Scott Sinclair may not score too many hat-tricks.

He’ll certainly not score too many hat-tricks and find himself being overshadowed by a guy who came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of a game.

As cameo roles go, Odsonne Edouard couldn’t have scripted it any better with one exquisite finish , a secondary assist and a key role in setting up another as Celtic held Aberdeen at arms length in Pittodrie.

The French striker entered the fray with the scores tied in what had at times been a frustrating afternoon for Brendan Rodgers’ side and proved himself pivotal to the manner in which Celtic headed into Saturday’s game at Ibrox still on top of the table.

In a game which produced five goals in the final pulsating 14 minutes, it was Sinclair who claimed the signed match ball but Edouard who underlined his class.

Celtic’s record signing – that £9m outlay looked worth every penny yesterday afternoon – had started the game on the bench due to an abductor injury sustained in last week’s 3-0 win over Motherwell but it was his touch and tenchnique which did not just calm Celtic in a game where they threatened to beat themselves but was the difference between the sides.

Having taken the lead with just six minutes on the clock when Sinclair netted the first of his trio, all the early signs pointed to Celtic easing their way through this trip. But midway through the opening period Niall McGinn skipped in behind Emilio Izaguirre before being tripped by the full-back to give Aberdeen a key back into the game.

Stevie May converted the spot-kick – there would be a more contentious one to go the way of Aberdeen in the second period when Graeme Shinnine took a dive in the box – and that was the way the scoreline remained until the latter stages.

In between times there was all sorts at play.

McGinn could have walked for a crude lunge on Ryan Christie, Dedryck Boyata and Craig Gordon were ill at ease with the ball at their feet as they frequented played themselves into trouble and Callum McGregor looked, perhaps inevitably given the volume of games he has played, out on his feet at times.

James Forrest went on to play a critical hand in Edouard’s winner and Sinclair’s second but for large parts of the game was frustrated as Aberdeen put the shackles on Celtic’s creative players. To Forrest’s credit his movement and passing was a problem for Aberdeen, particularly in the second period as he proved complicit in their undoing as he set up Celtic’s third and fourth goals of the day.

It was Edouard, though, who stole the show.

The Frenchman still looked to be moving a little gingerly but physically he was too much for Aberdeen to cope with. Sinclair’s second goal looked to have given Celtic the points to take on the journey back to Glasgow but Shinnie’s dying swan act that gifted Aberdeen a second penalty – which Sam Cosgrove dispatched – pegged Rodgers’ side back for a second time.

Which is where Edouard turned the screw, with Rodgers and McInnes unanimous in applauding the quality of the striker.

“I did think the introduction of Edouard in the dying embers of the game, when defenders are tired having worked all the game and a £10m striker comes on and imposes himself physically with his running power and freshness and strength I think that paid dividends for them and you have to applaud Celtic for their attacking intent in that last wee bit,” said the Aberdeen manager. “Edouard got the break but what a finish, the composure when there is all that hurry-scurry going about him. You have to applaud that finish.” Rodgers, too, was left purring over the 20-year-old.

“Young Odsonne also coming into the game for that last period also made a big difference in relation to his penetration in behind," said the Celtic manager.

“His first goal was brilliant. To score with that composure and that poise. It’s a brilliant finish to dink the keeper and then he had the speed and power to square for Scotty’s hat-trick."

For all that Aberdeen’s second goal was a poor call from Willie Collum, this is only the third domestic occasion that the Parkhead side have lost more than three goals domestically under Rodgers. Boyata recovered his composure in the second period but there was a sloppiness about his play in the early stages that jarred with the manner of the majority of his performances this season.

Sinclair’s third and Celtic’s fourth owed much to the power and strength of Edouard but there was still time for Aberdeen to unnerve their visitors again. It was Lewis Ferguson who netted as the game drew to a close but Celtic were able to see the game out for what could be a significant day in the Championship race.

With Rangers dropping points to Hibs at Ibrox it means that Rodgers’ side now head to Ibrox on Saturday with a three-point lead at the top of the table and a game in hand still to play.

One final 90 minute performance will enable Celtic to tick another box as they sign off for the year.