Posted on Sunday, 24th February 2013 by admin
Celtic overcame a stuffy Dundee side to eventually run out 5-0 winners today at Parkhead, in a match which saw Joe Ledley and Anthony Stokes stand out and John ‘Bomber’ Brown in the Celtic director’s box.
Celtic made changes from the team which drew at St. Johnstone, Stokes and Hooper were up-front together, there was no Mulgrew or Commons, McGeouch and James Forrest started and Efe Ambrose was at right-back. Dundee – who this week sacked Barry Smith and appointed former Rangers…player John Brown as interim boss had Ray Farningham as manager.
Dundee almost took the lead in the first five minutes, as a Gary Harkins free-kick caught out Fraser Forster, but the goal was ruled out for offside as Iain Davidson was ruled to be interfering with play. Celtic then took the lead in the thirteenth minute, Rab Douglas making a hash of an Izaguirre cross and Joe Ledley coolly slotted home. There then followed a spell in which Dundee were probably the better side, Gary Harkins forcing Forster in a smart save and the same player hitting the bar from the resulting corner. Neil was obviously not pleased and he took off Efe Ambrose and replaced with with Victor Wanyama before half-time, and switched to a 3-5-2.
The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Dundee sub Matt Lockwood as Gary Hooper attempted to score from a James Forrest cross, he denied a clear goal scoring opportunity and had to go. Forrest made it 2-0 from the penalty spot. It was 3-0 after 57 minutes, as a brilliant Stokes cross found McGeouch who headed the ball home. The fourth came after 73 minutes and was a second for Ledley, good work again from Stokes setting up the Welshman who finished well. The final and best goal came from Gary Hooper, who ran on to a Ledley pass and smashed the ball home.
Neil Lennon will be pleased with the second half performance especially, he’ll also have learned that playing Efe Ambrose at right back is not a good idea. Gary Hooper will be relieved to end his run without scoring, but the best performers by far were Joe Ledley and Tony Stokes. Ledley played the player he hasn’t been for most of this season, making runs from midfield and scoring goals, whilst Stokes – more on him in the blog tomorrow – was effective as a creative player once more. All in all a good day for Celtic, as we move towards the week that will define our season.