Scottish Premiership
Dundee Utd1Celtic3

Dundee United 1-3 Celtic

Leigh Griffiths knocked in his seventh goal of the season at Tannadice
Griffiths knocked in his seventh goal of the season

Celtic eased to a comfortable victory despite resting a host of key players for their visit to Dundee United.

Leigh Griffiths raced away to slot in the opening goal and home goalkeeper Luis Zwick was kept busy in a one-sided first half.

United's Mark Durnan turned the ball into his own net before the break but Chris Erskine replied with a penalty.

A deflected shot from Callum McGregor gave Celtic breathing space in a scrappy second half.

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With an eye firmly on Tuesday's Champions League play-off second leg with Malmo, Celtic boss Ronny Deila made nine changes to his starting line-up.

With their opponents so drastically altered, United may have thought they could improve on a record of three home wins against Celtic in a decade.

But the contest could have been over in the first 20 minutes, with Celtic regularly slicing the home defence open with their high-tempo approach and slick passing.

Griffiths headed wide before Durnan cleared a Commons shot off the goal-line and a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick whistled narrowly over the top.

The deadlock was broken on 17 minutes when Durnan failed to cut out a pass from Anthony Stokes, allowing Griffiths to race clear and round Zwick to slot in his seventh goal of the season.

Zwick was then called upon to make a hat-trick of good saves from Commons and stuck out a foot to stop a Griffiths shot.

Scott Allan picked up a booking on his Celtic debut
Scott Allan picked up a booking on his Celtic debut

While the 21-year-old German was bailing out his shaky defence, Logan Bailly, making his Celtic debut, did not look too clever dealing with a routine back-pass and his clumsy challenge on Robbie Muirhead had the home fans calling for a penalty to no avail.

There were more anguished cries from the Terrors support as Ryan McGowan slid a shot wide from near the penalty spot following a purposeful surge from Blair Spittal.

And that misery was compounded as Celtic broke from defending a corner, with the unfortunate Zwick wrong-footed by Durnan's interception on a slack pass from Commons as the ball trundled into the centre of the net on 44 minutes.

There was time for United to reduce the deficit before the interval as Scott Fraser was upended by the lunging Efe Ambrose and Erskine slammed in an assured spot-kick.

Celtic's intensity dipped in the second half, with United more aggressive, and Paul Dixon hammered a shot into the side-netting.

Scott Allan replaced Griffiths to make his Celtic debut and a misplaced kick from Zwick came his way within seconds of arrival but the midfielder could not beat the back-pedalling keeper with his first-time effort.

McGregor, another Celtic replacement, did find a way past the keeper, although Zwick was again unlucky as defender Coll Donaldson deflected the shot from 18 yards low into the corner of the net.

With the game growing increasingly scrappy, Bailly made sure Celtic did not concede two goals for the fourth game running, stretching to stop an Erskine shot and flamboyantly pushing away two free-kicks from Aidan Connolly.

Mark Durnan (left) scored an own goal
Durnan (left) scored an own goal just before half-time

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 51Zwick
  • 2Dillon
  • 17Durnan
  • 28Donaldson
  • 3DixonBooked at 10mins
  • 4Souttar
  • 12McGowanBooked at 63mins
  • 20Spittal
  • 22FraserSubstituted forDowat 54'minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 11ErskineSubstituted forConnollyat 77'minutes
  • 10MuirheadSubstituted forMurrayat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13McCallum
  • 14Dow
  • 15Murray
  • 16Telfer
  • 18Connolly
  • 27Coote
  • 38Souttar

Celtic

  • 26Bailly
  • 22Janko
  • 4AmbroseBooked at 45mins
  • 34O'ConnellBooked at 85mins
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 18RogicSubstituted forThomsonat 79'minutes
  • 21MulgrewBooked at 36minsSubstituted forMcGregorat 61'minutes
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 15Commons
  • 10Stokes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forAllanat 68'minutesBooked at 83mins

Substitutes

  • 12Scepovic
  • 19Allan
  • 38Fasan
  • 42McGregor
  • 47Kelleher
  • 52Thomson
  • 63Tierney
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
10,605

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home6
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 1, Celtic 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, Celtic 3.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Logan Bailly.

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

Booking

Eoghan O'Connell (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Simon Murray (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eoghan O'Connell (Celtic).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Logan Bailly.

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

Booking

Scott Allan (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Scott Allan (Celtic).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aidan Connolly.

Corner, Dundee United.

Attempt blocked. Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Saidy Janko.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Joseph Thomson replaces Tomas Rogic.

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

Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Aidan Connolly replaces Chris Erskine.

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 1, Celtic 3. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

Booking

Ryan Dow (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Scott Allan (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Saidy Janko (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Scott Allan replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Simon Murray replaces Robbie Muirhead.

Booking

Ryan McGowan (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan McGowan (Dundee United).

Eoghan O'Connell (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Callum McGregor replaces Charlie Mulgrew.

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

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

Foul by Anthony Stokes (Celtic).

Foul by John Souttar (Dundee United).

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

Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Robbie Muirhead (Dundee United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts5500135815
2Celtic5410135813
3Aberdeen440071612
4Hamilton42116247
5Ross County52128537
6Dundee52129727
7St Johnstone512289-15
8Dundee Utd5113510-54
9Motherwell510438-53
10Partick Thistle503227-53
11Inverness CT502338-52
12Kilmarnock5023414-102
View full Scottish Premiership table

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