By Kieran Muir
Celtic maintained their first place position in the Premiership with a 2-1 victory at home against Dundee. The hoops didn’t get it all their own way, but dug in to make it five straight wins in the league.
It was Dundee who started the game the strongest at a fairly damp and miserable Celtic Park. Gregg Stewart had a chance for the visitors in the opening 60 seconds with a shot that went high over the bar. Paul Hartley’s men were doing well to frustrate Ronny Daila’s side who were looking to build on their recent good form.
Celtic’s first real chance of the game came from a nice pass from James Forrest through to John Guidetti that put the striker one on one with the keeper but his shot was saved by Dundee keeper Scott Bain.
The Hoops had begun to grow into the game now, even though their opponents were doing well to keep their shape, another piece of nice play from James Forrest saw him work his way out of a tight spot with three surrounding players that allowed him to have a shot at goal which was also saved by the keeper.
Dundee though, were offered a chance to open the scoring at paradise when a ball into the box from a corner saw David Clarkson get his head to the ball to tee up Thomas Konrad, whose header towards goal ended up over Craig Gordon’s crossbar.
James Forrest was again a threat with a dribble in the corner which saw one of the three surrounding defenders foul the winger and give Celtic a free kick.
Kris Commons stood up to take the set piece and the resulting ball found the head of Anthony Stokes, who found the back of the net at the keeper’s near post to send a sense of relief around Celtic Park and bang on half time too.
Half Time: Celtic 1-0 Dundee
Celtic started the second half much stronger than they did the first and after a few minutes of good position play down the right from Forrest, he found Adam Matthews, who dribbled down the wing and cut into the box and found John Guidetti who took the ball in his stride and slotted the ball into the net to give the champions a two goal cushion. Yet more intriguing celebrations were on display from the number 9.
Dundee made it clear though that they wouldn’t take it lying down and managed to win a free kick just outside the Celtic box. Harkens put the ball in and found the head of McPake who managed to get the ball into Gordon’s net, but the linesman ruled the player to be offside, keeping the score line at 2-0 to the hoops.
Dundee continued to create chances with Stewart able to get a shot on target, forcing Craig Gordon to pull off a good save and put the ball behind. The away side continued to threaten and got their break from a period of play that could have been defended better. Stewart again in the mix with his ball managing to find David Clarkson who put the ball passed Craig Gordon to make it 2-1.
Celtic ended the game the stronger of the two sides. Charlie Mulgrew managed to hit the post after a low free kick was played into his path. Callum McGregor saw his shot at goal saved, while Beram Kayal found himself one on one with the keeper and managed to find the net but again the officials ruled the play offside which on another day could have seen the midfielder regain the two goal cushion.
It wasn’t to be though and 2-1 to the champions the game finished to keep Ronny’s Bhoys in first place.
Full time: Celtic 2-1 Dundee
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