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  • Ntcham fires Celts to victory and extends unbeaten run to 59 games

    Ntcham fires Celts to victory and extends unbeaten run to 59 games

    By: Tony Connelly on 14 Oct, 2017 17:21

  • Scottish Premiership
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Saturday, October 14, 2017

    (Ntcham 61)


    OLIVIER Ntcham maintained Celtic’s position at the top of the Premiership with a superb second-half strike to sink Neil McCann’s Dundee 1-0 at Paradise. It was a match that Brendan Rodgers’ side dominated for the majority of the 90 minutes, and the victory extends the unbeaten domestic run to 59 games.

    With many of the Celtic players just back from international duty and others still to return from injury, the Celtic manager handed several players their first start of the season, including Cristian Gamboa and Dorus De Vries, while Eboue Kouassi made his first league appearance of the campaign.

    Gamboa linked up well down the right flank with the impressive Patrick Roberts, who caused Dundee problems throughout the game and thoroughly deserved his Man of the Match award.

    The Costa Rican internationalist was at the centre of Celtic’s first real chance after four minutes when he combined with Callum McGregor, though the midfielder’s shot went just wide of the post.

    Celtic’s high pressing game continued to trouble the visitors and led to another chance after 20 minutes when Roberts won possession on the edge of the Dundee box. He passed to Griffiths who was crowded out by the Dundee defence before he could tuck it away.

    McGregor again came close in the 37th minute when Roberts supplied a ball into the box for his team-mate, but he fired his shot straight at Scott Bain in the Dundee goal.

    Despite controlling the first 45 minutes, Celtic couldn’t find the breakthrough, although they started the second-half in the same vein, with Roberts continuing to torment the Dundee defence down the right-hand side.

    And he came close rounding off a fantastic run with a goal on 55 minutes, beating two Dundee players out on the wing and cutting insides from the edge of the box, only for his shot goal to be well-saved.

    Griffiths then had a great chance to open the scoring when he found himself one-on-one with Scott Bain, but the Dundee goalkeeper produced a great save to deny the Celtic striker.

    But the home side were not to be denied, and on 61 minutes Olivier Ntcham opened the scoring, picking up the ball in the inside left channel and unleashing a 25-yard shot which swerved beyond the despairing dive of Bain in the Dundee goal.

    Celtic then had their own goalkeeper to thank for maintaining their lead, with De Vries producing three great saves to deny the visitors an equaliser they would barely have deserved.

    There was to be no further scoring in the game, with Scott Sinclair also denied a goal late on, but the Hoops saw out the game for a deserved victory to maintain their position at the top of the Premiership table. Next up for Brendan Rodgers’ side is a trip to Germany to face Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) De Vries; Gamboa (Ajer 79), Bitton, Boyata, Tierney; Kouassi (L. Henderson 66), Ntcham; Roberts, McGregor, Sinclair; Griffiths (Dembele 74)
    Not Used: Hazard, Edouard, Forrest, Miller

    DUNDEE (3-5-2) Bain; Holt, O’Dea, Hendry (Curran 70), Meekings; Spence, Deacon, McGowan (El-Bakhtaoui 83), O’Hara; Leitch-Smith (Moussa 59), Kamara
    Not Used: Parish, Kerr, Moussa, Wolters, Waddell

    Website Man of the Match: Patrick Roberts


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