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. bhoys r us says:


    15 January, 2012 at 13:24


    Just a wee quickie for everyone !


    If you were asked to pick a best of team to represent the spl,


    who would yr first eleven be .


    I havent concluded my selection yet but would imagine atleast 8 would be our bhoys.







    Outside of Davis,I cant see anyone better than our first 11,plus 2 or 3 of our squad..

  2. Eyes Wide Open on

    I have never been an admirer of big FF and up until the last month or two failed to see the potential to improve, however he has done that.



    He is becoming more of a presence and isnt as rooted to his line as he was.



    The lad does have potential of that there is now no doubt.



    I dont disagree with those who do not believe he should be Celtics number 1 – id be a hypocrite if I pretended to.



    However, and again il not argue with those who completely disagree with my next opinion;



    There is a complete dearth of English goalkeepers at the moment.



    If we have a set fee agreed in his loan deal for say £2.5m then on that basis id be tempted to say go for it.



    After the Euro’s, with England having an as yet unknown English manager, that person may well arrange a host of meaningless friendlies to pick some youngsters to look for the next generation of internationals. He could, in theory get a call up for one of these meaningless games, just to have a look.



    I reckon within a year of signing him, if FF keeps improving then english premiership clubs will start to sniff. If they started to sniff with money being absolutely crazy down there and if he could be classed as an English international (as crazy as that sounds, but who else is there, Ben Foster!?) the bidding would surely START at £7.5m.



    At that point we should sell him.



    I think that might well be the theory of the Celtic board too.

  3. CultsBhoy loves being 1st on

    Ok Fellow Tims



    I’m still confined to bed with Winter virus…nightmare…the upside is I’m having a lot of time to mull things over….



    Lots of genuine smart folk on CQN which is why it’s the best blog, lots of strong opinions. 2 of my favourite posters Kojo and Tarrant answered a question I posed and gave different answers, so go on indulge a sick man and give me your answer:



    When 150 years of CFC is written in 2038 – who will be recorded as having made the biggest impact on Celtic’s success….Fergus McCann or Craig Wyte?

  4. ….PFayr says:


    15 January, 2012 at 13:34




    Let me rephrase my point.



    Maybe FF hasn’t got better since the penalty save. Maybe he was just as good before it as he is now and that all that has changed is your perception of him.

  5. Ten Men Won The League on

    The footage of Naka is quite simply stunning



    I have never seen a better dead ball specialist in my lifetime

  6. A quick perusal of a well – known News aggregator would suggest that Nob Stopshort has been sitting too close to the radiator again.

  7. Eyes wide open


    Agree with your bit, that he could easily pick up a few England caps , and at that point his resale value will increase …..as will his wage demands !

  8. PFayr


    I have been saying for a while that big Fraser has grown into the shirt and is one of the reasons we clawed back the huge defect.


    He has made crucial saves at the right time.


    But yesterday I thought he was a little slow getting down on the goal.


    In his defense the ball did swerve’.

  9. ernie



    in my opinion he has …that`s why i wrote it




    it would appear that my perception accords with others



    my opinion/perception may be wrong …but no more than anyone else`s may be so



    your point is a fairly obvious one but nonetheless accurate

  10. You have to give every player full backing-fans can breathe life into any player and


    make them great-i trust Lenny completely-i believe he will prove to be the best


    manager since 1978-we are very lucky to have him-treasure him,look after him


    wrap him in cotton wool- because it wont get any better than what this talented


    man will deliver-HAIL HAIL

  11. I watched the Nakamura TV programme live from my motherinlaws house here in Japan on New Years Day the programme called ULTRAMAN featured many amazing TV stunts. Nakamura was so confident of putting the ball through the bus window because he had even written a message for the young boy on the bus who retrieved the ball. For the benefit of DBBIA I can confirm that the it was the same bus. Furthermore the delivery van which turned up out of the blue and parked right infront of the same street to make the target even more difficult almost ruined everything but Naka as usual put the ball through the bus window whilst said bus was moving at normal speed. I was so impressed I almost changed my moniker to Nakamura’s bus driver

  12. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    Good afternoon.



    Last night I had the great (ahem) pleasure of spendng some time listening to the musings of those two wise owls Messrs Traynor and English on Radio Scotland.



    Whilst listening, I concluded that I am perhaps the most stupid man in Scotland and was fit for the asylum at any old time– or alternatively the esteemed journalists and broadcasters did not listen to or understand their own words and deliberations.



    First up, Mr Traynor made it plain with full sage like authority that unless Rangers existed in the top flight of Scottish Football then the game in Scotland was doomed. Doomed to eternal damnation and failure. There was no doubt about this. Without Rangers vying for the title every single year then attendances would fall, revenue would be lost, the quality of the game would be decimated and the football world as we know it would come to an end. To be fair he then thrw in a wee line saying the same would apply to Celtic– but it was just a wee line!



    Even Celtic, said the Dalai Traynor, know that their revenues would fall and the club would be skint if Rangers went out of existence and were not allowed into the SPL. Celtic fans would lose out, and we would see poorer players at Celtic park and so on.



    You all know the argument and the reasoning behind this thought process so I don’t need to rehearse it here!



    Let’s leave the merits of this argument alone for a minute. Whether James T is right or wrong in the argument is of no consequence for this debate. All that is important is that he and presumably others believe that he is correct.



    Switch then to a later caller. A very well spoken gent with what sounded an English accent.



    His point was to outline a number of refereeing decisions which favoured Rangers FC in recent weeks. Penalties to opposition not given. Good goals against Rangers chopped off in error. Penalties and decisions given to Rangers which were clearly wrong and which clearly changed the balance of the game. Decisions not to extend periods of suspension after mysterious appeals with no merit and so on. This chap had a catalogue of incidents that he was able to cite!



    So what was his point asked Uncle Tom? Was he saying that Referees were biased towards Rangers? Tom, was blunt and put the guy on the spot. However, our caller turned the tables and asked him the same question back when Tom said he had some sympathy with a lot of the individual points that he made– the decisions were wrong and were in Rangers favour— however according to Tom, the Refs were not biased and that these things evened themselves out.



    The caller refuted that they did even themselves out and stuck to his guns suggesting there was no evidence for the evening out argument. If the ref’s were not biased, how doe we explain the decisions in favour of Rangers? And there the debate ended folks in strange inconclusion.



    Now it occurs to this correspondent– who may well just be a dummy– that the two threads of this post are linked.



    On the one hand, it is openly argued that football in Scotland cannot exist without a strong Rangers. On the other, no one has an explanation for some really strange decisions that favour Rangers when the going gets tough!!



    Really? My I am shocked and bewildered!



    Are these guys actively suggesting that in a year when Rangers are not competitive on the field of play, the the actual fortunes of all the other teams decrease? Are they saying that even without the current financial morass at Ibrox, that the rest of Scottish Football suffers if Rangers are not vying for the titles and the cups– yet decisions which favour Rangers and which cannot really be explained yet keep them in the title hunt etc– are just bad luck and pure coincidence?



    Does this then mean that Scottish Football would be well and truly banjaxed if Dundee United, Motherwell, Hibs and Hearts hung on to some really good young players, strengthened their footballing resources and results and all beat the Gers in the league etc to the extent that by sheer fair play Rangers did not finish in the top six? Would that be sheer and utter failure for the Scottish game?



    Well blow me away and call for the Doctor. Here was me thinking that all the teams in Scotland started the league each year with the mad notion of actually winning the bloody thing!! Now this might be unrealisitic for some, but i did hang on to the daft romantic notion that this is what every team was about!



    Obviously, I am a bit stunned to learn from these two hacks that the savvy business men behind the teams in the league actually have it in their business plan that whatever they do, they cannot field a team that will regularly defeat the Gers for fear of upsetting the whole Scottish football business model.



    It must be a laugh sitting in at a board meeting of these clubs at the start of each season.






    1. How do we improve the league position this season without upsetting the Gers and winning the league so leading to a downturn in turnover and a greater loss of profit?






    talk about planning to fail!!!!



    Sorry but if this is also the mindset at Hampden– and let’s face it that would not be a surprise– then why have a league at all?



    If the SFA and SPL believe that they will not exist without a strong Rangers, then are their rules and regulations and the appllication of those rules and regulations designed to ensure that Rangers are strong in each and every year? just asking like!



    Now I know that this is a crazy argument, but it is the natural extension to the spouted thoughts of Messrs Traynor and English.



    If there is no strong Rangers then everyone else is doomed!



    Ok so the logical thing to do is to arrange things so that there is a strong Rangers– yes?



    Does that not put into question every single decision that is made by the SPL and the SFA?



    Maybe I misundertsood what they were saying. Maybe I am just a balloon who needs locked in the rubber room– but I am certain that is what they said and of course the podcast is available to listen to again.



    So there you are– that is the esteemed thoughts of two leading sports journalists– who presumably also believe that there would be no future in reporting on football– eh– unless there is a strog Rangers!!!



    Or have I got that wrong too?





    The appeal for Vanessa Riddle has passed the £70k mark which is great but there is a long way to go.



    Can I ask folk to print the picture from the big screen yesterday ( link below ) with the words Text VANY99 £x to 70070 on it and use it like a wee poster. Put one on your car, take another into work and just spread the news by e-mail, twitter, word of mouth etc.



    I know I am being a pain in the arse about this but the wee lassie’s Grandad works with my brother in law and some other CQNers at Prestwick and they need our support.



    This disease is cureable in the states and the hospital in Philadeplphia where she will hopefully go has a whole department dedicated to treatment. Tom Hanks has set up a foundation or a movement to publicise this very disease and how it can be beaten.



    I am sure that when you get the news that your daugher has a less than 10% chance of living unless you come up with £500k the the natural reaction is to think well that sum is impossible!!



    It is a disgrace that it has to be raised at all– ( all because our Government will not fund research and departments )– but the fact is that the funds can be raised– AND WILL BE RAISED!



    Vanessa first met the team whilst at Yorkhill in 2009. The Celtic players made a big impression and she is a Celtic fan– not because of what happens on the pitch, but because of the Celtic message off the pitch!



    So please do what you can for her– but also do what you can because this is what we are all about as a club. To be fair to him, Tom English was one of the first to retweet my messages to him and stated that this was a dreadful fight for this wee girl.



    No matter what view otthers may have of Scottish Football and what should happen within it, Celtic stand for something away from football– and raising money for Vanessa is just an example of the Celtic way.



    This and other sites have advanced the cause and many are in contact via Twitter, e-mail etc.



    I have a daugher who is the same age as Vanessa just about and there but for the grace of God……………..



    So please print the details and give it some publicity. Give what money you can– there have been 4000 or so donations to date- but if everyone who went to Seville stuck in a fiver then this wee girl would be on her way.



    By the way some said my e-mail was bouncing yesterday– that is because it was full!



    it is now cleared so anyone can get in touch



    jim@strandsky.co.uk or @broganrogantrev on twitter












  13. CultsBhoy loves being 1st says:


    15 January, 2012 at 13:38



    Are you sure it’s only Winter virus you’ve got and not that near-fatal neurological condition known as Man Flu that has been known to drive men ‘near mad’ and advocate the signing of Ian Black for ra Cellic?

  14. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000



    You are doing a great job promoting the appeal for Vanessa, Sandy told me there will be a race night in Bruces Well in early March and Mrs RobinBhoy will raise the appeal today at the management meetig at NATS to try to get something similar arranged, either a dance/disco combined with a raffle and auction locally as NATS have some funding for these kind of community programs.



    Keep up the good work!



    Hail Hail!