Celtic 3-0 Dundee United: Ronny Deila impressed by dominance

Gary Mackay-Steven holds back his celebration after scoring against his old club
Gary Mackay-Steven holds back his celebration after scoring against his old club

Celtic manager Ronny Deila understood why his team could not recreate their first-half performance as they ran out easy 3-0 winners against Dundee United.

Goals from Gary Mackay-Steven, John Guidetti and Jason Denayer helped stretch Celtic's lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to five points after Aberdeen dropped points earlier in the day against Dundee.

"After playing now three matches in six days we had more power than Dundee [United] and it was a good performance," Deila told BBC Scotland.

"We controlled the game from the first to the last minute and we won quite easily.

"We need to continue developing and playing good football. Our goal is to win everything and we are still there. We have put ourselves in a good position after this week and there is so much to play for.

"We can play in a higher tempo, especially in the second half - I think we were sloppy.

"But, it is not easy when you are 3-0 up and you are playing three matches in six days. I understand it is hard to put on full speed."

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara took some encouragement from the second-half performance of his side, with three teenagers on the field in John Souttar, Blair Spittal and Charlie Telfer.

Dundee United players Nadir Ciftci and Henri Anier
United lost 10 goals in their four successive matches

He said: "I thought we lacked a bit of belief in the first half, but in the second half I was happy with the response.

"I was pleased with certain things in the second half; we didn't fold, we stuck to it, and had one or two opportunities we didn't take.

"The players need a break, it's been a tough period for us. The four games against Celtic, three in six days, physically and mentally one or two boys are walking wounded, a few missing as well with injuries.

"So it gives us a chance to re-group and make sure we come back. We've got a lot of important games to make sure we catch Inverness above us.

"It has been a disappointing run of games and results, we've lost a couple of bad games at home to St Johnstone and Partick [Thistle], but everybody's fighting for something just now.

"It's important we focus and try and build and chase Inverness above us."

Top Stories