Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic3Dundee UtdDundee United0

Celtic 3-0 Dundee United: 'Class act' David Turnbull earns manager's praise

By Martin WattBBC Scotland

Manager Neil Lennon praised "class act" David Turnbull as resurgent Celtic prepared for Saturday's Old Firm derby with a convincing Scottish Premiership win over Dundee United.

Turnbull - a £3m summer signing from Motherwell - scored for the third game running after Ismaila Soro's opener.

Odsonne Edouard's lob sealed a sixth straight win, but it came at a cost as Christopher Jullien went off injured.

"He's hit the ground running now," Lennon said of 21-year-old Turnbull.

"He had to wait a wee while to get to the pace of how we want him to play, but now he's in excellent form. There's no reason for me to leave him out."

With Soro netting his first Celtic goal, having kept captain Scott Brown out of the team for three games, Lennon says his selection decisions are a "nice choice to have" as his team head to Ibrox 16 points behind Rangers with three games in hand.

A minute's silence was observed before kick-off in memory of legendary United manager Jim McLean, who died on 26 December at the age of 83.

McLean was in charge of the Tannadice club the last time they won at Celtic - 28 years ago - and Micky Mellon boldly shoehorned strikers Lawrence Shankland, Marc McNulty and Nicky Clark into his starting line-up as he attempted to end that long barren run.

There was a big call from Lennon too, with Greek goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas restored in place of Conor Hazard after five games on the bench. The Celtic boss later confirmed Barkas will remain in goal against Rangers.

Soro delivered an unlikely opener midway through the first half with a swerving 25-yard drive into the top corner. A moment to savour for the Ivorian, but one to forget for goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist, whose attempted save was feeble.

Still, United's margin of defeat could have been much heavier had Siegrist not partly redeemed himself with a number of stops.

He made an instinctive block after Turnbull's outrageous lob teed up Leigh Griffiths for a blast at goal, with Edouard sending the rebound wide.

But another long-range drive doubled the lead as Turnbull drilled home low off the keeper's right-hand post to score for his fourth goal in six games.

United, anonymous as an attacking force in the first half, almost conjured an instant response after the break as McNulty beat Jullien to Shankland's through ball and fired past Barkas. Jullien raced back to clear off the line, but his impetus took him thudding into the upright and, after several minutes' treatment, he was replaced with Nir Bitton.

United's positive spell - and Celtic's shakiness at the back - continued when Shankland's cross found Clark 10 yards out, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, the striker fired horribly wide.

That was as good as it got for the visitors as Celtic regained control. Griffiths and Edouard were both foiled by Siegrist before the strike pair combined to craft a sublime third.

Griffiths' lofted pass split United's defence and Edouard deftly lobbed the keeper as Celtic continued their resurgence before the crucial showdown with Rangers.

Man of the match - David Turnbull

The Scotland Under-21 forward netted his fourth goal in six games and delivered another performance full of flair as he continues to flourish for Celtic
The Scotland Under-21 forward delivered another goalscoring performance full of flair as he continues to flourish for Celtic

What did we learn?

This was a crucial but costly win for a Celtic side still trying to claw back lost ground in the title race. A fourth consecutive Premiership victory and clean sheet are further evidence of their recovery, but the loss of Jullien would be a hammer blow for the trip to Ibrox.

Lennon will at least be consoled by his side's attacking verve, with Turnbull again impressive while the front two of Edouard and Griffiths worked in tandem to torment the visitors.

United's starting line-up was bold but failed to pay off as Mellon's team were far too passive in a first half that effectively killed the game as a contest. Standing off and allowing players to shoot cost them the first two goals and their strong start to the second half was let down by wayward finishing.

What did they say?

'We played brilliantly' - Celtic display thrills Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "We played brilliantly and created a lot of really good chances.

"There was great energy and quality. The atmosphere around the place is good and I was really pleased with the substitutes as well, their contribution was excellent."

Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: "We have to show growth and improvement from the lessons we learned today. The chances we made were more than reasonable and at Celtic Park you need to take them."

Mellon rues Dundee Utd's missed chances

What's next?

Derby dates for both sides. Celtic face Old Firm rivals Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday (12:30 GMT), while United are in New Firm action away to Aberdeen (15:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-1-3-2

  • 1Barkas
  • 30Frimpong
  • 2JullienSubstituted forBittonat 51'minutes
  • 35Ajer
  • 93Laxalt
  • 12SoroSubstituted forBrownat 80'minutes
  • 17Christie
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forRogicat 77'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forAjetiat 77'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forElyounoussiat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 4Duffy
  • 6Bitton
  • 8Brown
  • 10Ajeti
  • 18Rogic
  • 19Johnston
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 65Hazard

Dundee Utd

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Siegrist
  • 2SmithBooked at 56minsSubstituted forBoltonat 83'minutes
  • 5Connolly
  • 12Edwards
  • 6Reynolds
  • 17RobsonSubstituted forSpörleat 83'minutes
  • 10Clark
  • 23Harkes
  • 8PawlettBooked at 38minsSubstituted forPowersat 74'minutes
  • 9McNulty
  • 24ShanklandSubstituted forMcMullanat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Spörle
  • 4Powers
  • 7McMullan
  • 19Mehmet
  • 20Bolton
  • 25Fotheringham
  • 27Appéré
  • 30Neilson
  • 37Hutchinson
Referee:
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home24
Away8
Shots on Target
Home9
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away5

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, Dundee United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Dundee United 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mohamed Elyounoussi.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Celtic. Diego Laxalt tries a through ball, but Jeremie Frimpong is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rogic.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic).

  7. Post update

    Dillon Powers (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Callum McGregor.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Diego Laxalt (Celtic).

  10. Post update

    Luke Bolton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Adrián Spörle replaces Jamie Robson.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Luke Bolton replaces Liam Smith.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Diego Laxalt (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie Robson.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Albian Ajeti (Celtic).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Edwards (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Scott Brown replaces Ismaila Soro.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Mohamed Elyounoussi replaces Odsonne Edouard.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Diego Laxalt.

Player of the match

TurnbullDavid Turnbull

with an average of 6.51

Celtic

  1. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    6.51

  2. Squad number12Player nameSoro
    Average rating

    6.50

  3. Squad number30Player nameFrimpong
    Average rating

    5.89

  4. Squad number17Player nameChristie
    Average rating

    5.75

  5. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    5.71

  6. Squad number35Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    5.68

  7. Squad number9Player nameGriffiths
    Average rating

    5.67

  8. Squad number93Player nameLaxalt
    Average rating

    5.66

  9. Squad number22Player nameEdouard
    Average rating

    5.63

  10. Squad number2Player nameJullien
    Average rating

    5.44

  11. Squad number6Player nameBitton
    Average rating

    5.33

  12. Squad number18Player nameRogic
    Average rating

    5.31

  13. Squad number27Player nameElyounoussi
    Average rating

    5.20

  14. Squad number1Player nameBarkas
    Average rating

    5.14

  15. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    4.95

  16. Squad number10Player nameAjeti
    Average rating

    4.86

Dundee United

  1. Squad number1Player nameSiegrist
    Average rating

    6.48

  2. Squad number6Player nameReynolds
    Average rating

    5.82

  3. Squad number24Player nameShankland
    Average rating

    5.81

  4. Squad number2Player nameSmith
    Average rating

    5.79

  5. Squad number17Player nameRobson
    Average rating

    5.78

  6. Squad number10Player nameClark
    Average rating

    5.77

  7. Squad number9Player nameMcNulty
    Average rating

    5.74

  8. Squad number23Player nameHarkes
    Average rating

    5.72

  9. Squad number12Player nameEdwards
    Average rating

    5.66

  10. Squad number5Player nameConnolly
    Average rating

    5.58

  11. Squad number8Player namePawlett
    Average rating

    5.55

  12. Squad number7Player nameMcMullan
    Average rating

    4.84

  13. Squad number3Player nameSpörle
    Average rating

    4.62

  14. Squad number4Player namePowers
    Average rating

    4.48

  15. Squad number20Player nameBolton
    Average rating

    4.43

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport