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Saturday, 18 December, 1999, 19:16 GMT
Celtic turn on the style




Celtic 4-1 Dundee Utd

A superb second-half performance from Celtic secured an emphatic victory over Dundee United.

Joaquim Ferraz put the visitors in front, but Regi Blinker's clinical finish just two minutes after the break sparked Celtic into life.


Match facts
26 mins: Joaquim Ferraz grabs a surprise opener
47 mins: Regi Blinker equalises
50 mins: Mark Viduka puts Celtic in front
61 mins: Lubomir Moravcik adds a third
89 mins: Mark Burchill caps a fine Celtic comeback
Mark Viduka's brave header made it 2-1 and the striker then set up Lobomir Maravcik to drill home the third.

Substitute Mark Burchill's 89th-minute strike completed a fine win for the home side.

Celtic's start to the game was astonishing.

Moravcik set up Alan Stubbs for a far post header just over, then played in Jackie McNamara for a sharp turn and shot which saw the ball fizz just off-target.

A McNamara surge down the right then returned the favour to Moravcik who left his marker standing with an adept turn before curling a 20-yard shot wide of the mark.

United grab the opener

United had retained their composure however and slowly started to pose a threat, Steven Thompson's cross finding Magnus Skoldmark whose diving header was saved by Jonathan Gould.

Celtic had lost their initial fluency, but United's 27th minute lead was still a shock as Craig Easton's precise cross was nodded over Gould by Ferraz with appeals for offside ignored.



The second half was the best we have played for a long time, but I must admit I was concerned at half-time.
Celtic head coach John Barnes
Moravcik was still Celtic's main danger man, firing just over from long range, then crashing a stunning free kick against the underside of the bar with Combe beaten.

At half-time Celtic were toiling, but within five minutes of the restart they had transformed the contest with two superb goals to claim the lead.

On 47 minutes, Berkovic and Moravcik combined to play in the onrushing Blinker who kept his balance to clip the ball over Combe to level with a clinical finish.

Incredibly a mere three minutes later a deep McNamara cross to the far post was guided back into the centre by Moravcik for Viduka to score with a brave close range header past a stranded Combe.

Celtic dominate

Celtic were now dominant, Viduka seeing a deflected shot sail just over before United keeper Combe clutched the ball at the feet of Moravcik in the home side's next attack.

After 58 minutes, Berkovic slid the ball through to substitute Petrov whose deft chip drifted over as Celtic exerted the pressure.

Their next reward was three minutes later when a rare excursion upfield by Olivier Tebily set up Viduka who teased the United backline before squaring for Moravcik to drill home for 3-1.

Now Celtic were turning on the style and Moravcik was twice unfortunate not to add to the growing tally, firstly sending an angled chip just past the post.

United were clearly reeling, but they were to suffer one last blow as substitute Burchill beat the offside trap to beat Combe at the second attempt.

Teams:

Celtic:Gould, Stubbs, Tebily, Mjallby, McNamara, Berkovic, Lambert, Wieghorst, Blinker, Viduka, Moravcik. Subs: Kerr, Petrov, Wright, Burchill.

Dundee Utd: Combe, Pascual, De Vos, Partridge, Worrell, Easton, Skoldmark, Preget, Venetis, Thompson, Ferraz. Subs: Onstad, Malpas, McConalogue, Smith, Byrne.

Referee: Jim McCluskey (Scotland)

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See also:
17 Dec 99 |  Scottish Premier
Old Firm set for Saturday tests
17 Dec 99 |  Scottish Premier
Ref will make Parkhead return
14 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Fan's fear over 'racism at Rangers'
Links to other Scottish Premier stories are at the foot of the page.