Scottish Premiership
Dundee UtdDundee United1CelticCeltic3

Dundee United 1-3 Celtic

By Colin MoffatBBC Scotland
Leigh Griffiths knocked in his seventh goal of the season at Tannadice
Griffiths knocked in his seventh goal of the season

Celtic eased to a comfortable victory despite resting a host of key players for their visit to Dundee United.

Leigh Griffiths raced away to slot in the opening goal and home goalkeeper Luis Zwick was kept busy in a one-sided first half.

United's Mark Durnan turned the ball into his own net before the break but Chris Erskine replied with a penalty.

A deflected shot from Callum McGregor gave Celtic breathing space in a scrappy second half.

Interviews - McNamara and Deila

With an eye firmly on Tuesday's Champions League play-off second leg with Malmo, Celtic boss Ronny Deila made nine changes to his starting line-up.

With their opponents so drastically altered, United may have thought they could improve on a record of three home wins against Celtic in a decade.

But the contest could have been over in the first 20 minutes, with Celtic regularly slicing the home defence open with their high-tempo approach and slick passing.

Griffiths headed wide before Durnan cleared a Commons shot off the goal-line and a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick whistled narrowly over the top.

The deadlock was broken on 17 minutes when Durnan failed to cut out a pass from Anthony Stokes, allowing Griffiths to race clear and round Zwick to slot in his seventh goal of the season.

Zwick was then called upon to make a hat-trick of good saves from Commons and stuck out a foot to stop a Griffiths shot.

Scott Allan picked up a booking on his Celtic debut
Scott Allan picked up a booking on his Celtic debut

While the 21-year-old German was bailing out his shaky defence, Logan Bailly, making his Celtic debut, did not look too clever dealing with a routine back-pass and his clumsy challenge on Robbie Muirhead had the home fans calling for a penalty to no avail.

There were more anguished cries from the Terrors support as Ryan McGowan slid a shot wide from near the penalty spot following a purposeful surge from Blair Spittal.

And that misery was compounded as Celtic broke from defending a corner, with the unfortunate Zwick wrong-footed by Durnan's interception on a slack pass from Commons as the ball trundled into the centre of the net on 44 minutes.

There was time for United to reduce the deficit before the interval as Scott Fraser was upended by the lunging Efe Ambrose and Erskine slammed in an assured spot-kick.

Celtic's intensity dipped in the second half, with United more aggressive, and Paul Dixon hammered a shot into the side-netting.

Scott Allan replaced Griffiths to make his Celtic debut and a misplaced kick from Zwick came his way within seconds of arrival but the midfielder could not beat the back-pedalling keeper with his first-time effort.

McGregor, another Celtic replacement, did find a way past the keeper, although Zwick was again unlucky as defender Coll Donaldson deflected the shot from 18 yards low into the corner of the net.

With the game growing increasingly scrappy, Bailly made sure Celtic did not concede two goals for the fourth game running, stretching to stop an Erskine shot and flamboyantly pushing away two free-kicks from Aidan Connolly.

Mark Durnan (left) scored an own goal
Durnan (left) scored an own goal just before half-time

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 51Zwick
  • 2Dillon
  • 17Durnan
  • 28Donaldson
  • 3DixonBooked at 10mins
  • 4Souttar
  • 12McGowanBooked at 63mins
  • 20Spittal
  • 22FraserSubstituted forDowat 54'minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 11ErskineSubstituted forConnollyat 77'minutes
  • 10MuirheadSubstituted forMurrayat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13McCallum
  • 14Dow
  • 15Murray
  • 16Telfer
  • 18Connolly
  • 27Coote
  • 38Souttar

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Bailly
  • 22Janko
  • 4AmbroseBooked at 45mins
  • 34O'ConnellBooked at 85mins
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 18RogicSubstituted forThomsonat 79'minutes
  • 21MulgrewBooked at 36minsSubstituted forMcGregorat 61'minutes
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 15Commons
  • 10Stokes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forAllanat 68'minutesBooked at 83mins

Substitutes

  • 12Scepovic
  • 19Allan
  • 38Fasan
  • 42McGregor
  • 47Kelleher
  • 52Thomson
  • 63Tierney
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
10,605

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home6
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 1, Celtic 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, Celtic 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Logan Bailly.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  6. Booking

    Eoghan O'Connell (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Simon Murray (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Eoghan O'Connell (Celtic).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Logan Bailly.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  11. Booking

    Scott Allan (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Scott Allan (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aidan Connolly.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Saidy Janko.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Joseph Thomson replaces Tomas Rogic.

  19. Post update

    Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).