Celtic 5-1 Dundee Utd

Celtic 5 - 1 Dundee Utd

Celtic continued their 100% run in the Scottish Premier League with a comfortable win against Dundee United.

Anthony Stokes's fourth-minute header was cancelled out by Johnny Russell on the half hour with a close-range strike at the back post.

Gary Hooper's header gave Celtic a half-time advantage, before a superb second-half strike from Ki Sung-Yeung.

A 71st-minute Joe Ledley tap-in and a well-worked injury-time effort from James Forrest secured all three points.

The win puts Celtic one point behind league-leaders Motherwell at the top of the table with nine points from their opening three matches, while United slip to sixth place following last week's draw at home to St Mirren.

With just four minutes played, a sensational long-distance shot from Kris Commons gave the United keeper Dusan Pernis a scare, resulting in a corner from which Stokes headed in from six yards.

Celtic keeper Lukasz Zaluska fumbled a Keith Watson cross from the right but Russell couldn't get a foot to it before the Polish keeper pounced to correct his mistake.

As the half hour mark approached, Ki blasted in a powerful shot from 18 yards, but Garry Kenneth deflected it out for a corner.

United found the equaliser 14 minutes from the interval when Kenneth miscued a shot that drifted across the face of the Celtic goal for Russell to fire home, unmarked, from 10 yards out.

Celtic's lead was restored immediately when Hooper benefited from a header that rebounded off the United crossbar and wrong-footed Pernis. The English striker rose highest above the United defence on the goal line and nodded in.

After the interval, Commons struck the inside of the Pernis's left-hand post, but the ball rebounded back out to safety.

United continued to look dangerous with a John Rankin long-range free-kick in the 56th minute that curved past the post.

Scott Robertson crumpled in a heap inside the Celtic penalty area - but referee Craig Thomson was having none of it - then Celtic quickly counter-attacked with Commons laying off to Ki, who blasted in a terrific third goal from 17 yards.

Willo Flood flighted in a tempting corner that Kenneth headed inches past the Celtic post then, in a flurry of goalmouth activity, Russell was unlucky to see his header deflected out in a similar fashion.

Hooper powered into the United half on a solo run and struck for goal, but the ball went wide of the target and the former Scunthorpe man was stretchered off moments later after injuring himself in the process.

United were by no means down and out and continued to press their hosts with efforts from Flood and Russell, but Maloney provided the assist with a neat cut-back from the goal-line to allow Ledley the chance to tap in Celtic's fourth.

Maloney could have made it five after some clever footwork in the final 10 minutes of the match, but the substitute dragged his shot wide.

In the final minutes of the match, Rankin forced Zaluska to tip over an angled free-kick from near the goal-line, but United were simply going through the motions before Forrest finished off a well-worked team effort to strike home Celtic's fifth of the day from close range.

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