Scottish Cup - Quater-Finals
Dundee UtdDundee United1CelticCeltic1

Scottish Cup: Dundee United 1-1 Celtic

By Keir MurrayBBC Scotland
  • Celtic's Van Dijk, United's Paton and Dixon sent off
  • Ciftci scores penalty for United
  • United's Cierzniak saves Griffiths' penalty
  • Griffiths heads Celtic level
  • Teams will meet in quarter-final replay

Nine-man Dundee United held on at Tannadice to earn a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay with Celtic.

Referee Craig Thomson sent off Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk and United's Paul Paton in an early angry encounter.

Both teams hit the post before United's Aidan Connolly won a hotly contested penalty, which Nadir Ciftci scored.

Terrors defender Paul Dixon was sent off for blocking a goalbound shot and Leigh Griffths had his penalty saved before levelling with a great header.

The first eight minutes were scrappy, but the character of the game changed when, after a flurry of heavy challenges in midfield, Thomson showed the red card to visiting centre-half Van Dijk and, inexplicably, United's Paton.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown slid in on striker Ciftci, available for United after a successful appeal against a two-match suspension, and Van Dijk made an ugly challenge on Calum Butcher, who lashed out at the Dutchman while lying on the turf.

Paton arrived on the scene just after, but it was the holding midfielder and not Butcher who was shown a straight red card, along with Van Dijk, who had tussled with Butcher after the United player retaliated.

United striker Nadir Ciftci runs towards manager Jackie McNamara after scoring a penalty
United striker Nadir Ciftci runs towards manager Jackie McNamara after scoring a penalty

Unless they are successful with an appeal, they will both miss next Sunday's Scottish League Cup final, the second of the three meetings between the teams in 14 days, not including the replay.

The incident further hampered the chances of witnessing any decent football on a muddy, rutted surface.

Indeed, the red cards apart, the first 40 minutes were forgettable.

During that period, a foul by Brown at the edge of his penalty box gave United a free-kick in a central position.

As seven Celtic players lined up to block the shot, three tangerine shirts peeled off the edge of the wall to open up Craig Gordon's goal, but Ciftci's tame shot slipped past.

Celtic, smarting from the midweek league defeat by St Johnstone, which was their first domestic loss of 2015, pushed forward but failed to penetrate the home defence until the 42nd minute when Stefan Johansen cracked a shot from 25 yards that Radoslaw Cierzniak did well to palm away.

United immediately had a chance of their own, with Butcher's poorly hit shot from 18 yards diverted against the Celtic upright by Ryan Dow.

The game swung to the other end and Johansen did brilliantly to squeeze between two United players to set up Anthony Stokes, who ought to have scored but instead rolled the ball, bobbling all the way, against the post.

Leigh Griffiths slams a penalty at the United goal but Radoslaw Cierzniak saves
Leigh Griffiths slams a penalty at the United goal - Radoslaw Cierzniak dived to his left to save it

In added time, Connolly weaved into the Celtic box and jinked past an unorthodox Nir Bitton tackle before crashing to the ground from what looked like only a glancing challenge by Stokes.

Thomson pointed to the spot and Ciftci tucked the penalty low just inside Gordon's right-hand post.

The second half began with now familiar drama, as James Forrest's goalbound shot was blocked by Dixon, who was almost on the goalline, with the aid of his arm.

The United defender was red carded, but Ronny Deila's side could not pull themselves level from the penalty as Cierzniak dived to his left to save Griffiths's well-struck shot.

The little Celtic striker almost made amends when he rose above Jaroslaw Fojut to meet Emilio Izaguirre's cross but headed just over.

In a febrile atmosphere, nine-man United tried to clear their heads as Celtic swarmed.

With half an hour remaining. United's Polish goalkeeper was a match for Stokes' blistering shot from the left after Forrest had run riot in a diagonal charge across the pitch.

But his save from substitute John Guidetti's low drive from a sublime Johansen lay-off was even more impressive, as United fought valiantly for a semi-final place after three defeats and a draw in their last four matches.

For all that, he was undone by a precise 71st-minute header by Griffiths, who timed his run perfectly to stay onside to meet Johansen's delicious clip into the box and direct the ball past the helpless goalie.

Celtic looked to deliver the killer blow, with Bitton and Johansen the most likely to create the decisive moment, and pressed forward relentlessly.

Butcher had the best of United's precious few second-half chances as he strode into the box, but had his shot saved by Gordon.

Cierzniak made a brave save at the feet of Guidetti to earn his team a replay at Celtic Park, which will determine who plays Inverness or Raith Rovers in the semi-finals. Hibernian and Falkirk will meet in the other last-four match.

Virgil van Dijk and Calum Butcher clash
Virgil van Dijk and Calum Butcher clash, resulting in the Celtic defender being sent off
Referee Craig Thomson sends off Paul Paton and Virgil van Dijk
Referee Craig Thomson sends off Paul Paton and Virgil van Dijk
Nadir Ciftci scores from the spot
Craig Gordon is at full stretch but cannot prevent Nadir Ciftci's penalty from crossing the line

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 16McGowan
  • 2Dillon
  • 5Fojut
  • 3DixonBooked at 49mins
  • 6PatonBooked at 11mins
  • 20ButcherBooked at 79mins
  • 8Rankin
  • 18DowSubstituted forErskineat 64'minutes
  • 7CiftciBooked at 66mins
  • 22ConnollySubstituted forSouttarat 51'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Souttar
  • 17Erskine
  • 19Bilate
  • 21Telfer
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
  • 30Anier

Celtic

  • 26Gordon
  • 4Ambrose
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van DijkBooked at 11mins
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 6BittonSubstituted forFisherat 90+3'minutes
  • 49Forrest
  • 25JohansenBooked at 73mins
  • 10StokesSubstituted forGuidettiat 64'minutes
  • 28GriffithsSubstituted forScepovicat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Guidetti
  • 12Scepovic
  • 24Zaluska
  • 32Wakaso
  • 41Fisher
  • 42McGregor
  • 53Henderson
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
10,504

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home5
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home1
Away9
Fouls
Home11
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 1, Celtic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, Celtic 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

  4. Post update

    Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Darnell Fisher replaces Nir Bitton because of an injury.

  6. Post update

    Chris Erskine (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Efe Ambrose (Celtic).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by John Guidetti (Celtic).

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. John Guidetti (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stefan Scepovic replaces Leigh Griffiths.

  12. Post update

    Chris Erskine (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jason Denayer (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).

  15. Post update

    (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Calum Butcher (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Guidetti (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

  20. Post update

    Stefan Johansen (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.