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  • Five star Celts sparkle in Paradise

    Five star Celts sparkle in Paradise

    By: Martin Dalziel on 25 Oct, 2015 16:44

  • SPFL Premiership
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Sunday, October 25, 2015

    CELTIC...5

    (Griffiths 23, Boyata 40, Commons 45, 53, Brown 90)

    DUNDEE UNITED...0

    CELTIC extended their lead at the top of the SPFL Premiership to four points with a dominant 5-0 victory over Dundee United at Paradise.

    The champions controlled proceedings from the start and were head and shoulders above the team from Tayside, who provided little in the way of attacking threat all afternoon.

    Steady traffic towards United’s goal in the first-half eventually brought the opener when Leigh Griffiths knocked the ball away from Luis Zwick and slipped it under the keeper from a tight angle on 23 minutes.

    Dedryck Boyata’s header put the Bhoys in a comfortable 2-0 lead before Kris Commons made it 3-0 from the penalty spot after the impressive Kieran Tierney was felled in the box.

    Commons bagged a double with a fine finish early in the second-half before captain Scott Brown rounded off a stunning display with an equally stunning solo goal in the final minute to ensure all three points stayed at Celtic Park and rounded off a commanding afternoon for the Hoops.

    Ronny Deila made three changes for the visit of Dundee United following the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Molde in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, allowing Croatian defender Jozo Simunovic to make his home debut for the Bhoys. Tierney and Gary Mackay-Steven were also drafted into the starting XI in place of Emilio Izaguirre and Nir Bitton.

    Celtic took the game to United straight from the first whistle with Commons firing in the first shot on target after he was picked out by Boyata.

    Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong also saw efforts deflected wide inside the opening 10 minutes as the Celts pushed the visitors back early on.

    The one-way traffic continued as the game wore on but it was a piece of individual skill from striker Leigh Griffiths which eventually opened the scoring on 23 minutes.

    The forward made a darting run into the box to meet Scott Brown’s through ball and just when the chance seemed lost, he managed to flick the ball away from Zwick’s body inside the six-yard box and squeeze a low shot under the keeper from a narrow angle to make it 1-0 to the Celts.

    The goal forced United out of their own half for a rare attack and they were gifted a chance to shoot when Ambrose misplaced a pass along his 18-yard box but John Rankin’s effort was well off target.

    Normal order then resumed with Celtic dominant in possession and United camped just outside their and it wasn’t long before the floodgates opened and the scoring continued.

    Celtic’s second came when Tierney won a free-kick for the Bhoys with five minutes left of the first-half. Armstrong took the set-piece and curled in a dangerous ball into the six-yard area where Boyata out-jumped his marker and glanced a header into the far corner to double the advantage before the interval.

    The Hoops were in full flow and had the chance to add to their lead on the stroke of half-time when Tierney was clipped in the box, leading to a Celtic penalty.

    Commons took the honours and smashed an unstoppable effort to Zwick’s left, giving the Bhoys the commanding 3-0 lead their dominance deserved at half-time.

    The teams had barely kicked-off for the second-half when Mackay-Steven fired a shot off the post from 20 yards, signalling Celtic’s intent as they came out the blocks flying.

    A wonderful passage of play from the Hoops then carved open the United defence again for Armstrong to shoot but he sliced his effort wide from inside the box.

    United then created their first decent chance from the game when Charlie Telfer got a shot in on target from 20 yards but it was a weak effort and was saved easily by Craig Gordon.

    The Hoops went straight on the attack and won a corner on the right, which led to the fourth goal and Commons’ second of the afternoon.

    The playmaker swung in a hanging cross from the set-piece which was only half-cleared by the visiting defence and ended up back at the feet of the Celtic star inside the box.

    He dropped his shoulder to go inside but instantly cut back out and rattled a brilliant shot into the far corner with his left foot to make it 4-0 to the champions.

    Relentless waves of pressure continued to pile down on United’s goal, with Stefan Johansen, Mackay-Steven, Commons and Tierney all going close to adding to the lead but Commons’ chance of a hat-trick came to an end when he was replaced by Tom Rogic.

    Nadir Ciftci also replaced Leigh Griffiths as the Celts continued to flow forward as the clock ticked down, but it was debutant Simunovic who went closest to getting the fifth when he let rip with a powerful shot from distance that called Zwick into his best save of the afternoon.

    The goal of the afternoon was saved for Scott Brown, however, who made it five with a powerful and tricky run down the left which he finished off with a cool step-over and near-post finish off Aaron Kuhl to cap-off an excellent performance from the champions.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Ambrose, Boyata, Simunovic, Tierney; Brown, Johansen; Mackay-Steven, Commons (Rogic 65), Armstrong (McGregor 73); Griffiths (Ciftci 65)
    Not used: Bailly, Blackett, Lustig, Bitton

    DUNDEE UNITED (4-5-1) Zwick; McGowan, Durnan, Souttar, Dillon; Fraser (Connolly 90), Kuhl, Rankin, Telfer (Murray 66), Bodul (Taggart 55); McKay
    Not used: Szromnik, Donaldson, Souttar H, Robson

    Website man of the match: Scott Brown

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