Celtic produced a performance full of drive, skill, belief and, most importantly, goals to end Dundee United's unbeaten start to the season.

First-half goals from debutant Jason Denayer, Kris Commons and Stefan Johansen put the result beyond doubt.

Anthony Stokes' strike and a double from Jo Inge Berget put a little gloss on a sublime afternoon.

John Rankin's consolation after Celtic's fifth barely tarnished the reigning champions' flag day.

It was the type of display Ronny Deila has yearned for since taking over and gives them the perfect platform for Wednesday's Champions League play-off against Maribor.

The build-up to the match had been dominated by the continuing debacle surrounding Legia Warsaw's appeal, but Celtic quickly put that controversy behind them.

The mood inside the stadium was already buoyant as the former owner Fergus McCann, very much considered the club's saviour and the man who created the foundations for their more recent success, unfurled the league flag to mark last season's triumph.

That set the tone for a game that sparked into life from the off.

Callum McGregor had already rattled the post and Gary Mackay-Steven slipped a fabulous opportunity wide by the time Denayer found the net.

A Commons corner was dealt with poorly by Callum Morris and, when the ball fell to the feet of the young Belgian defender, he side-footed it into the top corner with all the aplomb of a top striker.

Celtic were moving the ball more slickly than they had done so far this season and Emilio Izaguirre stung the palms of Radoslaw Cierzniak, but the home side's desire to press the opposition high up the park left them vulnerable to precise counter-attacking.

Kris Commons rifles home for Celtic

Commons stooped to head Celtic's second

That was what United were offering on occasion and Mackay-Steven latched onto a swiftly-taken Rankin free- kick and rounded Craig Gordon, only for Virgil van Dijk to make a terrific saving tackle.

But United's downfall was slack defending and Commons was left unmarked at the near post to nod into the net from a Stokes corner.

Paul Paton was then caught out by Johansen - snapping at the United midfielder's heels - who robbed his opponent before slotting past Cierzniak.

Those goals bred confidence and Celtic turned on the style, Berget battering the ball off the bar and Stokes forcing a terrific save from Cierzniak before the half-time whistle sounded.

Much as the game looked beyond United, there was still a large sigh of relief from Charlie Mulgrew when Gordon got down superbly to tip Nadir Ciftci's shot round the post after the Turk had robbed the Celtic captain of possession.

Moments later Celtic's cushion was even more comfortable as Stokes' free-kick appeared to sail all the way across goal and into the back of the net, though Mulgrew claimed a touch.

Stokes was central, too, to Celtic's fifth. Cierzniak saved brilliantly from the striker's venomous drive, but when Stokes' resultant corner was headed back across goal by Efe Ambrose, Berget was on hand to head home his first goal for the club.

Gordon, who appears to have put his injury woes behind him, was unhappy to miss out on a clean sheet as Rankin's low shot from the edge of the box was deflected beyond him and into the net.

Berget added a sixth with the final kick of the ball, though that move was tinged with anxiety as substitute James Forrest pulled up with an injury.

But those were minor blemishes on an otherwise superb day for Celtic, while United will have to address the defensive frailties if this result is to go down simply as a blip in their quest to challenge for second place.

Fergus McCann

McCann addressed fans and unfurled the Premiership flag before kick-off

Anthony Stokes scores for Celtic against Dundee United

Stokes' free-kick found its way through a crowded area and into the net

John Rankin scores for Dundee United against Celtic

Rankin ensured Gordon would not get a shut-out

Celtic players Kris Commons and Jo Inge Berget

Commons and Berget were both on target ahead of Wednesday's trip to Maribor

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Celtic

  • 26 Gordon
  • 04 Ambrose Emuobo
  • 05 van Dijk
  • 22 Denayer
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 25 Johansen (Kayal - 45' )
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 42 McGregor (Forrest - 69' )
  • 15 Commons
  • 16 Berget
  • 10 Stokes (Griffiths - 70' )

Substitutes

  • 06 Bitton
  • 11 Boerrigter
  • 24 Zaluska
  • 28 Griffiths
  • 33 Kayal
  • 49 Forrest

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 12 Watson
  • 14 Morris Booked
  • 05 Fojut Booked
  • 03 Townsend
  • 06 Paton Booked
  • 08 Rankin
  • 11 Mackay-Steven (Spittal - 75' )
  • 10 Armstrong (Bilate - 40' )
  • 18 Dow (Erskine - 57' )
  • 07 Ciftci

Substitutes

  • 09 Graham
  • 13 McCallum
  • 17 Erskine
  • 19 Bilate
  • 21 Telfer
  • 23 Smith
  • 24 Spittal
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 44,484

Match Stats

Shots

29 7

On target

14 3

Corners

10 1

Fouls

8 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Celtic 6, Dundee United 1.

90:00 +1:39 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Celtic 6, Dundee United 1.

90:00 +0:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 6, Dundee United 1. Jo Inge Berget (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal.

89:54

Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:54

Foul by Mario Bilate (Dundee United).

86:30

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

85:14

Jason Denayer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:14

Foul by Mario Bilate (Dundee United).

83:38

Attempt missed. Jo Inge Berget (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

83:20

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

83:10

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

82:49

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:49

Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).

80:11

Foul by Beram Kayal (Celtic).

80:11

Blair Spittal (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:37

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

77:32

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic).

77:32

Mario Bilate (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

75:29

Foul by Efe Ambrose (Celtic).

75:29

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Blair Spittal replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

72:40

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

70:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 5, Dundee United 1. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mario Bilate.

70:08

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

69:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Anthony Stokes.

68:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Callum McGregor.

68:29

Attempt missed. Mario Bilate (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

67:50

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

66:18

Foul by Kris Commons (Celtic).

66:18

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

65:56

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

64:36

Foul by Anthony Stokes (Celtic).

64:36

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:05

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

61:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 5, Dundee United 0. Jo Inge Berget (Celtic) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Efe Ambrose.

61:11

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

61:03

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

59:56

Attempt blocked. Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

58:17

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by John Rankin.

58:08

Attempt blocked. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

57:32 Booking

Booking Callum Morris (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

57:26

Beram Kayal (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:26

Foul by Callum Morris (Dundee United).

56:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Chris Erskine replaces Ryan Dow.

56:02

Attempt missed. Mario Bilate (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

53:51 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 4, Dundee United 0. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

53:21

Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:21

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

53:10

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

49:32

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

49:19

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

47:01

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.

46:14 Booking

Booking Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

46:09

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:09

Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).

45:00

Second Half begins Celtic 3, Dundee United 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. Beram Kayal replaces Stefan Johansen.

45:00 +1:56 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Celtic 3, Dundee United 0.

45:00 +1:42

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

45:00 +0:50

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.

44:43

Jo Inge Berget (Celtic) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

43:31

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

40:54

Stefan Johansen (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:54

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

39:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Mario Bilate replaces Stuart Armstrong because of an injury.

37:16

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

37:05

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Callum Morris.

35:25

Attempt saved. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

34:39

Foul by Kris Commons (Celtic).

34:39

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:15 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 3, Dundee United 0. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

31:57

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

31:56

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

30:17

Delay in match Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) because of an injury.

26:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 2, Dundee United 0. Kris Commons (Celtic) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Anthony Stokes with a cross.

26:31

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

22:52

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

20:18

Callum Morris (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

20:15

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

17:36

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

16:20

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

15:29 Booking

Booking Paul Paton (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

15:22

Efe Ambrose (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

15:22

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

15:08

Foul by Jason Denayer (Celtic).

15:08

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:14

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

14:05

Attempt saved. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

10:29

Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10:29

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

9:39

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

6:00

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

6:00

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

4:35

Attempt missed. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

3:08 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 1, Dundee United 0. Jason Denayer (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

2:55

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Conor Townsend.

2:48

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from long range on the right is blocked.

1:09

Attempt missed. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

0:37

Callum McGregor (Celtic) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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