Celtic 2-0 Dunfermline

Celtic moved 20 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League with a confident display of power that leaves Dunfermline rooted to the bottom.

Charlie Mulgrew celebrated his first Scotland call-up with a spectacular drive from 30 yards after 32 minutes.

Pars goalkeeper Chris Smith might have done better with that but pulled off a series of saves to prevent a rout.

But James Forrest forced the ball home from a Gary Hooper cross after 75 minutes to secure Celtic's win.

It was Celtic's 13th in a row in all competitions, equalling a feat achieved by Martin O'Neill's side in 2004, and 19 in domestic games.

Mulgrew opened the scoring for Celtic against the Pars
Mulgrew opened the scoring for Celtic against the Pars

Dunfermline's only consolation was news from Fir Park of Hibernian's 4-3 defeat by Motherwell that leaves the Pars tied with the Leith outfit on points but behind on goal difference and having played a game more.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon showed the strength of his squad by giving starts to Cha Du-ri, Emilio Izaguirre, Ki Sung-yueng and Kris Commons in place of Forrest, Adam Matthews, Victor Wanyama and Thomas Rogne.

Dunfermline boss Jim McIntyre adopted a defensive formation, with Andy Dowie, Paul Burns, Ryan Thomson and Liam Buchanan coming in for Martin Hardie, Gary Mason, Jordan McMillan and the injured Andy Kirk.

Ki tested Smith with a drive from distance that the goalkeeper saved and he also touched a Hooper shot round the post.

It was one-way traffic and Smith made another decent save, this time from Anthony Stokes' drive before Commons fired over the bar.

Celtic were spraying the ball about the pitch confidently and at speed and a Hooper header was gathered by Smith.

Mulgrew, named in Craig Levein's squad for next week's friendly in Slovenia, made the breakthrough when he had a go from 30 yards and the powerful drive deceived Smith.

The goalkeeper prevented a second with a block after Hooper set up Commons 12 yards out before parrying to safety the latter's effort from outside the box.

Despite the pressure, Dunfermline could have levelled when defender Alex Keddie headed straight at goalkeeper Fraser Forster from Joe Cardle's corner.

Pars boss McIntyre rearranged his defence at the break, with Austin McCann replacing the injured Kevin Rutkiewicz.

Stokes missed a gilt-edged chance when found by Izaguirre's cross to the back post, but the striker was left with head in hands after knocking his effort wide.

Buchanan squandered a chance at the other end before Smith was the Dunfermline hero again, blocking from Joe Ledley, with Hooper skying the rebound.

Smith produced yet another finger-tip save to deny Scott Brown, but Celtic gave themselves the breathing space they were looking for when Forrest finished off Hooper's cross.

Commons fired over then forced another parry from Smith, who also beat away a Hooper effort, as Dunfermline managed to prevent a heavier defeat.

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