Dundee United 1-3 Celtic 14/2/10

Jordan McCallum was at Tannadice…

Celtic ended United’s 11 game unbeaten run to restore their five point lead at the top of the SPL.

There was a doubt whether this match would go ahead; but after three pitch inspections, match official Mike Tumilty declared the Tannadice surface playable.

The home side had to do without the services of inspirational captain Jon Daly which lead to Morgaro Gomis being recalled to United’s staring line up as Peter Houston went for a 4-5-1 formation. Neil Lennon made just the one change to the side that drew with Rangers as he restored his potent strike partnership by replacing Ki with Anthony Stokes.

Netted the opener to continue his fine scoring form

And it was Anthony Stokes broke the deadlock on 16 minutes when he was played in By Joe Ledley before cutting inside and firing a right out shot which deflected off stand in skipper Gary Kenneth to spark this match into life. Celtic continued to press with Stokes, Hooper and Commons involved in some lovely inter-play. United also looked to exploit width on the slippery surface and looked to play in Scotland international Craig Conway as often as possible. United carved out an opening and Prince Buaben looked set to equalise but Charlie Mulgrew was on hand to block the Ghanaian’s effort.

Celtic looked the more dangerous side however, and on 36 minutes, they doubled their lead. Captain Scott Brown and Wilson combined down the right with the latter prodding a shot towards goal and this time it was Shaun Dillon who deflected the ball into the net.

The game could have been done and dusted before half time if either Stokes or Ledley had scored in an almighty scramble just before half time but dogged United hung on.

The Second half started in the same vein as the first half ended with Celtic trying to breach a stubborn United defence. Daniel Majstorovic found himself unmarked as Chris Commons floated in a corner but the big Swede headed wide. To United’s credit, they worked their way back into the game and Conway was at the centre of everything and on 64 minutes he gave United a foothold in the game. His free kick caused Celtic all sorts of trouble an it was eventually volleyed home by Goodwillie and the United striker could have grabbed an equaliser but his shot squirmed off Forster and out for a corner. Celtic could have gone down to 10 men when Mark Wilson lunged in on livewire Conway, however, Tummilty felt that a yellow card was a suitable punishment.

Majstorovic and Wilson scored their second Celtic goals

Celtic scored a decisive third goal though when Daniel Majstorovic dived to meet Charlie Mugrew’s free kick with a header at the near post. Gary Hooper could have put a glossy finish on the match for Celtic when he rounded Dusan Pernis only to stub his toe and collapse in a heap with the goal gaping. Moments later, Hooper did put the ball in the net but assistant referee Steve Finnie raised his flag much to the hitman’s disgust. However that was not enough to spoil Celtic’s day and they head into next week’s crucial Old Firm game knowing they dispatched a strong Dundee United side fairly comfortably.

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