Celtic 6-2 Dundee Utd
Celtic's Champions League hopes may be hanging by the thinnest of threads but their domestic dominance was highlighted with a convincing and entertaining win over Dundee United in Glasgow.
Neil Lennon's side fought back from an early shock courtesy of a Stuart Armstrong strike, which was quickly cancelled out by Efe Ambrose's header.
Doubles from Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes as well as a first-half Joe Ledley strike left United licking their wounds.
Johnny Russell netted a consolation just on the final whistle but the rut was already well and truly complete as the hosts moved 18 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.
The hosts enjoyed all the early possession but it was the visitors who started the goal rush. Gary Mackay-Steven broke free and found Armstrong, who skipped past Charlie Mulgrew to slot the ball under Fraser Forster.
United's lead lasted all of two minutes though and it was a man keen to make amends who pulled Celtic level.
Commons swung in a corner from the right-hand side and Ambrose out-jumped the visiting defence to bullet a header past Radoslaw Cierzniak.
The cheers that greeted his acrobatic celebration suggested all had been forgiven following his poor performance against Juventus in midweek.
Celtic were keen to kill off fears of a European hangover and Commons provided the tonic.
The United defence failed to deal with Emilio Izaguirre's cross and Commons slipped as he blasted the ball in off the keeper and crossbar.
Before the crowd had the chance to draw breath United had a great but controversial chance to pull level.
Adam Matthews challenged Mackay-Steven inside the box and a corner kick looked to be on the cards but the referee pointed to the spot and flashed a yellow card at the Celtic defender.
The home fans' fury turned to delight though as Forster guessed right and palmed away Jon Daly's penalty.
And Celtic turned the screw with Stokes holding up the ball before Joe Ledley curled a shot past Cierzniak, with more than a hint of deflection helping the ball on its way.
Gary Hooper could have hit a fourth 10 minutes after the break but he pulled his low drive just wide of Cierzniak's right-hand post.
And so it fell to Commons to end the game as a contest with the game's second spot-kick.
Celtic's penalty ratio has been far from clever this season but Commons' strike from 12 yards, awarded after Barry Douglas had fouled Stokes, almost burst the net.
What it did burst was United's bubble and it was damage limitation for most of the second half.
Stokes found his way through with a stunning strike for number five though and it was all falling apart for Jackie McNamara's side.
The United crumble was complete when the Irishman hammered in his second and Celtic's sixth after Cierzniak had saved James Forrest's initial close-range header.
And though Russell beat Forster with a low shot in the last minute, it did little to take the shine of Celtic's impressive win.
- 01 Forster Booked
- 02 Matthews Booked
- 03 Izaguirre
- 04 Ambrose (Kayal - 71' )
- 06 Wilson
- 21 Mulgrew
- 15 Commons (Rogic - 73' )
- 16 Ledley
- 67 Wanyama (Forrest - 76' )
- 10 Stokes
- 88 Hooper
- 24 Zaluska
- 25 Rogne
- 18 Rogic
- 33 Kayal
- 49 Forrest
- 07 Miku
- 11 Nouioui
- 01 Cierzniak
- 02 Dillon
- 03 Douglas
- 04 McLean
- 12 Watson
- 06 Flood (Ryan - 38' )
- 08 Rankin
- 11 Mackay-Steven
- 16 Armstrong
- 07 Russell
- 09 Daly (Gardyne - 78' )
- 13 Banks
- 44 Soutattar
- 10 Ryan
- 14 Millar
- 40 Petrie
- 15 Gardyne
- 18 Dow
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.89:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Johnny Russell - Celtic 6 - 2 Dundee U A goal is scored by Johnny Russell from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Celtic 6-2 Dundee Utd.88:15
Emilio Izaguirre produces a cross.87:06
Shot by James Forrest. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.86:41
Emilio Izaguirre sends in a cross, clearance by Sean Dillon.85:18
Effort from outside the penalty area by Anthony Stokes goes wide left of the goal.84:40
Emilio Izaguirre delivers the ball, save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.83:34
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Charlie Mulgrew, save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.81:05
Assist on the goal came from James Forrest.81:05 Goal scored
Goal! - Anthony Stokes - Celtic 6 - 1 Dundee U A goal is scored by Anthony Stokes from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Celtic 6-1 Dundee Utd.80:32
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Charlie Mulgrew.79:06
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Mackay-Steven on James Forrest. Kelvin Wilson takes the direct free kick.78:39
Joe Ledley concedes a free kick for a foul on Stuart Armstrong. Free kick taken by Stuart Armstrong.77:36 Substitution
Substitution Michael Gardyne replaces Jon Daly.77:26
Adam Matthews crosses the ball.75:48 Substitution
Substitution James Forrest replaces Victor Wanyama.75:30
Effort from just outside the area by Anthony Stokes goes over the target.72:58 Substitution
Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Tom Rogic coming on for Kris Commons.71:27
Header from close in by Anthony Stokes misses to the left of the goal.70:23 Substitution
Substitution Beram Kayal comes on in place of Efe Ambrose.
Assist on the goal came from Victor Wanyama.69:35 Goal scored
Goal! - Anthony Stokes - Celtic 5 - 1 Dundee U Goal scored by Anthony Stokes from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 5-1 Dundee Utd.67:46
Header by Anthony Stokes from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.66:58
The offside flag is raised against Gary Hooper. Radoslaw Cierzniak restarts play with the free kick.65:49
The ball is swung over by Emilio Izaguirre, save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.65:24
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stuart Armstrong on Gary Hooper. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.63:42
Corner taken by Barry Douglas from the right by-line, clearance by Efe Ambrose.62:46
Shot from deep inside the area by Charlie Mulgrew clears the crossbar.61:05
John Rankin produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.60:33
Free kick awarded for a foul by Victor Wanyama on Richie Ryan. Direct free kick taken by Richie Ryan.59:04
Kris Commons takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Sean Dillon.57:38
Gary Mackay-Steven takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.57:02
Kris Commons takes a short corner.56:52
Emilio Izaguirre sends in a cross, Keith Watson gets a block in.55:25
Victor Wanyama concedes a free kick for a foul on Johnny Russell. Shot on goal comes in from Barry Douglas from the free kick.54:37 Goal scored
Goal! - Kris Commons - Celtic 4 - 1 Dundee U Penalty taken left-footed by Kris Commons and scored. Celtic 4-1 Dundee Utd.53:31
Barry Douglas concedes a Penalty for a foul on Anthony Stokes.51:54
Effort from inside the area by Gary Hooper misses to the left of the goal.50:44
The referee blows for offside against Johnny Russell. Indirect free kick taken by Fraser Forster.49:42
Corner from left by-line taken by Barry Douglas.49:28
The ball is crossed by Gary Mackay-Steven, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance.48:39
Centre by Emilio Izaguirre.46:40
Keith Watson crosses the ball, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +0:06 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.44:52
The ball is sent over by Adam Matthews, blocked by Barry Douglas.44:25
Emilio Izaguirre crosses the ball, clearance by Sean Dillon.40:15
Effort on goal by Kris Commons from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.37:24 Substitution
Substitution Richie Ryan comes on in place of Willo Flood.36:19
The assist for the goal came from Anthony Stokes.36:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Joe Ledley - Celtic 3 - 1 Dundee U Joe Ledley finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Celtic 3-1 Dundee Utd.34:52
The ball is delivered by Adam Matthews, clearance made by Brian McLean.34:24
Unfair challenge on Kris Commons by Keith Watson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Emilio Izaguirre.33:42
Inswinging corner taken by Willo Flood, Fraser Forster makes a save.31:23
Kris Commons has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the target.30:34
The ball is swung over by Emilio Izaguirre, Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.29:25
Shot from long range by Gary Hooper misses to the left of the target.29:14
Centre by Gary Mackay-Steven, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance.27:48
The ball is sent over by Emilio Izaguirre, clearance by Brian McLean.26:32
Willo Flood decides to take the corner short.25:47 Penalty
Penalty taken by Jon Daly is saved by Fraser Forster. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd.25:22 Booking
Booking The referee shows Fraser Forster a yellow card for dissent.25:03 Booking
Booking Booking for Adam Matthews for unsporting behaviour.24:47
Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven by Adam Matthews.22:43
The ball is sent over by Emilio Izaguirre.21:06
Assist by Emilio Izaguirre.21:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Kris Commons - Celtic 2 - 1 Dundee U Kris Commons finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the top right corner of the goal. Celtic 2-1 Dundee Utd.20:50
Emilio Izaguirre produces a cross,17:17
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brian McLean by Gary Hooper. Radoslaw Cierzniak restarts play with the free kick.14:49
Effort on goal by Victor Wanyama from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.13:36
Long range shot by Joe Ledley goes wide right of the goal.10:49
Assist on the goal came from Kris Commons.10:49 Goal scored
Goal! - Efe Ambrose - Celtic 1 - 1 Dundee U Efe Ambrose grabs a headed goal from close in. Celtic 1-1 Dundee Utd.10:19
Kris Commons takes the inswinging corner,9:13
The assist for the goal came from Gary Mackay-Steven.9:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Stuart Armstrong - Celtic 0 - 1 Dundee U Stuart Armstrong finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 0-1 Dundee Utd.8:48
Adam Matthews crosses the ball.7:15
Anthony Stokes challenges Keith Watson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.7:00
Emilio Izaguirre crosses the ball, Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.6:46
Victor Wanyama takes a shot. Blocked by Keith Watson.5:22
Shot by Adam Matthews from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.5:09
Centre by Anthony Stokes, Willo Flood gets a block in.4:15
Centre by Johnny Russell.3:02
Gary Mackay-Steven crosses the ball, Efe Ambrose manages to make a clearance.1:46
Adam Matthews crosses the ball.0:42
Victor Wanyama produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the crossbar.0:10
Unfair challenge on Joe Ledley by Stuart Armstrong results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kris Commons.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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