Scottish League Cup - Final
Dundee UtdDundee United0CelticCeltic2

Dundee United 0-2 Celtic

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Hampden
  • Celtic win their 15th Scottish League Cup
  • Kris Commons and James Forrest score
  • Dundee United captain Sean Dillon sent off
  • Tangerines' fifth League Cup final defeat in a row

Celtic overcame dogged Dundee United to lift the Scottish League Cup and earn the first leg of a potential domestic treble.

Kris Commons and James Forrest scored the goals that broke United's resolve.

A little of the spirit of Jackie McNamara's side was lost when they were reduced to 10 men after captain Sean Dillon's dismissal in the 56th minute.

Celtic were leading 1-0 at that point, while Forrest saw a late penalty saved by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

Interview: Celtic manager Ronny Deila

Dundee United set out to be resilient with two natural defenders, in Ryan McGowan and Calum Butcher, and two terrier-like midfielders, in Paul Paton and John Rankin, lining up in front of the four-man defence.

The effect was to close down the space that Celtic's four attackers like to operate in.

Celtic broke in behind the United defence on fewer occasions than might have been expected with Commons and Anthony Stokes playing as the wide attackers and Leigh Griffiths constantly looking to dart in behind the two United centre-backs.

Referee Bobby Madden sends off Dundee United captain Sean Dillon
Referee Bobby Madden sends off Dundee United captain Sean Dillon

Ronny Deila's side could still cause moments of alarm for their opponents, though.

Jaroslaw Fojut had to hoist one clearance over his own crossbar, while Dillon needed to be alert to nod Virgil van Dijk's header off the line.

The limitation of United's approach was evident when a rare moment of carelessness by Stefan Johansen allowed Ryan Dow to scurry upfield with the ball. He eluded a series of challenges, but still ran out of space and support before anything meaningful could occur.

United were strong, muscular and stoic, while Celtic kept probing for the delicate, subtle pass. They were handed an opening when Griffiths was cute enough to intercept Callum Morris's pass back, but then from a tight angle could only skew his shot into the side-netting.

It took misfortune and, perhaps, an element of misjudgement, for United's good work to be undone.

James Forrest pings home Celtic's second goal 11 minutes from full-time
James Forrest pings home Celtic's second goal 11 minutes from full-time

Dillon suffered what appeared to be a nasty cut from a stud mark after an accidental collision with Van Dijk. He was off the field for two minutes when Celtic scored, with Commons reacting more sharply than Fojut when his shot was parried away by a brilliant Cierzniak save. Pouncing on the rebound, Commons drilled the ball into the net.

Jackie McNamara was exasperated on the touchline, turning round to yell at his staff while Dillon was still inside the dressing room being treated. The United manager was on the verge of bringing on Blair Spittal - the player was stripped and waiting at the touchline - when Dillon finally reappeared. The damage was done, though, to the scoreline and to United's best hopes of triumph.

They felt momentarily aggrieved when, after surging into the penalty area, Dow was nudged in the back by Scott Brown and went to ground, although a penalty would have been a harsh judgement however much United demanded one.

Interviews: Stefan Johansen and Kris Commons

Celtic could rely on more space opening up after the break, with United having to chase an equaliser. Their cause was further enhanced when Dillon was sent off for a straight-legged challenge on Emilio Izaguirre. There didn't seem any malicious intent, but it was a dangerous enough tackle to merit the dismissal.

The decision irked McNamara, who was eventually spoken to by the referee Bobby Madden.

A second goal was inevitable, though. Morris repelled two shots with diving tackles, before Forrest eventually steered the ball into the net from 20 yards. The Celtic substitute was less composed minutes later, when he missed from the penalty spot after being bundled over by Paul Dixon.

The miss was particularly chastening, since some of his team-mates had wanted him to let John Guidetti take the penalty. The fans chanted for it to be Brown, but at the end of a difficult week for the Celtic captain, he would have taken most satisfaction from lifting the trophy at the end.

And with his team leading the Scottish Premiership and with a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay with Dundee United to come, Brown will hope to have his hands on more silverware by the end of the season.

Celtic celebrate
Efe Ambrose celebrated with Celtic team-mates Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons
James Forrest takes a penalty
Celtic winger James Forrest won a late penalty but his attempt was saved by United's Radoslaw Cierzniak
Scott Brown receives the trophy from Rod Stewart
Celtic captain Scott Brown received the trophy from Rod Stewart

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 2DillonBooked at 56mins
  • 14Morris
  • 5Fojut
  • 3Dixon
  • 16McGowanBooked at 34mins
  • 20Butcher
  • 6PatonBooked at 58minsSubstituted forErskineat 72'minutes
  • 8Rankin
  • 18Dow
  • 19BilateSubstituted forAnierat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Souttar
  • 17Erskine
  • 21Telfer
  • 22Connolly
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
  • 30Anier

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Gordon
  • 4Ambrose
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 6BittonSubstituted forHendersonat 82'minutes
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forForrestat 69'minutes
  • 25Johansen
  • 10Stokes
  • 28GriffithsSubstituted forGuidettiat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Guidetti
  • 12Scepovic
  • 24Zaluska
  • 41Fisher
  • 42McGregor
  • 49Forrest
  • 53Henderson
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
49,259

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home2
Away18
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home6
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 2.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Chris Erskine.

  7. Post update

    Penalty saved! James Forrest (Celtic) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the centre of the goal.

  8. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Paul Dixon (Dundee United) after a foul in the penalty area.

  9. Post update

    Penalty Celtic. James Forrest draws a foul in the penalty area.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces Nir Bitton.

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Dundee United 0, Celtic 2. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Guidetti.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Jason Denayer.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) header from very close range misses to the right following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Paul Dixon.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Chris Erskine replaces Paul Paton.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jason Denayer (Celtic) header from very close range is too high.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Callum Morris.