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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 October 2006, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Dundee Utd 1-4 Celtic
By Colin Moffat

Shunsuke Nakamura celebrates his second goal at Tannadice
Nakamura was in fine form for Celtic
Celtic eased to victory thanks to a hat-trick from Shunsuke Nakamura and some shoddy Dundee United defending.

Noel Hunt's fifth-minute drive from 20 yards slipped between the hands of Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

And United captain Barry Robson missed from close range before Nakamura poked in the equaliser just before half-time.

The Japanese star tapped in a second before curling in a great strike. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink had clipped in goal number three for the visitors.

United, who have won just two of their last 26 SPL games, gave Collin Samuel a start despite the striker not returning from international duty with Trinidad and Tobago until late on Friday afternoon.

Celtic made changes, with Aiden McGeady and Thomas Gravesen missing through injury, while strikers Kenny Miller and Maciej Zurawski dropped out after their international exertions.

Vennegoor of Hesselink returned up front from an ankle injury, with Evander Sno, Shaun Maloney and Jiri Jarosik all getting the chance to impress.

The home side surprised the league leaders with an early goal after a blunder from Boruc.

An aerial joust between Samuel and Stephen McManus resulted in the ball dropping to Hunt and the forward thumped in a shot.

The strike bounced in front of the diving Boruc and flew through the Polish international's hands.

Celtic replied with Maloney losing David Proctor inside the penalty area and flashing an angled drive narrowly wide of the target.

United should have been further ahead on 18 minutes but skipper Robson was guilty of a terrible miss.

Samuel did well to speed beyond McManus and his his cut-back fell to the unmarked Robson, who contrived to scuff his shot wide from six yards out.

United keeper Derek Stillie had to keep out a long range effort from Jarosik and Vennegoor of Hesselink headed wide from a promising position.

And Celtic drew level a minute before the break when Nakamura was allowed to prod home a Jarosik header from close range.

Stillie then did well to push away a powerful header from Jarosik to ensure parity at the interval.

But Celtic moved ahead in the 48th minute and the United defence was again posted missing as Nakamura bundled in his second from inside the six yard box.

Four minutes later, Maloney threaded a neat pass to Vennegoor of Hesselink and the Dutch striker kept a cool head to slip the ball beyond Stillie.

Nakamura killed the game off before the hour with a composed curling shot from 14 yards after Jarosik's clever pass had duped several defenders.

Hunt went close to a second goal with a powerful strike and Christian Kalvenes blazed an effort over the crossbar as Celtic switched off in the closing stages, with their thoughts perhaps turning to Tuesday's Champions League clash with Benfica.

Dundee Utd: Stillie, Proctor, McCracken, Archibald, Kalvenes, Samuel (Goodwillie 75), Kerr, Cameron, Robson (Easton 85), Duff (Conway 74), Hunt. Subs Not Used: McLean, Mair, Smith, Wilkie.

Goal: Hunt 5.

Celtic: Boruc, Telfer, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Lennon (Pearson 75), Sno, Maloney (Riordan 73), Jarosik, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Miller 60). Subs Not Used: Marshall, Balde, O'Brien, O'Dea.

Goals: Nakamura 44, 48, Vennegoor of Hesselink 52, Nakamura 58.

Att: 10,504

Ref: M McCurry

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