Commons helps Celtic down Aberdeen

Kris Commons scored 11 minutes from time to help Celtic begin its title defense with a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen at Celtic Park on Saturday.

It was a lackluster display from the champions, who may not have come away with three points had it not been for Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield's howler that gifted Celtic the win.

Langfield enjoyed an impressive outing at Parkhead until the 79th minute when he failed to parry Commons' speculative shot from distance. The ball went right through his hands and squeaked into the back of the net at the near post.

Celtic now faces another stern test with the second leg of its Champions League qualifier against HJK Helsinki slated for Wednesday. Its next Scottish Premier League fixture is August 18 against Ross County.

Aberdeen also returns to action against Ross County, taking on the promoted side August 11.

Hearts moved to the top of the SPL table on goal differential, earning a 2-0 victory over 10-man St. Johnstone on Saturday thanks to a first-half penalty from John Sutton and a late insurance goal from David Templeton.

Also on Saturday, Darren McGregor scored a late equalizer to help St. Mirren claim a point in a 2-2 draw with Inverness, while Kilmarnock and Ross County played to 0-0 draws with Dundee and Motherwell, respectively.