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  • Brown fires dominant Celts to victory at Dens Park

    Brown fires dominant Celts to victory at Dens Park

    By: Mark Henderson on 01 Oct, 2016 14:13

  • Scottish Premiership
    Saturday, October 1, 2016
    Dens Park, Dundee


    (Brown 47)

    CAPTAIN Scott Brown scored the only goal of the game as a dominant Celtic defeated Dundee to extend their lead at the league summit to five points, with a game in hand over their rivals.

    The Hoops controlled the contest from start to finish at Dens Park, with Craig Gordon rarely called into serious action, but Brown’s accurate finish early in the second half was enough to secure them the spoils.

    Jozo Simunovic was restored to the starting XI as Brendan Rodgers made one change to the team that faced Manchester City in Wednesday’s thrilling UEFA Champions League draw.

    The Croatian internationalist replaced Kolo Toure in central defence, with the experienced centre-half named among the substitutes following his sterling shift in the 3-3 stalemate with the English Premier League side.

    That breathless, pulsating match had taken place less than three days ago but Celtic showed no signs of mental and physical fatigue as they quickly took the game to the home side.

    Scott Sinclair - who had started the match with the aim of moving within one game of Jimmy McGrory’s 81-year-old record of scoring in the opening eight league games of the season - was particularly lively in the opening minutes and he won a free-kick on the edge of the box in when he was felled by Darren O’Dea. Tom Rogic took the set-piece but his shot was deflected wide of the near post.  

    It was all Celtic as Sinclair continued to cause problems, with the winger bringing out the first save from Scott Bain in the eighth minute with a curling shot that was heading for the far corner.

    Erik Sviatchenko looked to have a strong penalty shout waved away by referee Andrew Dallas when he was caught by Cammy Kerr - who had just been booked for a lunging challenge on Rogic – in the box following a corner.

    Kerr then came to his side’s rescue, blocking Sinclair’s goal-bound shot after James Forrest’s cross had caused panic in the Dundee defence.

    Although Brendan Rodgers’ side continued to dominate possession, they were largely being restricted to shots from distance as the hosts threw bodies behind the ball and sat deep.

    Rogic saw a curling free-kick saved by Bain and Bitton dragged a shot wide, before a ricochet near the edge of the area presented Sinclair with a golden opportunity but he failed to beat Bain from close-range. The offside flag spared his blushes, however.

    Brown was off target following a surging run, before some terrific tenacity from Tierney finally unlocked the Dundee rearguard on the stroke of half-time. The left-back drove past Kerr and cut the ball back for Sinclair, whose shot was pushed away by Bain.

    Once the second half got underway, though, the Bhoys didn’t have long to wait to break the deadlock. The move was started and finished by the excellent Brown.  

    Less than two minutes after the restart, the skipper found Dembele in the box. The striker weaved his way towards goal but he was crowded out at the crucial moment. Sinclair’s rebound was blocked but Brown had followed up and he swept home through a ruck of bodies.

    The Hoops were keen to add to their advantage and Rogic had a low shot saved by Bain, having cut across the box.  A Lovely piece of control from the Australian internationalist then saw him evade the clutches of Nicky Low and feed Forrest down the right. The wide-man’s cross was met by Sinclair, and his wayward shot was almost turned in by Dembele, though the offside flag was raised in any event.

    Leigh Griffiths was introduced for Rogic and the hit-man was determined to make an impact against his former employers yet the closest he came was when he found the side-netting after a thrusting run into the box

    Although Paul Hartley’s side committed more men forward in the closing stages in search of a late leveller, they never troubled the Celtic rearguard as the champions closed out the contest with comfort, cementing their place at the top of the table going into the latest international break.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Simunovic, Sviatchenko, Tierney; Brown, Bitton; Forrest (Roberts 74), Rogic (Griffiths 65), Sinclair (Armstrong 84); Dembele
    Not Used: De Vries, Toure, Gamboa, Armstrong, McGregor

    DUNDEE (5-3-2) Bain; Kerr, Gomis, O’Dea, Holt, Williams (Loy 84); O’Hara, McGowan, Low (Ross 81); El Bakhtaoui (Wighton 65), Teijsse
    Not Used: Mitchell, Vincent, Etxabeguren, Quigley

    Website Man of the Match: Scott Brown

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