Scottish Premiership
Dundee UtdDundee United0CelticCeltic3

Dundee United 0-3 Celtic: 'Special' Tom Rogic magic helps dominant visitors to win

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland

Tom Rogic wants to be a "dominant player" for Celtic, says manager Ange Postecoglou, after the midfielder scoring one of the goals of the season in the Scottish Premiership to set up victory against Dundee United.

The Australian started out on the right wing 25 yards from goal, but danced away from three United players before shaping a cultured shot past goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist.

David Turnbull and Liam Scales added further goals in a dominant display for Celtic as they overwhelmed their hosts.

A deserved win restores Celtic's deficit to leaders Rangers to four points, while United remain in fourth place, ahead of Motherwell on goal difference.

"I know Tommy really well, he is a special player," Postecoglou said of Rogic, who played under him for Australia. "He's one of those the fans want to see.

"I'm pleased for him to get his goal. I think it's the one area he's let himself down this year - finishing his good work off.

"He's working awfully hard off the ball as well. He's had his little setbacks during his career but I can just see he's really focussed and wants to be a dominant player in this team."

Celtic had failed to beat United in their last two attempts, including a 1-1 draw in Glasgow in September, but there was never any question of being frustrated this time as they dominated from the start.

Rogic eventually unlocked the creaking home defence through his moment of sheer magic, akin to his winning goal in the 2017 Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen.

He picked up the ball on the right wing, shrugged off Louis Appere, and weaved past Adrian Sporle and Ian Harkes before curling a left-foot shot into the far corner.

Turnbull eased concerns brought on by early profligacy before the break as he enticed Callum McGregor to dink a brilliant ball over the United backline for him to touch over Siegrist and then knock home from a yard out.

Kyogo Furuhashi alone could have had at least a hat-trick for Celtic as - particularly in the first half - the visitors completely outplayed a passive United side.

The hosts improved marginally in the final half hour, the first of their two shots on target finally arriving in the 66th minute, without ever putting Celtic under serious pressure.

Instead, Scales came off the bench to stroke home a well-taken goal - his first for Celtic - following Liel Abada's touch across the box with 10 minutes left.

Thomas Courts' side were also lucky to end the match with 11 players after Callum Butcher was only booked for a dangerous tackle on Turnbull not long after coming off the bench after the break.

Man of the match - Tom Rogic

Tom Rogic celebrates his brilliant goal
No question about the best player on the pitch, who was everywhere. There won't be many better goals this season. His work rate was just as impressive, with the Australian making more tackles and getting involved in more duels than any of his team-mates.

What did we learn?

Rogic is a revived player for Celtic. He was on the verge of a move to the Middle East last season but is now flourishing under his compatriot Postecoglou.

His goal was magnificent, though not surprising for a player of his skill, but it is his work rate and ability to win the ball which have improved massively this season.

Celtic's movement is scintillating to watch, but arguably the foundation of this win was their hunger and intensity without the ball. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt led the squeeze from the back as Celtic swarmed round United whenever they were lucky enough to get a touch of the ball.

Postecoglou will still want his team to be more ruthless, and they did eventually give United a brief spell at 2-0 when Joe Hart made one good save, just as Hearts also had a good period of the game on Thursday. But they are in fine form right now.

Injuries are a bit of a concern too, with James Forrest forced off at half time with a tight hamstring and Jota facing "a few weeks" out according to the Celtic boss, though he added issues with Anthony Ralston and Stephen Welsh are less serious.

This was a second passive performance in a row from United, though, following defeat at Motherwell on Tuesday. They did not get close enough to Celtic and gave them easy possession at the back to build attacking moves.

Siegrist - who made eight saves - and the returning Jeando Fuchs were the only players to emerge with much credit. Courts' thin squad looks tired right now and they lack the quality and depth up front to seriously hurt teams consistently. It's now just one win in seven games after a strong start.

What they said

Dundee United head coach Thomas Courts: "It was a tough afternoon and in the first half the goals were extremely avoidable.

"We're in a bit of a tricky moment just now. The squad has been a bit stretched. Today we just came up against a very slick outfit and our frailties on the day were highlighted."

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: "It was really solid from start to end. We didn't let Dundee United get any respite at any time. We could have got more goals, but overall a real solid performance.

"What we're trying to be and want to be is better every week. We've been consistent for quite a while now, home and away, and that level of performance has to stay."

What's next?

Dundee United host Livingston on Saturday 11 December (15:00 GMT), while Celtic finish their Europa League campaign at home to Real Betis on Thursday (20:00) before Motherwell visit Celtic Park on Sunday (15:00).

Player of the match

RogicTomas Rogic

with an average of 8.72

Dundee United

  1. Squad number1Player nameSiegrist
    Average rating

    6.78

  2. Squad number4Player nameMulgrew
    Average rating

    5.58

  3. Squad number66Player nameFuchs
    Average rating

    5.06

  4. Squad number22Player nameFreeman
    Average rating

    4.85

  5. Squad number23Player nameHarkes
    Average rating

    4.70

  6. Squad number27Player nameAppéré
    Average rating

    4.58

  7. Squad number7Player nameNiskanen
    Average rating

    4.55

  8. Squad number8Player namePawlett
    Average rating

    4.39

  9. Squad number3Player nameSpörle
    Average rating

    4.35

  10. Squad number10Player nameClark
    Average rating

    4.31

  11. Squad number12Player nameEdwards
    Average rating

    4.21

  12. Squad number30Player nameWatson
    Average rating

    3.68

  13. Squad number18Player nameButcher
    Average rating

    2.65

Celtic

  1. Squad number18Player nameRogic
    Average rating

    8.72

  2. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    8.07

  3. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers
    Average rating

    7.93

  4. Squad number5Player nameScales
    Average rating

    7.79

  5. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi
    Average rating

    7.76

  6. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
    Average rating

    7.71

  7. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt
    Average rating

    7.68

  8. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    7.51

  9. Squad number88Player nameJuranovic
    Average rating

    7.32

  10. Squad number19Player nameJohnston
    Average rating

    7.16

  11. Squad number6Player nameBitton
    Average rating

    7.06

  12. Squad number11Player nameAbada
    Average rating

    6.88

  13. Squad number49Player nameForrest
    Average rating

    6.83

  14. Squad number15Player nameHart
    Average rating

    6.69

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Siegrist
  • 22Freeman
  • 12Edwards
  • 4Mulgrew
  • 3Spörle
  • 7Niskanen
  • 8Pawlett
  • 23Harkes
  • 66Fuchs
  • 27AppéréSubstituted forButcherat 52'minutesBooked at 61mins
  • 10ClarkSubstituted forWatsonat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Chalmers
  • 14Hoti
  • 16Carson
  • 18Butcher
  • 21Glass
  • 28Smith
  • 30Watson

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Hart
  • 88Juranovic
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4StarfeltBooked at 20mins
  • 3TaylorSubstituted forScalesat 75'minutes
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forAbadaat 45'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 19Johnston
  • 18RogicSubstituted forBittonat 70'minutes
  • 8Furuhashi
  • 14Turnbull

Substitutes

  • 5Scales
  • 6Bitton
  • 10Ajeti
  • 11Abada
  • 16McCarthy
  • 29Bain
  • 54Montgomery
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
8,311

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home29%
Away71%
Shots
Home6
Away24
Shots on Target
Home2
Away10
Corners
Home1
Away12
Fouls
Home9
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kyogo Furuhashi following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Turnbull (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Josip Juranovic.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by David Turnbull.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Adrián Spörle.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ilmari Niskanen.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Darren Watson replaces Nicky Clark.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Dundee United 0, Celtic 3. Liam Scales (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liel Abada.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by David Turnbull following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Calum Butcher.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum McGregor.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Turnbull (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Liam Scales replaces Greg Taylor.

  15. Post update

    Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Carl Starfelt.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jeando Fuchs (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ilmari Niskanen.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Michael Johnston (Celtic).

  20. Post update

    Jeando Fuchs (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers16123136142239
2Celtic16112336102635
3Hearts1786326151130
4Dundee Utd177461518-325
5Motherwell177462125-425
6Aberdeen176382222021
7Hibernian155461819-119
8St Mirren173861728-1117
9Dundee164481530-1516
10St Johnstone15357915-614
11Livingston163491223-1113
12Ross County152581927-811
View full Scottish Premiership table

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