Tannadice was so packed out this afternoon it looked like a Rangers creditors’ meeting and the Scottish Cup tie on show didn’t disappoint. Dundee United had the better of the opening period but four second half goals from an irresistible Celtic decided outcome.
Jon Daly headed wide early on after a Willo Flood cross early on but the first great chance of the game fell to Johnny Russell on 25 minutes. Gary Mackay-Steven got free on the left and crossed for Russell who mishit his shot, allowing Fraser Forster to make an incredible save and claw the ball away.
With Dundee United clearly on top defender Robbie Neilson received a straight red card for a forearm smash into the face of Georgios Samaras.
It took Celtic 36 minutes to make an attempt on goal. Joe Ledley’s shot from a corner was blocked and James Forrest shot over from a corner seconds later.
Celtic stepped up the pace after halftime. Charlie Mulgrew jinked to create space on the left side of the United box but Ledley couldn’t reach his cross. 8 minutes after halftime the visitors were ahead after the best move of the game.
Adam Matthews passed back to Fraser Forster who played the ball out to Joe Ledley. Ledley moved forward after playing the ball onto Samaras, who passed to Mulgrew before the ball moved onto Stokes. Anthony Stokes fired a low cross into the box which Gary Hooper dummied for Ledley, who never stopped running. The midfielder won the ball by nipping in front of his marker and shot home from 7 yards.
Samaras shot over before a Stokes shot after 64 minutes from 25 yards was saved by Pernis, the first save the keeper made in the game.
United had a great chance to draw level when substitute Milos Lacny latched onto a long through ball but his shot from 16 yards was weak and off target.
Georgios Samaras made it 0-2 when he got on the end of a Mulgew free kick to bullet a header into the top right corner of the net.
Two minutes later Johnny Russell had a great chance to pull a goal back but his shot from 15 yards flew narrowly over.
Stokes should have tied the game up 11 minutes from time when James Forrest combined with Hooper before Forrest cut the ball back to Stokes, who contrived to hit the crossbar with his shot with an empty net waiting.
Samaras and Forrest both had chances to add to the scoring before Ledley threaded a pass through the middle of the United defence for Stokes to clip past Pernis into the net.
With a minute of the game remaining Samaras beat Dillon, who pulled the Greek international down inside the box. Scott Brown rolled the resultant penalty into the net to make if 0-4.