Scottish Premiership
Celtic2Dundee1

Celtic 2-1 Dundee

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths scored his 12th goal of the season with a stunning free-kick

Celtic survived a late Dundee fightback to re-establish an 11-point lead at the top of the Premiership.

Leigh Griffiths' stunning free-kick put the champions ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Nir Bitton then curled home Celtic's second after the break before Marcus Haber's goal brought the visitors back into the match.

Faisal El Bakhtaoui passed up a glorious chance to claim a point for Dundee as the home side held on.

The win means it is now 20 domestic matches unbeaten for Celtic under Brendan Rodgers, and in addition to their 11-point cushion at the Premiership summit they have two matches in hand over second-placed Rangers.

Dundee are in tenth place, just a point above the bottom but only four points off the top six.

Lethal Leigh

After his winner against Hamilton Academical in midweek, Leigh Griffiths started up front with Moussa Dembele demoted to the bench.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he does not feel Griffiths and Dembele playing together up front works.

Griffiths looked lively from the off. A one-two at the edge of the box gave Griffiths space in the box. His dinked shot came back off the post.

It took until first-half injury time for Griffiths to give Celtic the breakthrough. A free-kick 25 yards from goal and Griffiths dispatched it expertly with his left foot into the corner of the net.

Nir Bitton
Nir Bitton celebrates after putting Celtic 2-0 up

Dogged Dundee

How do you stop Celtic? You need a game plan, and Dundee's plan was to stifle the home side.

A back three? It was more of a back five, with four in midfield. Haber had the job of leading the line.

Celtic were utterly dominant but Dundee had a couple of big chances.

Tom Hateley fired over the bar from the edge of the box but it was Kevin Holt who came even closer. The left wing-back was given far too much time and arrowed a shot narrowly wide of the post.

Haber hit the post in the second half from a corner, as they continued to carry the odd goal threat. His deflected effort then found the back of the net and the complexion of the game changed.

Dundee almost equalised at the death. El Bakhtaoui was clean through on goal but disappointingly for Dundee his shot went over the bar.

Celtic squander chances

Faisal El Bakhtaoui
Fasial El Bakhtaoui missed a big chance to equalise for Dundee late in the match

Celtic were in charge from the get-go, but despite wave after wave of attacks both sides almost went in at the break level.

The home side should have been well in front after Griffiths hit the post. Tom Rogic then fired over from six yards out when he should have scored.

After an intense period of second-half pressure Celtic made it 2-0. Dundee just couldn't get the ball clear and Bitton curled home an effort from the edge of the box.

On the balance of play Celtic deserved the points.

Reaction

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "The overall performance I was pleased with. It wasn't perfect, that's for sure.

"We dominated the first-half, created a number of chances, some fantastic football. It's very difficult when you play against a team with 11 players behind the ball, but I thought the level of our football was very good. It was wave after wave of attack.

"Second-half we came out started to dominate again, got the second goal and I then think we got a bit carried away. We looked like we maybe thought we could get four or five so then we start to lose our tactical discipline and it then becomes a game of basketball for about 10 minutes. In that basketball period they get the goal, 2-1, and then of course have to control it again.

"We had chances towards the end to close it out for 3-1, but they had an opportunity that they'll be disappointed they didn't do better with. Overall I think the best team won but we need to learn to be better in certain moments in the game."

Dundee manager Paul Hartley: "I felt the players were terrific today. First half we had a lot pressure against us but they never really cut us open. You see their two goals, they're both from outside the box.

"We get back in the game then Bakhtaoui has a chance. He's gutted in there but we missed other chances.

"When you come here you've got to be clinical and take your chances. We hit the post, Wighton has one, Holt has one in the first-half. We knew they were going to have loads of possession, that was the game plan.

"I thought our players' attitude was first class today."

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 12Gamboa
  • 5SimunovicBooked at 89mins
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 17Christie
  • 14Armstrong
  • 6Bitton
  • 18RogicSubstituted forMcGregorat 45'minutes
  • 16Mackay-StevenSubstituted forSinclairat 67'minutes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forDembeleat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2K Touré
  • 10Dembele
  • 11Sinclair
  • 23Lustig
  • 24de Vries
  • 27Roberts
  • 42McGregor

Dundee

  • 1Bain
  • 30Kerr
  • 26Gadzhalov
  • 6O'DeaBooked at 45mins
  • 55Gomis
  • 3Holt
  • 33Wighton
  • 7HateleySubstituted forEl Bakhtaouiat 87'minutes
  • 4Vincent
  • 11WilliamsSubstituted forO'Haraat 64'minutes
  • 21Haber

Substitutes

  • 9Loy
  • 12Mitchell
  • 14O'Hara
  • 16Etxabeguren
  • 17Ross
  • 20El Bakhtaoui
  • 27Curran
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
37,404

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home22
Away6
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away4

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 2, Dundee 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Dundee 1.

Foul by Ryan Christie (Celtic).

Kevin Gomis (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kevin Holt (Dundee).

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Moussa Dembele.

Booking

Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

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

Attempt missed. Kevin Holt (Dundee) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaces Tom Hateley.

Attempt blocked. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Mark O'Hara (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Moussa Dembele (Celtic).

Darren O'Dea (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Moussa Dembele replaces Leigh Griffiths.

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

Foul by Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic).

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

Attempt missed. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

Mark O'Hara (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Dundee 1. Marcus Haber (Dundee) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mark O'Hara.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Scott Sinclair replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Marcus Haber (Dundee) hits the right post with a header from very close range.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Cristian Gamboa.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Mark O'Hara replaces Danny Williams.

James Vincent (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

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

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Dundee 0. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marcus Haber (Dundee).

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Cristian Gamboa.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic16151046133346
2Rangers1810532518735
3Aberdeen1784529171228
4Hearts1877432221028
5St Johnstone176652320324
6Ross County184861929-1020
7Kilmarnock184771630-1419
8Motherwell174582128-717
9Hamilton1821061925-616
10Dundee1844101524-916
11Inverness CT183782334-1116
12Partick Thistle173681927-815
View full Scottish Premiership table

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