minutes to play when Simunovic hooked a Lustig cross from the right wide on the volley, and Lewis acrobatically clawed away Edouard’s dipping shot from long range.
Aberdeen will now have to focus their efforts on securing a top-three finish in the Premiership and a Europa League qualifying spot.
The Red Army continued to sing until the final whistle, but this was a painful afternoon for the Dons.
Aberdeen: Joe Lewis, Dom Ball, Andy Considine, Scott McKenna, Max Lowe, Greg Stewart (Stephen Gleeson 69), Lewis Ferguson, Dean Campbell, Connor McLennan, Stevie May (Mikey Devlin 42), Sam Cosgrove (James Wilson 85).
Subs not used: Tomas Cerny, Greg Halford, Ethan Ross, Miko Virtanen.
Celtic: Scott Bain, Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic, Kristoffer Ajer, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, James Forrest (Scott Sinclair 74), Ryan Christie (Tom Rogic 42), Jonny Hayes (Timothy Weah 74), Odsonne Edouard.
Subs not used: Dorus de Vries, Jeremy Toljan, Olivier Ntcham, Filip Benkovic.