Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic manager Neil Lennon praised his side’s character following a battling 2-1 win away to Aberdeen at a windswept Pittodrie on Sunday that saw his reigning champions close in on a ninth successive Scottish title.

The Hoops took an early lead through Callum McGregor’s 10th-minute goal but the Dons were level well before half-time thanks to an equaliser from Ash Taylor.

Victory left runaway Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic 10 points ahead of Rangers, who have a game in hand, after their arch Glasgow rivals won 1-0 at home to Livingston later on Sunday in a match delayed 24 hours by a waterlogged pitch.

Celtic did not have things all in their own way in a match played in the fall-out from Storm Dennis and they had to wait until nine minutes from time for Kristoff Ajer’s winning goal.

“I’m thrilled,” said Northern Irishman Lennon. “It’s a massive win in treacherously difficult conditions to play football. All credit to the players who dug out a marvellous result for us.

The former Celtic midfielder added: “You can’t always play slick, quick football and we had to grind it out today. 

“We didn’t want to drop points obviously, but it was perhaps looking like we would. A point a Pittodrie is sometimes a decent result and in these conditions the game could have gone either way.

“We’ve a bit of character and resilience,” Lennon said. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, there’s a lot of football yet to play but in the context of the run that we’re on it’s a big win.”

Rangers, who have a game in hand over Celtic, kept their flagging title bid alive after the weather relented sufficiently at a windswept Ibrox for their game with Livingston to go ahead.

Scott Arfield scored the only goal of the match just shy of the hour mark when he shot between the legs of Livingston goalkeeper Ryan Schofield after the 20-year-old had made three good saves.

It was a much needed win for Steven Gerrard’s side following Rangers’ 2-1 loss away to Kilmarnock in midweek.