Celtic regained the top slot in the Scottish Premier League with a hard-fought win at home to Dundee United.

Gary Hooper drove the hosts into the lead in the 12th minute after Anthony Stokes split the United defence.

Midfielder Wanyama doubled the advantage five minutes later when he headed an Emilio Izaguirre cross.

Five minutes after the break, John Rankin fired in an unstoppable strike, but Celtic held out to jump two points clear at the top of the table.

Hooper was one of five changes made by Neil Lennon, with Fraser Forster, Adam Matthews, Thomas Rogne and Wanyama all in.

For the Tannadice side, defender Robbie Neilson replaced Stuart Armstrong, who started as a substitute.

In the eighth minute Forster had to make a save when United defender Garry Kenneth drove from 12 yards after Gary Mackay-Steven's cross from the left found its way to the back post.

However, United soon found themselves two goals down in the space of five minutes.

In the 12th minute Hooper drove the home side into the lead after a swift Celtic break all too easily cut open the Tannadice defence.

The Celtic striker, subject of two rejected bids so far from Southampton, ran on to an incisive pass from strike partner Stokes before sending a right-footed shot past Dusan Pernis from 14 yards.

Then, in the 17th minute, midfielder Wanyama rose highest in the United defence following a short corner between Georgios Samaras and Izaguirre, to head the latter's cross past Pernis.

United were racking up the corners, which hinted at danger, but the Celtic defence stood firm.

The hosts appeared to believe the points were already in the bag as they coasted towards the break, albeit still well in control.

In the 41st minute a decent move involving Johnny Russell, Rankin and Mackay-Steven ended with skipper Jon Daly sending a drive from 25 yards just past Forster's left-hand post.

Rogne then headed Charlie Mulgrew's inswinging corner from the right past the far post, before Pernis made a good save from Stokes' ferocious right-footed angled drive at the expense of a corner which came to nothing.

Shortly after the interval, Rankin fired United back into the game with one of his trademark squigglers that skidded in off the inside of the post with Celtic keeper Forster at full stretch.

Moments later, Daly's header was palmed away by Forster as United pushed to equalise.

Celtic soon found the tables turning as United regained some composure and sensed a chance to take something from the match.

Mackay-Steven's long range shot in the 70th minute could have levelled the scores, but it sailed over Forster's crossbar.

At the other end, a Samaras diving header landed straight in the arms of Pernis as the hosts sought to put the game beyond United.

Hooper fired a late free-kick into the Dundee United wall in the dying moments of the match, then Ki Sung-Yeung was too clever for his own good when bearing down on goal and United defender Kenneth was on-hand to clear the danger.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 03 Izaguirre (Commons - 78' )
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 25 Rogne
  • 02 Matthews
  • 08 Brown
  • 16 Ledley
  • 67 Wanyama
  • 09 Samaras
  • 10 Stokes (Ki Sung-Yeung - 65' )
  • 88 Hooper

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 06 Wilson
  • 11 Cha Du-Ri
  • 18 Ki Sung-Yeung
  • 20 McCourt
  • 15 Commons
  • 28 Keatings

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Pernis
  • 02 Dillon Booked
  • 03 Dixon (Douglas - 64' )
  • 05 Kenneth
  • 26 Neilson
  • 06 Flood (Armstrong - 46' )
  • 08 Robertson
  • 11 Rankin Booked
  • 17 Mackay-Steven (Swanson - 77' )
  • 09 Daly
  • 15 Russell

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 14 Douglas
  • 07 Ryan
  • 10 Swanson
  • 16 Armstrong
  • 19 Dalla Valle
  • 22 Dow
Ref: Winter
Att: 50,139

Match Stats

Shots

11 5

On target

8 3

Corners

7 8

Fouls

3 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:08 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +1:30

Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

90:00 +1:30 Booking

Booking Sean Dillon is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:22

Sean Dillon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Hooper.

90:00 +1:10

Centre by Barry Douglas, Victor Wanyama makes a clearance.

90:00 +0:32

Corner taken short by Scott Brown.

88:55

John Rankin crosses the ball.

87:31

Gary Hooper fouled by Scott Robertson, the ref awards a free kick. Kris Commons has an effort direct from the free kick.

86:14

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by Johnny Russell. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

85:35

Jon Daly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama. Thomas Rogne takes the free kick.

85:03

Georgios Samaras produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.

78:09

Corner taken left-footed by Barry Douglas to the near post, clearance by Sung-Yeung Ki.

78:03

The ball is sent over by Barry Douglas, Thomas Rogne makes a clearance.

77:09 Substitution

Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Kris Commons coming on for Emilio Izaguirre.

76:52 Substitution

Substitution Danny Swanson comes on in place of Gary Mackay-Steven.

75:34

Scott Brown produces a cross.

75:04

Gary Mackay-Steven concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Wanyama. Victor Wanyama takes the free kick.

74:22

Johnny Russell concedes a free kick for a foul on Emilio Izaguirre. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.

71:40

Adam Matthews sends in a cross, Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.

69:45

Unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama by Gary Mackay-Steven results in a free kick. Joe Ledley takes the free kick.

69:06

Gary Mackay-Steven takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.

65:20

The assistant referee signals for offside against Johnny Russell. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

64:08 Substitution

Substitution Sung-Yeung Ki comes on in place of Anthony Stokes.

63:36 Substitution

Substitution Barry Douglas replaces Paul Dixon.

61:38

Robbie Neilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

60:27

Centre by Gary Hooper, Dusan Pernis makes a save.

59:32

A cross is delivered by Paul Dixon, clearance made by Charlie Mulgrew.

58:30

Gary Mackay-Steven challenges Scott Brown unfairly and gives away a free kick. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.

57:12

Corner taken by Gary Mackay-Steven from the right by-line to the near post, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.

56:57

Centre by Paul Dixon, Jon Daly takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.

56:38

Unfair challenge on Scott Robertson by Victor Wanyama results in a free kick. Sean Dillon takes the free kick.

56:14

Anthony Stokes delivers the ball, clearance made by Garry Kenneth.

55:15

The ball is crossed by Jon Daly, clearance by Emilio Izaguirre.

54:52

Georgios Samaras crosses the ball, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.

51:36

The ball is swung over by Adam Matthews.

49:14

Assist by Johnny Russell.

49:14 Goal scored

Goal! - John Rankin - Celtic 2 - 1 Dundee U John Rankin gets on the score sheet with a goal from outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd.

47:34

Shot from just outside the box by Georgios Samaras goes over the crossbar.

47:00

The assistant referee flags for offside against Anthony Stokes. Sean Dillon restarts play with the free kick.

46:20

Georgios Samaras has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Save by Dusan Pernis.

45:06

Garry Kenneth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Stokes. Charlie Mulgrew produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Dusan Pernis.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Stuart Armstrong replaces Willo Flood.

45:00 +0:38 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

45:00 +0:11

Inswinging corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

44:58

Anthony Stokes has a drilled shot. Save made by Dusan Pernis.

44:54

The ball is crossed by Emilio Izaguirre.

43:00

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew.

41:06

Shot from just outside the box by Jon Daly misses to the left of the target.

39:04

The ball is swung over by John Rankin, clearance made by Adam Matthews.

38:11

Paul Dixon challenges Anthony Stokes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Brown takes the direct free kick.

36:35

Anthony Stokes produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

36:35 Booking

Booking John Rankin goes into the referee's book for not retreating ten yards at a set play.

35:21

Willo Flood challenges Victor Wanyama unfairly and gives away a free kick.

34:57

Short corner taken by Emilio Izaguirre.

31:27

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Willo Flood by Emilio Izaguirre. Free kick taken by Robbie Neilson.

25:56

Corner from the left by-line taken by Gary Mackay-Steven, clearance made by Charlie Mulgrew.

25:50

The ball is crossed by Paul Dixon, Adam Matthews manages to make a clearance.

25:07

Unfair challenge on Charlie Mulgrew by Jon Daly results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.

24:40

Corner taken left-footed by Gary Mackay-Steven, clearance by Charlie Mulgrew.

21:34

Adam Matthews sends in a cross, clearance by Paul Dixon.

18:43

Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, clearance made by Scott Robertson.

17:43

A cross is delivered by Robbie Neilson.

17:27

Paul Dixon produces a cross.

16:14

Emilio Izaguirre provided the assist for the goal.

16:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Victor Wanyama - Celtic 2 - 0 Dundee U Victor Wanyama finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Celtic 2-0 Dundee Utd.

15:58

Georgios Samaras decides to take the corner short.

15:50

A cross is delivered by Emilio Izaguirre, clearance by Garry Kenneth.

13:34

Outswinging corner taken by Gary Mackay-Steven from the right by-line, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.

13:28

The ball is swung over by Gary Mackay-Steven, Adam Matthews gets a block in.

12:58

The ball is delivered by Georgios Samaras, save made by Dusan Pernis.

11:09

Assist on the goal came from Anthony Stokes.

11:09 Goal scored

Goal! - Gary Hooper - Celtic 1 - 0 Dundee U A goal is scored by Gary Hooper from inside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Celtic 1-0 Dundee Utd.

8:15

Corner taken left-footed by Gary Mackay-Steven, clearance by Thomas Rogne.

8:03

Corner from the right by-line taken by Gary Mackay-Steven, save by Fraser Forster.

7:45

Scott Robertson takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.

7:08

Outswinging corner taken by Gary Mackay-Steven from the left by-line, clearance by Emilio Izaguirre.

6:55

The ball is crossed by Paul Dixon, Scott Brown gets a block in.

6:31

Foul by Joe Ledley on Gary Mackay-Steven, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Sean Dillon.

5:53

Inswinging corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, Jon Daly manages to make a clearance.

5:46

Scott Brown produces a cross, Paul Dixon gets a block in.

3:07

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Scott Robertson. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Anthony Stokes.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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