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  • Celts celebrate St Patrick’s Day with last-minute winner in Dundee

    Celts celebrate St Patrick’s Day with last-minute winner in Dundee

    By: Joe Donnelly on 17 Mar, 2019 14:57

  • Scottish Premiership
    Sunday, March 17, 2019
    Dens Park, Dundee

    CELTIC…1
    (Edouard 90+5)

    DUNDEE…0

    CELTIC celebrated St Patrick’s Day in style today (Sunday), when a last-minute Odsonne Edouard winner against Dundee at Dens Park secured all three points on the road for the Scottish champions. The victory sees the Hoops extend their lead at the top of the Premiership to 10 points with eight games of the campaign remaining.

    Neil Lennon made four changes to the side that was held to a goalless draw against Aberdeen at Paradise last weekend, in a lineup that saw Callum McGregor return to the starting XI.  

    Celtic pressed the game with typical determination from the outset, as the home side sat deep and defended with 10 men behind the ball. The first half-chance of the match fell to Kieran Tierney on just three minutes, when his drive from outside of the box was deflected out for a corner, having sent Dundee stopper Seny Dieng the wrong way on its way to goal.

    Dundee dealt with the set-piece, and just two minutes later defended a similar chance from McGregor, who increasingly looked to cause problems for the home side from both wide and central areas.

    On 10 minutes, McGregor and Mikey Johnston linked-up well through the middle, before the former’s first-time, left-foot effort was collected comfortably by Dieng. Five minutes later, McGregor played a high pass over the Dundee backline towards James Forrest, who in turn somewhat uncharacteristically fired the loose ball high over the crossbar.

    A well-organised Dundee continued to defend with aggression, and carved a couple of opportunities of their own by way of John O’Sullivan and Kenny Miller on the counter, but the Hoops dealt comfortably with the threat.

    On 16 minutes, McGregor had another long-range attempt well-matched by Dieng, and one minute later, the Scottish champions had claims for a penalty dismissed. A wonderful through ball from Tierney found Sinclair behind the Dundee defence, before James Horsefield appeared to foul the Englishman yards from goal. Referee Bobby Madden, however, waved away the protest.   

    On 20 minutes, Scott Brown recycled a loose ball to unleash a wonderful effort 30 yards from goal, that was spilled by Dieng. Sinclair struggled to get a follow-up away with the ball under his feet, before Edouard forced another fine stop from the Dundee goalkeeper.

    For the next quarter of an hour, Celtic continued to press for an opener, and their next opportunity arrived on 35 minutes. A right-sided corner from McGregor was met by a blistering right-foot volley from Forrest on the edge of the penalty area, that was eventually cleared in front of goal through a mess of bodies. 

    With four minutes of normal time remaining in the first-half, Forrest turned provider for Sinclair when the former pounced on a loose ball and slipped in the left-winger on the inside-left channel. The 29-year-old steadied himself and curled an effort across goal, forcing another fine fingertip save from Dieng between the sticks.

    At the opposite end, Scott Wright capped off a third Dundee counter-attack by breaking into the visitors’ penalty area. Scott Bain was in turn called into action with a fine block one-on-one, to deny the home side an opener against the run of play.

    Celtic returned from the break and almost broke the deadlock in the opening minute when McGregor’s cross-pitch pass found Mikey Johnston. The 21-year-old drove into the box from the inside-left flank, before chipping a ball across the face of goal that the out-stretched Edouard failed to latch onto.

    On 49 minutes, Sinclair again created space on the wide-left corner of the Dundee box, and curled another cultured effort across the goalkeeper. The home side again cleared for a corner to keep the scoreline level.

    As the half wore on, the Hoops at times struggled to break down Jim McIntyre’s men, but to the home side’s credit, they continued to defend with discipline, denying Celtic space at every turn.

    Celtic’s first convincing half-chance of the second period came from Tierney, who after finding half a yard on the edge of the penalty area dragged a powerful shot wide of the mark. Nine minutes after that, and substitute Filip Benkovic curled an inviting in-swinging cross towards the back post that had no takers.

    Dundee defended deeper still, barely crossing the half-way line, as the match entered its closing five minutes and the Hoops sought to break the deadlock – which they eventually did get five minutes into second-half added time.

    Edouard drove at the Dundee defence with typical directness on the left, before finding Forrest on his outside. The 27-year-old hit the byline, before crossing for the Frenchman, now just yards from goal, who in turn stabbed the ball home to send the travelling support wild.

    With just one minute of an added six to go, the Hoops ran out worthy winners in a well-contested match that sees Celtic extend their league at the top of the Premiership to 10 points ahead of next week’s international break.     

    CELTIC: Bain; Toljan (Weah 78), Lustig, Ajer (Benkovic 73) , Tierney; Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Johnston (Hayes 59), Sinclair; Edouard  
    Subs not used: De Vries, Henderson, Burke, Bayo 

    DUNDEE: Dieng, Ralph, Woods, Kusunga, O’Dea, O’Sullivan (J. Curran 73), Wright (Dales 90+3), McGowan, Robson, Miller (C. Curran 71), Horsfield
    Subs not used: Parish, Kerr, Dales, Hadenius, Moore

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