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Summary

  1. Leigh Griffiths scores hat-trick
  2. Seventh meeting of the sides this season
  3. Celtic lead table by eight points
  4. United remain in fifth

Live Reporting

By Keir Murray

All times stated are UK

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I'm hearing a final whistle being blown, surely for this live text. We'll have post-match reaction, Premiership highlights and more from Saturday's games and a fabulous interview with boxing legend Ken Buchanan on our website between now and 18:00 BST. The highlights from Tannadice will be online at midnight. Many thanks for getting in touch throughout the day and for reading the live text today. Sportsound stays on BBC Radio Scotland and online until 17:00 BST. Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday.

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara

"(The penalty incident) looked outside the box, but it's part and parcel of the game, you just have to accept it. There are good signs that we are moving the right way. The chairman and the board look after the running of the club, I look after the players. Losing four players in six months makes my job harder but my job is to get the club on a sound footing. My focus is on the best interests of the club. There are kids coming on and making their debuts."

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara

"I was pleased with a lot of things in the first half but disappointed to lose the goal so soon at the start of the second half. It's difficult from that point on, they got their tails up. Robbie Muirhead was isolated in the second half but for his first full start against a quality defence I thought he caused them problems. I was pleased for him."

BBC Scotland football pundit Willie Miller

"If Jason Denayer goes in the summer, Celtic have got to find someone who can come in and play in that position. The quality he has is way beyond his years. They need a central defender. It's a vital area for them, particularly with the way they play with the two central defenders, and two full-backs bombing forward. There is a lot to appeal to him to stay at Celtic but if you are pulling the strings at Celtic you'd be desperate to keep him."

Hat-trick hero Leigh Griffiths takes the match ball
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Leigh Griffiths, Celtic's top scorer this season, takes the match ball from referee Willie Collum after scoring a hat-trick.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila

"We have money but we must use money to invest in players that we can improve a lot and sell on."

Ronny Deila
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Celtic manager Ronny Deila: "The three points were deserved. The first half was poor, no tempo or aggression. Second half was much better so I am very pleased. We have played many matches but we need attitude and aggression in every game. Leigh Griffiths delivered. His contribution is at the top level. United have some good young players. They are good at producing them. They are tough to play against. I haven't seen (the penalty incident). We deserved to win. If that decision was wrong I don't think it made any difference."

Eight points ahead, Celtic require a maximum of five more points to win the title, but any slip-up by second-placed Aberdeen reduces that target.

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Brian, Glasgow: "I assume those Celtic fans demanding explanation over the ICT handball will be asking the SFA why Brown stayed on the pitch. Only consistent innit."

Anonymous: "How well Ronny has got Tic playing and he is making a mockery of all the deluded folk who laughed at his tactics he brought to the team."

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Jamie McGilchrist: "In just four months, Thompson and McNamara have undone 9 years of progression that started under Craig Levein. #bbcscotfootball" Harsh words, Jamie!

BBC Scotland football pundit Pat Bonner

"Celtic won the midfield battle. When United lost that goal it was all over and I think (the league title race) is all over."

That loss is a blow to Dundee United's European hopes. They trail third-placed Inverness by six points, both teams having played 33 games. St Johnstone have two points more than United but have played a game more than their Tayside rivals. If Inverness beat Falkirk in the Scottish Cup final, the team placed fourth in the table will go into the Europa League qualifying rounds, so there is much to play for for United.

Most Dundee United fans have left the stadium by the time Celtic manager Ronny Deila engages in a bit of fist-pumping celebrations with the travelling fans.

FULL-TIME

Dundee United 0-3 Celtic

It's a comprehensive win for Celtic as Leigh Griffiths' third hat-trick for Celtic secures the points that takes his team a step closer to another Scottish Premiership title.

Leigh Griffiths tucks away a penalty for Celtic to make it 3-0.
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Leigh Griffiths tucks away a penalty for Celtic to make it 3-0.

We're in to the first of three minutes of added time.

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Board67: "Can't wait for the media to desperately pretend that this decision makes up for last week #bbcscotfootball"

Well, when your eye for goal is in and you're feeling confident, why not have a dig at goal? Leigh Griffiths wastes no time in darting a shot at the United net from 22 yards as he is afforded too much space by the dispirited Terrors. On this occasion, the shot went six inches wide.

Leigh Griffiths tucks in his second goal
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Leigh Griffiths tucks in his second goal for Celtic. United midfielder John Rankin is not holding the ball, despite how it looks in this photo.

GOAL

Dundee United 0-3 Celtic (Griffiths)

Leigh Griffiths will be taking home the match ball. He strolls up and pings it past Radoslaw Cierzniak for his and Celtic's third goal.

PENALTY

And the same player wins a penalty for Celtic, though TV replays show that Willie Collum has made the wrong decision - the tackle by John Rankin on Mackay-Steven was just outside the area.

HITS THE WOODWORK

Gary Mackay-Steven crashes a left-foot shot off the crossbar. Celtic are hungry for more.

BBC Scotland football pundit Pat Bonner

"The first half was a good performance from Dundee United. They'd have been disappointed that half time came because they'd be worried they lost their momentum. That's what happened and you get that with young players. That's where they fell down in the second half."

Here's a response from Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara: Aidan Connolly comes on for Blair Spittal.

Dundee United knock the ball about in midfield and win a corner when Virgil van Dijk slices Robbie Muirhead's ball into the box high ball out of play. The set-piece, though, comes to nothing for United. What can the Terrors do to salvage something in the final 12 minutes?

Leigh Griffiths and Celtic captain Scott Brown
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Leigh Griffiths, scorer of two goals this afternoon, takes the acclaim of the Celtic fans behind the goal, as skipper Scott Brown comes in to offer his congratulations, one assumes.

Andi Hamilton on Facebook: "7 meetings this season and you can tell, very dull game, a poor celtic side by all accounts, Lenny would have wrapped up the title weeks ago especially with no Hibs, Hearts and Rangers."

Stefan Johansen receives treatment after landing awkwardly from a challenge by John Rankin. The Norway international looks to have winded himself and groggily hobbles off to be replaced by Celtic winger James Forrest.

Just a shade more than 20 minutes left at Tannadice. The Celtic fans are chanting that they are going to win the league.

Alistair Coote replaces Charlie Telfer for United.

Efe Ambrose comes on for Celtic team-mate Adam Matthews.

GOAL

Dundee United 0-2 Celtic (Griffiths)

Goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak is, eventually, beaten for a second time this afternoon as Leigh Griffiths turns the ball over the line from close range, after Virgil van Dijk, competing in the air with United's Callum Morris, heads an effort off the post.

BBC Scotland football pundit Pat Bonner

"Dundee United just don't look as if they are the same team they were in the first half."

Ronny Deila makes a change to his Celtic team: Gary Mackay-Steven replaces another former United player, Stuart Armstrong, a switch that will induce boak in the gullet of some fans of the men in tangerine.

The visiting fans rub their hands as Virgil van Dijk lines up a free-kick from 25 yards. The Dutch defender has been pinging them into the top corner of goals around the country of late but this time he tries a low shot...which evades the wall and slips past the United keeper's right-hand post.

Celtic are enjoying themselves in the Tayside sunshine as Stefan Johansen, in a central position 20 yards out, applies the finishing touch to a move down the right, only for the impressive Radoslaw Cierzniak to make a good save to his right.

Kris Commons pivots on his right foot to power a left-foot shot low at the United goal but the home keeper is down quickly to smother it. United are not finished in this game, though. Their appetite for attack is far from sated.

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John the Arab from Tayport: "Scott Brown should have been sent off. It was a shocking tackle on John Rankin, his studs were up. It's a total disgrace. "

GREAT SAVE!

Stefan Johansen clips in the type of cross you dream about - using the outside of his left boot from the right touchline - and it lands on the bonce of the on-rushing Kris Commons who got in ahead of Ryan McGowan to power a header towards the top corner of the net. However, there was Radoslaw Cierzniak to leap to save Celtic going two ahead.

United are trying to get a grip on the match again but Celtic have their tails up and are showing a hunger to clinch these three points as they home in on the title.