Celtic 6-2 Dundee Utd

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Celtic's Champions League hopes may be hanging by the thinnest of threads but their domestic dominance was highlighted with a convincing and entertaining win over Dundee United in Glasgow.

Neil Lennon's side fought back from an early shock courtesy of a Stuart Armstrong strike, which was quickly cancelled out by Efe Ambrose's header.

Doubles from Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes as well as a first-half Joe Ledley strike left United licking their wounds.

Johnny Russell netted a consolation just on the final whistle but the rut was already well and truly complete as the hosts moved 18 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

The hosts enjoyed all the early possession but it was the visitors who started the goal rush. Gary Mackay-Steven broke free and found Armstrong, who skipped past Charlie Mulgrew to slot the ball under Fraser Forster.

United's lead lasted all of two minutes though and it was a man keen to make amends who pulled Celtic level.

Commons swung in a corner from the right-hand side and Ambrose out-jumped the visiting defence to bullet a header past Radoslaw Cierzniak.

The cheers that greeted his acrobatic celebration suggested all had been forgiven following his poor performance against Juventus in midweek.

Celtic were keen to kill off fears of a European hangover and Commons provided the tonic.

Anthony Stokes scores for Celtic against Dundee United
Stokes scored twice in the second half

The United defence failed to deal with Emilio Izaguirre's cross and Commons slipped as he blasted the ball in off the keeper and crossbar.

Before the crowd had the chance to draw breath United had a great but controversial chance to pull level.

Adam Matthews challenged Mackay-Steven inside the box and a corner kick looked to be on the cards but the referee pointed to the spot and flashed a yellow card at the Celtic defender.

The home fans' fury turned to delight though as Forster guessed right and palmed away Jon Daly's penalty.

And Celtic turned the screw with Stokes holding up the ball before Joe Ledley curled a shot past Cierzniak, with more than a hint of deflection helping the ball on its way.

Gary Hooper could have hit a fourth 10 minutes after the break but he pulled his low drive just wide of Cierzniak's right-hand post.

And so it fell to Commons to end the game as a contest with the game's second spot-kick.

Celtic's penalty ratio has been far from clever this season but Commons' strike from 12 yards, awarded after Barry Douglas had fouled Stokes, almost burst the net.

What it did burst was United's bubble and it was damage limitation for most of the second half.

Stokes found his way through with a stunning strike for number five though and it was all falling apart for Jackie McNamara's side.

The United crumble was complete when the Irishman hammered in his second and Celtic's sixth after Cierzniak had saved James Forrest's initial close-range header.

And though Russell beat Forster with a low shot in the last minute, it did little to take the shine of Celtic's impressive win.


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