Celtic 2-1 Dundee United


Two early goals by Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama were enough to overcome Dundee United at Celtic Park today but a cracking strike by John Rankin early in the second half ensured the table toppers had to fight all the way.

Anthony Stokes had an early opportunity to test Pernis in the United goal with a free kick, as is often the case with Anthony’s free kicks, he struck the defensive wall.  United had the best chance of the opening exchanges after 7 minutes but Fraser Forster denied Garry Kenneth at his near post after a goalmouth scramble.  The visitors kept the pressure on for the next few minutes but were to concede soon thereafter.

Thomas Rogne cleared his lines with a defensive header which Stokes won with an aerial challenge and reacted first to prod the ball forward to an alert Gary Hooper.  Hooper made the most of the space available, opened his body and placed an immaculately measured shot inside the right post to put Celtic ahead.

Five minutes later Georgios Samaras earned hearty applause throughout the stadium for a robust challenge on Willo Flood before forcing Pernis to turn a shot behind.  The resulting corner was played short to Izaguirre who through a deep and high cross into the box.  Victor Wanyama was first to react and seemed to have jumped early but he somehow managed to hover a millisecond long enough to be level with the ball when he met it before propelling it high into the top left corner of the goal.

Shortly before half time Stokes had another opportunity from a free kick.  John Rankin broke early from the wall, raised his arm and blocked inside the penalty box.  Referee, Winter, penalised the player for breaking the wall and ordered a retake, not a penalty.  Stokes had two opportunities to make the points safe within a minute of the break.  He met a Mulgrew corner on the six yards line with a glancing header that went narrowly passed the far post.  Pernis then denied an excellent Stokes strike with a fine save.

The Celtic defence had not lost a goal in eight domestic games before today and could do little about the goal that put United back in the contest.  John Rankin struck from 26 yards, the ball clipped the inside of Fraser Forster’s right hand post and bounced in.  Shortly before the hour mark John Daly had Dundee United’s best chance of the game but Forster was equal to his header.

Georgios Samaras had Celtic’s best two chances of the second half.  The first a diving header from a Matthews cross which was saved by Pernis.  The second a cross from Matthews which Samaras pulled down with his chest before shooting over.

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  1. Not long back in, traffic worse than usual due to London Rd closure.



    This is a traditionally difficult fixture safely negotiated with Rogne, Mulgrew and Forster ending the game solidly


    to ensure all three points.



    Celtic’s twinned strikers Hooper and Stokes did just enough along with Victor’s header to win this game, but as usual the game shifted


    with a failure to finish off opposition and capitalise on dominance. Celtic allowed Utd back strongly, with their five man midfield that


    always features when Celtic tire, with less numbers, resulting in failure to get the ball forward and create.



    We’ve seen this game before, and from the moment Ian Rankine scored the game was transformed and in the balance until Neil Lennon


    withdrew Stokes, who was now surplus, and even although Ki didn’t play particularly well, it was a good call by the manager. Izzy understandably struggled for fitness, and when Ledley filled in for him, the other sub Commons touch in the middle, was a factor in seeing the game out and winning.



    Scott Brown never stopped but along with Adam Matthews they both had a hard shift on the right flank, against the better SPL quality and organisation Dundee Utd always seem to provide when they come to Celtic Park. Samaras put in a power of work, if only he could finish more clinically.

  2. Larsson and McStay on

    Not long back from the game.



    Personally I thought Dundee Utd played pretty well today from the start , and without firing on all cylinders , we’ve saw the game out and took an important 3 pts today.



    Last season it was the inability to see the same fixture out , remember their last minute equaliser, and also home draws with ICT and Killie that were as much our downfall as that defeat in Inverness or Sammi’s missed pen at Ibrox.



    Had Traynor and English on for some of the drive home but turned them off as I realised it was the latest propaganda vehicle for the “Scottish football needs Rangers” party.



    I’ll happily settle for Celtic cutting their cloth accordingly as there’s “no Sky TV deal without Rangers” and if that means downsizing so be it. It’s a price we should be happy to pay for the integrity of the game up here.

  3. James Forrrest,



    You conviction gladdens my heart



    However, should the serial non tax paying recidivists receive the most lenient penaly available (say a few points for a few seasosns) then do you truly think the magnificent Celtic die hards will deliver the ultimatum you advance?



    And will the board, who I admire and respect, realise that we would rather support a youth team to the title if we lose revenue, than keep our oposites in the league?



    It’s all up in the air but I am pessimistic. MWD made some excellent suggestions recently about how we should organise but I fear the forces of the nasty establishment have formulated their response already.



    Hail Hail



  4. Larsson and McStay



    Entirely correct. All anyone needs to ask them when they peddle this claptrap is what consequences they think there should be for a club that cheats in the way Rangers have. If it’s no consequences at all, carry on there lads because Scottish football needs you, what would there be to stop everyone running up massive bills and then running away from them?



    If Rangers have driven themselves out of existence it’s not our problem. As you say, we can just cut our cloth as needs be and carry on playing and winning.



    Come on the Hoops.

  5. BSR



    home at usual 6 oclock



    the road past Shawfield was unaffected



    would you not be quicker walking

  6. Fishermans Friend on

    Don’t post often, mostly lurk.


    Tonight, reading back facebook, a United fan had posted comments before Kick Off. During the game a young Rangers fan (17/18/19ish) had hijacked the comments column and left horrendous racist and sectarian abuse about a. Victor and b. Catholics. I reported the abuse to facebook but then on contemplation, I phoned the police and reported him. The complaint has been logged and a call back has confirmed that they are treating this matter seriously, the lady I spoke to was appalled at the language and content.


    Struggling to believe the vile and hate, hope they teach this idiot a lesson.


    Sorry, rant over

  7. bournesouprecipe says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:13



    You should have saved yourself the bother of typing that post.



    You could have just c&p “one I did earlier”.



    Nevertheless, a good summary of the game from you! :<)

  8. Dushanbe



    so now you know



    you should just file in behind, in good order.



    never mind making up your own mind or anything like that



    if you want to be accepted by the cqn clique ;-)







  9. The three points are what count.



    It’s not that we were really threatened in the second half, it’s just that we’ve seen too much disappointment in the first weeks of the season.



    Good enough, Celtic!

  10. Fishermans Friend



    Well done. Racism must be challenged at every turn. Radio Scotland sports report said the police are investigating racist abuse on Twitter of Maurice Edu and another Rangers player. Good.

  11. Larsson and McStay



    i had them on as well



    shocking pro hun spin



    appalling propaganda …cleverly (or rather trying to be clever ) by always suggesting that the converse ie SPL without CFC would be equally as unworkable



    not a mention of their cheating



    turned over to Clyde …Keevins is worse …refusing to comment citing false potential legal sanction …kidding nobody ..clown

  12. PF



    Should be a motorway straight to Rutherglen. (⊙_⊙)






    Ha – What do you expect me to say, when I was wearing your sacred shawl (⊙_⊙)




  13. BSR



    Ian Rankine is an author auld pal



    his wee brother John`s(it`s no really his brother ) the fitba player :¬))

  14. tommytwiststommyturns Kano 1000 on

    P67 – I think Izzy crossed the ball for Vic’s goal.



    Fishermens Friend – well done to you.




  15. I’ve been critical at times of Gary Hooper this season. I thought today he was excellent.



    Well done Rogne and Mulgrew at the back they didn’t put a foot wrong all day.

  16. Evening all.



    Just in from the game. Wanyama just gets better and better. Good result, if a wee bit squeaky. We really need to finish teams off. Goalkeeper had 2 great saves, which kept the 3 points. He just gets better and better too. Thought our captain was poor, as was Mathews but he’s only a boy. Sammi was brilliant in the 1st half and Cooper was class too. We’re getting there. We have the makings of a right good team, if we can keep them.



    Why did our manager take off Stokes. I would have thought he should have taken off our captain, if he was bringing on Ki.



    By the way, apart form these random notions, I really just wanted to thank those who offered me their expertise in champers and the like this morning. Cava it has to be then. I might even stretch to a big fat cigar, if they go to the wall.

  17. Not long in from the game – thought we made hard work of it today. We had them well beaten at 2-0 – just unfortunate that we couldn’t seal it with a third goal.



    Overall the performance was more than decent though one or two had a poor game by their standards. The shuffling of the midfield seemed to unsettle the team.



    We could do with a few 3-0 results on the trot – it might rid the team of a stressful last 20 minutes when the pressure is on to see out the game.



    All in all a good 3 points against a lively and difficult side – will be interesting to see if they replicate their game plan when they next visit Glasgow.




  18. posted on last article..



    well done to players for taking time after the match to sign autographs and have their pics taken..



    kids really chuffed…


    home sober so Mrs BT taking me out…schoolbhoy error..



    later bhoys…

  19. Paul



    ” but he somehow managed to hover a millisecond long enough to be level with the ball when he met it before propelling it high into the top left corner of the goal.”



    I always reckon on the ability to hover, an important attribute i’m delighted to see returning to our team.







  20. Goal Mallorca.



    Real Madrid haven’t had a sniff of a goal yet.



    38 minutes gone.



    Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid.

  21. For me the biggest problem that we had in the second half was that Russell dropped deep, ultimately creating a 5 man midfield for them. If we play a wide attacking player such as Sammi or Forest then essentially we’re playing 3 against 5. The numbers don’t match up.



    I know it’s traditional for Celtic teams, especially at home, to have 2 strikers but we need to get smart. In the second half we didn’t compete as well in the middle of the park it would have been far more prudent to have adopted a 4-5-1 to counter their dominance.

  22. mncelt standing up for Neil Lennon on

    mncelt standing up for Neil Lennon says:


    14 January, 2012 at 15:19


    2-0 Victor



    What a header. Short corner played to Izzy. One look up, pin point cross into the box and what a header from Vic. Headed it back across goal into the top corner.

  23. So, as well as being magnificent in the tackle and ball protection, Vic Wanyama has now shown that he can fire stunning strikes, hover like Larsson, and make defence splitting passes. There is nothing that he cannot do on a football pitch.



    And, like Brian Laudrup, he is not even the best player in his family.



    Get Mariga McDonald on loan and sign every other male Wanyama including the father; he can still sire a few more in his remaining years.



    We should maybe sign wee sister, as she is a pro Basketball player and could probably manage SPL.



    Better get a move on re Thomas Wanyama. Thursday’s eastafrica.net reports the following:-



    “AFC Leopards look set to land the signature of non-nonsense right full back Thomas ‘Heskey’ Wanyama from 2009 champions Sofapaka.



    After failing to secure the services of veteran Ibrahim Shikanda from Tanzania huge spenders Azam, it is believed that Ingwe are prowling on the Sofapaka changing room for the defender who is meant to act as a cover for Edwin Baraza and Amon Muchiri in the new season.”

  24. I said on here yesterday, not that I thought we should sell him, but I thought Celtic would accept 6m for Gary Hooper



    Listening to Lenny’s interview – I was obviously wrong!



    And pleased

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