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Saturday, 20 October, 2001, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Hartson hat-trick floors United
John Hartson celebrates as he scores his first goal
John Hartson celebrates as he scores his first goal
Celtic 5-1 Dundee United

John Hartson scored a hat-trick to break his Celtic duck and give the Scottish champions renewed confidence for their Champions League clash with Rosenborg Trondheim.

Bobo Balde also scored his first goal for the Glasgow club and Shaun Maloney added a fifth as they swept aside the challenge of a Dundee United side that came into the game after a string of excellent results.

Jim McIntyre scored a consolation for the Tannadice men, but by then Celtic had rested several players in preparation for their midweek trip to Norway.

Striker Chris Sutton was still out with a virus for Celtic, while wingers Steve Guppy and Bobby Petta were injured.

Lubo Moravcik made a rare starting appearance in midfield for Stilian Petrov as Celtic boss Martin O'Neill resisted the temptation to tinker too much with his side.

John Hartson completes his hat-trick
John Hartson completes his hat-trick
Defender Jim Lauchlan returned from suspension along with David Hannah for United, while Charlie Miller missed out through injury and David McCracken dropped to the bench.

Celtic took the lead in the eighth minute and it was Hartson who finally bagged his first goal for the club after six matches since his big-money move from Coventry City.

Moravcik slid the ball into his path and Hartson drew Paul Gallacher before coolly toe-poking the ball past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.

Gallacher kept his side in the game when Didier Agathe played Moravcik through, but the Slovak turned his effort wide for a corner.

United were temporarily down to 10 men in the 23rd minute when David Partridge had to have stitches inserted in a head wound after clashing with Hartson.

Celtic squandered several more chances before Partridge returned just in time for Celtic to go two ahead in the last seconds of the half.

Gallacher had turned Thompson's drive round the post, but Balde headed home from the resulting corner.

Shaun Maloney strokes home the fifth
Shaun Maloney strokes home the fifth
Larsson shot wide when one-on-one with Gallacher shortly after the break then Hartson fired just wide.

United found themselves further behind on the hour mark and it was Hartson who scored his second with one of the easiest goals he is ever likely to score after Larsson nodded the ball into his path.

O'Neill could now afford to rest players and off came Larsson and Neil Lennon and on came Maloney and Jackie McNamara in their place.

McIntyre headed home a consolation for United after 76 minutes.

But Hartson pounced on a slack backpass from Partridge to knock the ball past Gallacher after 82 minutes and Maloney broke to slot home the fifth minutes later.


Celtic: Douglas, Balde, Mjallby, Valgaeren, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert, Moravcik, Thompson, Larsson, Hartson. Subs: Kharine, McNamara, Tebily, Maloney, Crainey.

Dundee Utd: Gallacher, McCunnie, Lauchlan, Partridge, Aljofree, Easton, Griffin, Hannah, McIntyre, Hamilton, Thompson. Subs: Combe, O'Brien, Lilley, Paterson, McCracken.

Referee: B Orr.

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 ON THIS STORY
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
"John Hartson showed all the attributes which we all know he possesses"
Celtic's Neil Lennon
"The overall performance was excellent and I'm really pleased for big John as well"
Dundee Utd manager Alex Smith
"We need to learn to come into Glasgow and play to get results"
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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