Scottish Premiership

Celtic 3-0 Dundee: Mikey Johnston scores twice in easy win

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Celtic will be top of the Scottish Premiership on Christmas Day after what Brendan Rodgers called one of the "most enjoyable performances" of his reign.

Teenager Mikey Johnston scored his second and third senior goals - four days after netting his first - as Celtic swept aside bottom club Dundee.

Playing as a lone striker, Johnston turned cutely before guiding in the opener, then headed in after the break.

Filip Benkovic added a third as Celtic won a ninth straight home league game.

"This time of the year the team can look a bit leggy and a bit tired and a bit loose with the ball but I thought the foundation of our game, our pressing, was very good," Rodgers told BBC Scotland.

"We didn't give Dundee the opportunity to build any sort of sequence of passes or any threat and that was because the players' reading of the game and brilliance of their counter-pressing."

Defeat means Dundee have lost their last three games - all away from home - conceding 11 goals.

Jesse Curran had their only attempt on target - a tame shot that was saved by Scott Bain - as they slip three points behind St Mirren at the bottom of the division.

Johnston no flash in the pan

All the focus had been on the problems Celtic had up front, with Odsonne Edouard injured and no other recognised striker available. But problems for some often present opportunities for others, and this opportunity would be taken by Johnston.

The 19-year-old scored his first Celtic goal in midweek against Motherwell and he would underline his huge promise by taking his chance against Dundee.

Just as it looked like the visitors had managed to secure an unlikely scoreline of 0-0 at half time, there was Johnston showing sharpness to fire low into the corner past Jack Hamilton to give Celtic the lead.

It was clearly no flash in the pan, as right after the break Johnston effectively sealed the win with a header in off the bar. That would have completed his hat trick had an early effort not come back off the bar.

Celtic utterly dominated and from there it was just about damage limitation for Dundee, but they were just unable to stop the returning Ryan Christie - on as a sub for James Forrest - from cutting in from the right and firing a shot which Hamilton saved but spilled for Benkovic to make it 3-0. Anthony Ralston also hit a post.

From the moment Dundee left Kenny Miller on the bench, it was evident that the Dark Blues would try to grind out a point. Apart from Martin Woods low effort in the early stages wide of a post it was chance after chance for Celtic throughout.

Filip Benkovic's second goal of the season clinched Celtic's win
Filip Benkovic's second goal of the season clinched Celtic's win

'More important games to come' - analysis

For both sides there are more important assignments on the horizon.

A Celtic victory always looked likely. This game was all about keeping the home fires burning and staying top at Christmas. Rodgers will hope the likes of Edouard and Kieran Tierney will make it back for the sterner tests of Aberdeen and Rangers away.

As for Dundee, their priority now shifts to Livingston on Boxing Day and St Johnstone just before Hogmanay - two home games which offer a better chance of collecting the points they desperately need.

'Mikey was such a threat' - reaction

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "It was so enjoyable some of our play, the youngsters just come in and play with that confidence within our structure.

"Mikey has got that instinct to score a goal. His run and skill for the first was absolutely brilliant, but his second is one you probably wouldn't expect - a running diving header. He was such a threat."

Dundee manager Jim McIntyre: "Celtic's movement, at times, was sensational. We struggled to cope with it.

"For the first half hour, we made sure that our lines were good and made it difficult. Conceding the goal right before half-time was a sore blow."



Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 29Bain
  • 56Ralston
  • 5SimunovicSubstituted forAjerat 58'minutes
  • 32Benkovic
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 42McGregor
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forChristieat 62'minutes
  • 21Ntcham
  • 18Rogic
  • 11Sinclair
  • 73JohnstonSubstituted forHayesat 77'minutes


  • 1Gordon
  • 8Brown
  • 12Gamboa
  • 15Hayes
  • 16Morgan
  • 17Christie
  • 35Ajer


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Hamilton
  • 2Kerr
  • 15Inniss
  • 23Boyle
  • 3Ralph
  • 8Kamara
  • 27Curran
  • 4WoodsBooked at 26mins
  • 18McGowan
  • 14NabiSubstituted forLambertat 62'minutes
  • 19KallmanSubstituted forMillerat 54'minutes


  • 11Mendy
  • 12Parish
  • 20Miller
  • 28Spence
  • 45Moore
  • 47Lambert
  • 58Bradbury
Euan Anderson

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamDundee
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, Dundee 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Dundee 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Dangerous play by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic).

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Andrew Boyle.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ryan Inniss.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  9. Post update

    Anthony Ralston (Celtic) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

  10. Post update

    Jonny Hayes (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Inniss (Dundee).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jesse Curran (Dundee).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Ralston (Celtic).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Jonny Hayes replaces Michael Johnston.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Nathan Ralph.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 3, Dundee 0. Filip Benkovic (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Johnston (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ryan Inniss.


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