Yesterday at Pittodrie his team appeared determined to strangle it at birth.
It might be harsh to compare this Aberdeen effort to the false dawns of the past when a crowd of more that 20,000 should generally have been satisfied by this feisty encounter between two well-balanced sides.
However, in the final reckoning, goals towards the end of each half, a Kris Commons penalty and a goal from substitute James Forrest, saw the defending champions emphatically assert their authority, although Aberdeen were handicapped by the dismissal of Jamie Langfield, the goalkeeper being the guilty party in conceding the spot-kick.
Defeat for Celtic yesterday would have left them trailing Aberdeen by six points in mid-August and alarm bells might have been ringing in the Celtic camp metaphorically as well as literally.
The Parkhead side went straight to Aberdeen Airport after the match to begin the journey to Kazakhstan for Tuesday's Champions League qualifier against Shakhter Karagandy, an itinerary awkward enough without a fire alarm going off in the middle of Friday night at their team hotel.
The same happened last season but little did the prankster who set it off suspect that the disturbance would only fire up Celtic's players. "It is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence in Aberdeen," manager Lennon said. "It went on from about 1.30am until 1.45am and it was freezing outside. I think it was somebody playing a prank but it wasn't very nice for some of the residents.
"There were a couple of elderly people and people in wheelchairs who were a bit distraught with it all. It gets a bit tiresome but it does fire you up as well."
Scott Brown started despite his exertions for Scotland against England at Wembley in midweek and was joined by Georgios Samaras and Kris Commons, with Steven Mouyokolo taking the place of Kelvin Wilson and Virgil van Dijk making a late debut from the bench.
The Celtic manager wasn't the only one anticipating a strong challenge from Aberdeen this season as a packed Pittodrie fairly crackled despite the noon kick-off and chilly conditions. There was nothing to dampen that enthusiasm in the opening stages, with Calvin Zola putting himself about, young defenders Joe Shaughnessy and Michael Hector coping well at the back for the home side, and Jonny Hayes and Peter Pawlett looking dangerous, even if the final ball often dropped out of reach.
The closest thing to real chances came at the other end, with Langfield beating away Joe Ledley's low shot and defying Brown from close range.
However, just before half-time a clever Charlie Mulgrew pass and Samaras's elusive run gave the Greece international a yard of space behind Russell Anderson. In a flash Samaras manoeuvred the ball, albeit clumsily, beyond Langfield and the goalkeeper obliged with the merest touch to send the forward crashing down.
Langfield was dismissed and Nicky Weaver, a penalty hero in his previous life with Manchester City, was brought on, with Zola making way. But Aberdeen were soon a goal down as well as a man down, Commons striking his spot-kick low beneath the substitute goalkeeper's dive.
"Jamie definitely caught Samaras but the irony of it was that he [Samaras] had maybe overrun the ball," Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said. "There is nothing to say he was definitely going to get it on the other side if Jamie hadn't touched him. The referee made the right decision with the penalty kick, and you could possibly say with the red card as well. It affected us 100%, because before that there was nothing in it."
Samaras missed a chance to put Celtic on easy street when he volleyed over, while at the other end Fraser Forster beat away Niall McGinn's close-range header.
Brown, Ledley, and Celtic substitute Michael Lustig all went close before McGinn had another half-chance from Gregg Wylde's cross. But the visitors sealed the win with three minutes to go when Ledley released Forrest and he hared away to fire in a low finish, which deflected wickedly off Mark Reynolds on its way in.