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.

You can order a hard copy of CQN Magazine, issue 5, with credit/debit card or Paypal and buy direct from the UK for only £3.50 + £1.50 postage and packing.  Shipping costs £2 to ROI, £3 to Europe and £4 to elsewhere.  Click on the link below to order.

Click here to view the new issue of CQN Magazine online for free. You can support the online edition by making a discretionary donation here.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 22

  1. hamiltontim says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:41



    Spot on



    I thought the Stokes substituion was a tactical move to beef up the midfield, Houstons subs at half-time got them right back into the game

  2. RRC



    I heard 2 interviews with Lenny after the game, in one of them he said that every player has his price.






    Agreed mate I thought he was their one positive in the game at Tannadice earlier in the season.

  3. hamiltontim


    Agree with our comments re game today ( First Half ), but is it not fair to say if we are congratulating Mulgrew & Rogne we are on the backfoot,to me the second half was back to the self destruct button, all self inflicted. I thought we made United look better than they were at times, although credit to them they came at us,and why do we defend so far back instead of pushing up. Was listening to Neil on the Radio suppose he see’s it different,maybe I am getting over critical to many victories.What about the big man Wanyama we are going to find it hard to hold onto him a Diamond.

  4. notthebus says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:49



    I think Lenny brought on Ki to aid us in ball retention. It’s worked in the past but it didn’t today.

  5. tommytwiststommyturns Kano 1000 on

    United’s number 17 ripped Matthews a new one in the first 15 minutes, but AM came through it and had a good game.




  6. bournesouprecipe says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:28






    Keep wearing it. I don’t think we’ve dropped a point since it adopted you!


    hamiltontim says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:41



    Yip that happened. They changed at HT and we didn’t until Ki replaced Stokes.



    Also thought Brown failed to give options to Matthews throughout the second period. But he did provide energy that we needed to thwart them equalising.



    The support had a game of two halves for me and the boy.



    First half was up adjacent to the Green Brigade, nothing but positivity, hope and encouragment. Fantastic as usual, can’t emphasise the difference the GB make.



    Took my usual Celtic end berth for the second period, what a change in atmosphere. Manic and panic in abundance, one character dished out the most foul mouthed rants about Samaras throughout. This character went beyond the pale, perhaps he’d been drinking but truly awful. Honestly some of the guys need to chill, as soon as they scored the change in perspective was outrageous.



    Seriously, if you sit near that lower curve were the Celtic end meets the North stand, give yourself a holiday and get along to 113.

  8. hamiltontim says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:46


    praecepta says:


    14 January, 2012 at 19:45



    Would you take it?



    Wouldn’t sell anyone in this window (apart from those out on loan) – we need another striker as cover to see out the remainder of the season.



    Come the summer – I might be tempted @ circa £7M. He has been a good signing but I don’t think he is type of player that could take us to another level.

  9. hamiltontim



    i agree re the 5 man midfield






    we could have gone 3 up shortly after halftime and they got back into the game with a wonderstrike



    i thought allowed ourselves to get spooked



    despite having a fair bit of possession DU failed to must a chance after Daly`s header



    in fact we had much the better chances in the second half



    i thought the Commons sub was a good one ..Commons did well when he came on

  10. .






    I have Just woke Up in the Middle of Nowhere and Know My Sammi never Crossed the Ball..;0(



    Thanks for the Updates Bhoys..



    MNCelt.. I Love your Thoughts on the Game and Understand your Thinking on Sammi.. But Against teams like DU.. He’s the Mhan.. NOT as Striker tho..






    PS.. What was the Huns Score..? Did Jelly get his Penalty again.. To keep his Stats Up..?

  11. HT



    Yeah, well, if we got an offer of 10m for Gary Hooper…



    I’m not for selling any player really, Lenny is putting a right team on the park



    But, I’m just saying I was wrong yesterday about them accepting 6m




  12. Sandman Is Neil Lennon on

    Tom English – cringing lack of self-awareness, blabbing out his grievances with the Celtic support’s ‘obsession’ with Der Hun; exactly the conceited self-inflation of the classic boolin’-club minded Hun.



    Tom, we don’t hate your team or obsess over them – we just find their slow, miserable demise after decades of arrogance, triumphalism and cheating to be, well, the funniest thing around this bleak little bigoted land right now.



    Broonie – I love his commitment to the jersey, his attitude, his energy. But I do think he’s overpaid for his talent, and lacks the finesse due 25k a week. Does that make me a bad bhoy?

  13. TTTT, sorted.



    Gallagher, aye, Henrik had it. Thought Victor had gone early but he hung in there.



    Parkheadcumsalford, high praise indeed.



    Summa, aye, I know.


    The Hooper thing is a gamble.



    I suppose Neil Lennon must gamble if he wants the Celtic to progress, and of course he does.



    Putting aside the affiliation you have for a Celtic player for a moment, ask the questions:


    Does Gary Hooper score enough goals, offer variety in play, in essence could we do better ?



    I’d take the dosh, but will the replacement fill his boots, only time will tell ? Is gambling worth the risk for another level.

  15. Nuclear Bovril and a Half Munched Pie on

    Biggus Victorius’ ‘floating bullet’ header will live long in the memory. It twas like summat out of The Matrix. Victor, if I had a womb I’d have your babies.



    Re Adam Matthews, Lenny mentioned he was playing through the ill effects of a virus today.



    We could have dropped points today. Pooh happens. Our run will come to an end. We’ll draw an ‘easy win’ or crivvens!, might lose a game. For me, although we haven’t dispelled the fragility/ rabbits in the headlights tendency we succumb to when a team gets a goal and a subsequent uplift, we are not that far away from hitting some great heights.



    Again from a personal perspective, I am heartened that I now feel we have 2 players, the aforementioned Messers Wanyama and Young Adam who I now rate as better than Beram. And I loves the Beram.

  16. PFayr


    Agree on Russel.


    Posted during the game that he would be good for us.


    Big and strong with good touch and knows how to play in a league of hammer throwers

  17. Victor’s goal.


    What a leap. Absolutely majestic.


    Victor’s first half performance was world class.

  18. fan a tic



    i havent seen agreat deal of the boy but he seems to play well against us



    he has also played well against the huns in the past and took great delight in scoring against them

  19. Never listen to Clyde. I lasted about 30 seconds on Radio Scotland, when I heard it was Traynor and English. Why do we have to fund such dire trash? I read back to GG’s comment on the last blog. May I just say, for English’s information, that I consider myself an ordinary Celtic supporter and I know of no other genuine Celtic fan who cannot but take delight in the imminent prospect of their going out of business. By the way, I don’t remember any concerted effort in the media, when we were in danger of going out of business, to even suggest that Scottish football needed us. If the spurious non-story that SKY will withdraw its funding of the SPL in the event of their leaving it, I think we should be prepared to cut our cloth and downsize, if need be. Scotland (and not just Scottish football) will be a far better place without them.

  20. Thought Matthews struggled today and initially I thought the DU winger must have been good, however Lenny told the hacks that Matthews had been coming down with a virus. Maybe this made it more difficult for Brown on that wing as I thought we looked weaker on that side today. Broonie fairly put a shift in but DU always seemed to have an extra player to pass to in midfield. In saying that they didnt really look like scoring after the Daly miss and we missed a couple of sitters- though the press will tell you that we were hanging on for the whole second half. I wouldnt sell Hooper because even if we did get the money to buy Rhodes or whoever we would be breaking up a partnership and throwing two players together in the hope that they click- too much of a gamble in my mind

  21. Interesting the opposing views on Brown today?


    I thought he was one of our stars.


    His cutback to Samaras that went behind Sammi was a decent ball but not for the first time no centre miss got forward to support so a ball into a dangerous area looked poor.


    He chased and put them under pressure all day

  22. stairheedrammy



    i agree re your take on the game




    the media will suggest we were on the ropes …



    against a team who didnt create a chance in the last 30 mins ….not imo



    we were a bit ragged in midfield , nothing more

  23. fan a tic



    re Brown …his effort cannot be fault



    however his positional sense, passing and general play in the second half was poor

  24. Brown had a decent game but he isn’t a wide man.


    The game was set up for James Forrest.


    He could have ran amok today.

  25. Scott Brown played as well as any other Celt in the 2nd half, many were struggling to impose on a resurgent Dundee United- – indeed his experience in taking the ball to the corner meant no attacks in injury time by United.



    We took 3 point- no need for scapegoats today, thankfully.

  26. Big Cup Winner


    Hooper today scored a great goal harassed their defense and also made some great plays in the defensive zone.


    He won’t have the occasional individual goals Stokes has but he is a more complete team player.


    Our service to the strikers is not great but his conversion rate is very good.


    To sell a proven goalscorer for someone unproven would be ridiculous.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 22