Celtic sprang out of the traps in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League race with a commanding opening-day 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Two goals from Aiden McGeady and a Scott McDonald strike had the rampant Hoops in an unassailable position by the interval.
Dons midfielder Sone Aluko pulled a goal back after the break but there was never any danger of a comeback as the visitors got the boost they wanted ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash against Arsenal at Parkhead.
However, Celtic's win must be taken in the context of an abject first-half display by Aberdeen. The game was over by half-time and the shocked Aberdeen fans were not slow to voice their discontent. Rarely could Celtic have dominated a first 45 minutes so much at Pittodrie as they did on this, the opening day of the season.
In the 28th minute the visitors took the lead through McGeady, although there was an element of luck about the goal. As Celtic broke with purpose, the Republic of Ireland player fed Shaun Maloney who in turn fed Marc-Antoine Fortune on the left side of the box. His angled shot was blocked by Jamie Langfield but it rebounded off the Frenchman and looped into the six-yard box where McGeady, who had continued his run, bundled the ball over the line.
McGhee replaced defender Stuart Duff with Darren Mackie in the 38th minute in what appeared to be act of mercy. But it only precipitated a second goal from McGeady three minutes from the break and this time it was a goal of quality, the midfielder curling in a delightful shot from 20 yards after taking an Andreas Hinkel pass.
McGhee's side were in meltdown and there was time for Celtic to grab a third, when Foster failed to clear a Fortune cross and McDonald gleefully slammed the ball in from around 10 yards.
The Parkhead side continued their dominance after the break, with the pace and urgency that had characterised their first-half performance. In the 56th minute Fortune should have scored his first Celtic goal since his move from Nancy in the summer when Hinkel, linked with Hull, set the ball up at the back post with a perfect cross but the Frenchman headed wide.
In the 61st minute, and out of the blue, Aberdeen were offered a glimmer of hope when Aluko reduced the deficit. Substitute Michael Paton, on for Chris Maguire, sent in a cross which was laid off by Gary McDonald and Aluko controlled the ball in textbook fashion on his chest before sending a dipping volley from 16 yards over Artur Boruc.
Any chance of a comeback, however, quickly dissipated as Celtic regained control to secure a comfortable win.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms