Scottish Premiership
Dundee Utd0Celtic2

Dundee United 0-2 Celtic

Georgios Samaras and Anthony Stokes scored first-half goals as Scottish Premiership champions Celtic ran out comfortable winners over Dundee United.

Samaras gave the visitors an early lead with a superb volley from a Kris Commons free-kick.

And strike partner Stokes finished a fine team move to double the lead before the break.

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Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

United improved after half-time but Celtic had the better chances and could have added to their tally.

Defeat dents the hosts' European ambitions with Jackie McNamara's side still six points behind Motherwell and Aberdeen, who occupy the third and second places, respectively.

The Tangerines had gone into this one in good form, having lost only once in their previous nine league games.

But the visitors started brightly and, after popping the ball around at pace in the early stages, they were soon rewarded.

Beram Kayal won a free-kick inside the United half and Commons' angled delivery was perfect for Samaras, who beat Gavin Gunning to the ball and volleyed into the top corner from 12 yards.

Gunning had a great chance to level minutes later but the defender blazed over from 15 yards, following a cross from Ryan Dow.

Celtic began to dominate and duly doubled their advantage midway through the half with a wonderfully-executed team goal.

Dundee United defender Keith Watson
Watson tried to boost United's attack in the second but could not find the net

After an expansive passing move, Stokes played a one-two with Commons on the edge of the area and burst past two defenders before firing high past Radoslaw Cierzniak.

Nadir Ciftci's name was taken by referee Craig Thomson for a foul on Kayal, and SPFL young player of the month Liam Henderson quickly followed him into the book for a foul on the Turkish hitman.

Ciftci created a half-chance for the home side just before the break with a fine pass over the Celtic defence, but Dow could not sort his feet out on the edge of the area.

United made a change at the break with Gary Mackay-Steven coming on for Brian Graham.

The home side threatened early in the second half but Keith Watson failed to keep his header down when he found himself free in the box.

Dow then latched on to a delightful Mackay-Steven pass before finishing past Fraser Forster, but the flag was up for offside.

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Interview - Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara

Leigh Griffiths came on for Celtic with Henderson making way, and the striker forced Cierzniak into a decent save minutes after his arrival.

Watson dragged an effort narrowly wide from inside the area and Griffiths went close for the visitors with a curling effort from 20 yards that dropped just wide.

Cierzniak then made a great stop with his feet as Commons found himself through on goal after great work by Virgil van Dijk.

Mackay-Steven tried his luck with a low drive that Forster turned away and the Celtic goalkeeper then saved from Stuart Armstrong's long-range effort, ending United's hopes of reducing their deficit.

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 12WatsonBooked at 55mins
  • 26Robertson
  • 8RankinBooked at 11mins
  • 2Dillon
  • 5Gunning
  • 21CiftciBooked at 28minsSubstituted forEl Alaguiat 81'minutes
  • 6Paton
  • 9GrahamSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 45'minutes
  • 18DowSubstituted forGauldat 65'minutes
  • 10Armstrong

Substitutes

  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 16Wilson
  • 19Gauld
  • 20Souttar
  • 25McCallum
  • 27Gomis
  • 29El Alagui

Celtic

  • 1Forster
  • 8Brown
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 33Kayal
  • 4Ambrose
  • 5van Dijk
  • 25JohansenBooked at 49minsSubstituted forMouyokoloat 90+1'minutes
  • 15Commons
  • 9SamarasSubstituted forBaldeat 88'minutes
  • 10Stokes
  • 53HendersonBooked at 30minsSubstituted forGriffithsat 52'minutes

Substitutes

  • 17Balde
  • 20Pukki
  • 22Mouyokolo
  • 24Zaluska
  • 28Griffiths
  • 31Herron
  • 34O'Connell
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
11,033

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 2.

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

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Steven Mouyokolo replaces Stefan Johansen.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Amido Baldé replaces Georgios Samaras because of an injury.

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

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

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

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Farid El Alagui replaces Nadir Ciftci.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Fraser Forster.

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

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Fraser Forster.

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

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

Delay in match Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Paul Paton (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Scott Brown.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Ryan Gauld replaces Ryan Dow.

Georgios Samaras (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Scott Brown.

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

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Keith Watson (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Booking

Keith Watson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Georgios Samaras (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee United).

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Liam Henderson.

Booking

Stefan Johansen (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3328416688
2Aberdeen3218681560
3Motherwell3319311560
4Dundee Utd3315991754
5Inverness CT3315711552
6St Johnstone3314613748
7Hibernian3281014-1334
8Kilmarnock339618-1633
9Ross County338718-1831
10St Mirren338718-2131
11Partick Thistle3361215-2130
12Hearts337719-2613
View full Scottish Premiership table

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