Stephen Glass was “proud” of his players despite Leigh Griffiths’ stoppage-time goal extending Celtic’s unbeaten run against Aberdeen at Pittodrie to 11 games.
It also denied his side the win that would have secured European football next season and means they fall six points behind third-top Hibernian.
Lewis Ferguson’s close finish looked to have won it until Griffiths’ header.
“We asked them to put in a performance and I think they gave it,” Glass said.
“My biggest emotion is pride. The bulk of the game was defensive – we were very well drilled and organised, they were determined to stick to their tasks and probably should have scored a couple more goals.”
Celtic were wasteful in front of goal themselves and have now gone four away games without a win, but they extend their impressive record of having scored in 38 games at Pittodrie since 2001.
Hibs’ 2-1 win over fifth-placed Livingston earlier in the day meant Aberdeen had the chance to assure themselves of a place in the new Europa Conference League with a victory.
That will have to wait but will surely follow should they continue the form that leaves them unbeaten in four outings.
Glass got off to a winning start as manager as his new charges edged out Livingston on penalties after a 2-2 home draw in the Scottish Cup on Saturday, and he continued with the same attacking formation.
It worked well in the early stages against a Celtic side whose captain Scott Brown will be joining Glass as player-coach in the summer.
A Ferguson header had already forced a good save from Scott Bain by the time Niall McGinn’s cross was headed on by Andrew Considine and the midfielder prodded home.
Another Ferguson header and shot, both thwarted by Bain, sandwiched weak finishes from Edouard, while McGinn also fired wastefully wide.
Ferguson was a hero at the other end, heading a Ryan Christie effort off the line, but that was a signal for Celtic to pile on the pressure after the restart.
David Turnbull prodded an effort against the face of the crossbar, while Ferguson was equally wasteful as he found the outside of a post.
Former Celtic wing-back Hayes broke from midway through his own half, but with only Bain to beat, he ran out of steam and collapsed in a heap on the edge of the penalty box under pressure from Callum McGregor.
That proved to be a crucial miss and, with Aberdeen forced deeper into defence, substitute Griffiths met a Mohamed Elyounoussi cross to head in from close range and extend Celtic’s unbeaten run against Aberdeen to 14 games since May 2018.
Man of the match – Lewis Ferguson
What did we learn?
Aberdeen’s new manager looks keen for his side to build more from the back and Glass’ promise of more attacking flair certainly created plenty of chances against top-class opposition.
While they eventually ran out of steam, he will surely take positives from the game, even if the draw does not do much for their pursuit of third place.
Celtic under caretaker John Kennedy continue to look like a team in limbo as they wait for the board to appoint a successor to Neil Lennon.
Edouard looks a shadow of the striker who had big-name clubs eyeing him at the end of the season and, of course, it was his replacement, Griffiths, who saved a point for the visitors.
What they said
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: “Attacking-wise, we had opportunities to score goals. I feel that they were unfortunate, but I am really proud of our group of players.
“The frustration is that we lose a goal in the last minute, of course. But I think the work rate they put in and the way stood up to the task, we prevented Celtic from making real opportunities and. when we broke, we broke with speed and energy.”
Celtic interim manager John Kennedy: “We have big players with quality. I see them on a daily basis. But it’s in those moments, maybe having a wee bit of doubt and not being ruthless enough. The best players finish in the big moments, so that’s what they need to try and become.”
Aberdeen next host Dundee United in the Scottish Cup on Sunday (14:30 BST) live on BBC One Scotland before travelling to face Livingston in the Premiership on Saturday, 1 May (15:00).
Celtic have to wait until the following day to get their next bite at city rivals Rangers in the league at Ibrox (12:00).
- 40McCrorieSubstituted forRamseyat 15′minutes
- 10McGinnSubstituted forMacKenzieat 66′minutes
- 9HendrySubstituted forMcGeouchat 66′minutes
- 8BrownSubstituted forDembeleat 80′minutes
- 17ChristieSubstituted forRogicat 61′minutes
- 14TurnbullBooked at 85mins
- 22EdouardSubstituted forGriffithsat 61′minutes
Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 1.
Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Celtic 1.
Goal! Aberdeen 1, Celtic 1. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mohamed Elyounoussi with a cross.
Attempt missed. Stephen Welsh (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Karamoko Dembele following a corner.
Attempt missed. Karamoko Dembele (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Calvin Ramsey.
Greg Taylor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matthew Kennedy (Aberdeen).
David Turnbull (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by David Turnbull (Celtic).
Dylan McGeouch (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).
Calvin Ramsey (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Tommie Hoban.
Offside, Celtic. Callum McGregor tries a through ball, but Leigh Griffiths is caught offside.
Substitution, Celtic. Karamoko Dembele replaces Scott Brown.
Attempt missed. Scott Brown (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jonny Hayes.
Attempt blocked. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Greg Taylor.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Nir Bitton.