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Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Sunday, 1 May 2011 14:50 UK

Celtic   4 - 1   Dundee Utd

By Clive Lindsay
BBC Scotland

Gary Hooper opens the scoring for Celtic
Hooper opened the scoring for Celtic against Dundee United

Celtic overcame a potentially difficult hurdle by easing aside Dundee United to narrow the gap with Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers to a point.

Gary Hooper fired home from close range after 23 minutes following a mistake by United defender Garry Kenneth.

Beram Kayal curled in a beautiful second nine minutes after the break.

Kris Commons drove another home after 85 minutes before Johnny Russell's late close-range reply for United and Daryl Murphy's stoppage-time solo effort.

And Neil Lennon's side can now leapfrog the reigning champions should they win their game in hand on Wednesday, when they travel to Inverness to face Caley Thistle.

Following the goalless draw with Rangers, the Celtic manager had restored Commons, Anthony Stokes and James Forrest to the starting line-up, replacing Georgios Samaras, Ki Sung-Yueng and the injured Joe Ledley.

Kris Commons and Daryl Murphy celebrate
Commons and Murphy both scored in Celtic's win over United

Forrest made an immediate impact, cutting inside Paul Dixon and, from 16 yards, firing straight at goalkeeper Dusan Pernis, who managed to beat the ball away.

Celtic were showing more appetite to win the ball than the fourth-top side and, after a spell of pressure, Daniel Majstorovic headed a couple of feet over from a corner.

United began to work their way into the game and Dixon, restored to the side along with Morgaro Gomis and Sean Dillon after all three returned from suspension, sent a couple of dangerous crosses flashing invitingly across the Celtic goalmouth.

Commons weaved his way into the visitors' box and Stokes diverted the winger's cross-come-shot off the outside of the far post from 10 yards.

Emilio Izaguirre was next to threaten and United were thankful for good positioning from Kenneth after the Celtic full-back's cross into the six-yard box left Pernis stranded.

However, it was Kenneth who gifted Celtic the lead when the centre-half was short with a pass back then failed to prevent Stokes rolling the ball into the path of strike partner Hooper at the back post to fire home.

Celtic's 100th goal of the season - and Hooper's 19th - was almost immediately followed by another as Stokes' looping effort on the turn flew just wide from 20 yards.

David Goodwillie had looked disinterested and disheartened, but United's top scorer created a chance for himself when he muscled Kayal off the ball inside the box but struck the back of Scott Brown as he attempted to bend a shot into the far corner.

United had started to exert some pressure at the end of the first half and, as their improved play continued immediately after the break, Gomis should have done better than slice towards the corner flag after being set up by Prince Buaben just inside the penalty area.

Celtic responded and Kenneth twice cleared from in front of his own goal, once with his foot from a Stokes drive and then with his chest from a Scott Brown header.

United were fortunate not to concede a penalty for handball when Forrest met a cross at the back post and his effort struck Dixon.

Celtic did not have to wait long for their second goal, however, as Kayal was allowed plenty of space to advance towards the United box and curl a drive into the corner.

United boss Peter Houston hauled off Buaben and Danny Swanson, replacing the midfielders with forward duo Jon Daly and Russell.

Russell soon rode through a couple of challenges before driving low against the outside of the post then Gomis fired an effort from just inside the box that was beaten away by goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Gomis sent Russell clear inside the box with a clever chip, but the young striker put too much weight on his lob and it landed on the top of the net.

Celtic breathed a collective sigh of relief and upped the tempo again, Hooper being denied by a last-ditch Kenneth tackle and a Brown header forcing a save from Pernis.

The United goalkeeper beat away a powerful Commons drive but was left helpless when the winger fired home from 16 yards after the visitors failed to clear their lines.

Goodwillie set up Russell for a stoppage-time reply that was the only blemish in a deserved win for Celtic, which was rounded off as substitute Murphy somehow managed to hold off four defenders before chipping home to give his side a goal difference advantage over Rangers of six should the Glasgow sides end the season level on points.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Celtic 4-1 Dundee Utd FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Hooper 23
  • Baram Kayal 54
  • Commons 85
  • Murphy 90+3
  • Russell 90+1

Celtic

  • 26 Forster
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 05 Majstorovic
  • 12 Wilson
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 08 Brown (Murphy 86)
  • 15 Commons
  • 33 Baram Kayal
  • 49 Forrest (Ki Sung-Yeung 64)
  • 10 Stokes
  • 88 Hooper (Maloney 75)

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska,
  • 25 Rogne,
  • 18 Ki Sung-Yeung,
  • 20 McCourt,
  • 09 Samaras,
  • 13 Maloney,
  • 27 Murphy

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Pernis
  • 02 Dillon
  • 03 Dixon
  • 04 Severin
  • 18 Kenneth
  • 06 Conway
  • 08 Robertson
  • 15 Buaben (Russell 57)
  • 16 Gomis
  • 14 Swanson (Daly 56 yellow card)
  • 25 Goodwillie

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks,
  • 17 Douglas,
  • 23 Watson,
  • 12 Robertson,
  • 43 Armstrong,
  • 09 Daly,
  • 27 Russell
Ref: BrinesAtt: 48,599
CELTIC
DUNDEE UTD

Possession

  • Celtic 57%
  • Dundee Utd 43%

Attempts on target

  • Celtic 15
  • Dundee Utd 3

Attempts off target

  • Celtic 7
  • Dundee Utd 4

Corners

  • Celtic 10
  • Dundee Utd 4

Fouls

  • Celtic 6
  • Dundee Utd 8
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:36 The referee blows for the end of the match.
  • 90:00+2:35 The assist for the goal came from Mark Wilson.
  • 90:00+2:35 GOAL - Daryl MurphyCeltic 4 - 1 Dundee Utd A goal is scored by Daryl Murphy from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 4-1 Dundee Utd.
  • 90:00+1:22 Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Conway, Daryl Murphy manages to make a clearance.
  • 90:00+0:31 Assist on the goal came from David Goodwillie.
  • 90:00+0:31 GOAL - Johnny RussellCeltic 3 - 1 Dundee Utd Johnny Russell scores a goal from inside the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Celtic 3-1 Dundee Utd.
  • 90:00+0:02 Kris Commons takes a shot. Save made by Dusan Pernis.
  • 89:14 A cross is delivered by Daryl Murphy, Sean Dillon gets a block in.
  • 87:27 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.
  • 87:03 Daniel Majstorovic takes the direct free kick.
  • 87:03 Booking Booking for Jon Daly.
  • 86:42 Jon Daly challenges Charlie Mulgrew unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 86:26 Craig Conway delivers the ball, save by Fraser Forster.
  • 85:28 Substitution Daryl Murphy on for Scott Brown.
  • 84:27 GOAL - Kris CommonsCeltic 3 - 0 Dundee Utd Kris Commons grabs a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 3-0 Dundee Utd.
  • 82:31 Kris Commons has an effort at goal. Save by Dusan Pernis.
  • 81:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Robertson on Kris Commons. Kris Commons takes the direct free kick.
  • 79:48 Scott Brown challenges Jon Daly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Dixon takes the free kick.
  • 78:22 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons from the right by-line, Scott Robertson manages to make a clearance.
  • 77:04 The offside flag is raised against David Goodwillie. Free kick taken by Fraser Forster.
  • 76:18 Craig Conway decides to take a short corner.
  • 74:43 Substitution Shaun Maloney on for Gary Hooper.
  • 74:31 Effort on goal by Morgaro Gomis from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 74:20 The ball is delivered by Paul Dixon.
  • 73:57 Sean Dillon produces a cross.
  • 73:10 The ball is swung over by Craig Conway, save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 72:57 Beram Kayal takes a shot. Sean Dillon gets a block in.
  • 72:32 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons from the right by-line, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.
  • 72:24 Emilio Izaguirre delivers the ball, Paul Dixon manages to make a clearance.
  • 71:38 A cross is delivered by Mark Wilson, Gary Hooper takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.
  • 70:54 The ball is delivered by Kris Commons, Sean Dillon makes a clearance.
  • 70:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Severin by Gary Hooper. Free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.
  • 69:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Wilson by David Goodwillie. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.
  • 68:10 The ball is crossed by Emilio Izaguirre.
  • 67:39 Craig Conway gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Beram Kayal. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Majstorovic.
  • 66:24 Mark Wilson takes a shot. Blocked by Sean Dillon.
  • 65:45 Handball decision goes against David Goodwillie. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.
  • 65:35 Scott Brown takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.
  • 65:12 Corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons from the right by-line, Sean Dillon manages to make a clearance.
  • 65:04 Gary Hooper takes a shot. Garry Kenneth gets a block in.
  • 63:57 Substitution Sung-Yeung Ki joins the action as a substitute, replacing James Forrest.
  • 63:05 Corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.
  • 62:55 James Forrest takes a shot. Sean Dillon gets a block in.
  • 62:45 The ball is crossed by Kris Commons, clearance by Scott Severin.
  • 61:43 Johnny Russell has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 61:03 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Conway, Anthony Stokes makes a clearance.
  • 60:32 Morgaro Gomis takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.
  • 59:37 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Conway from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Mark Wilson.
  • 59:21 Garry Kenneth takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.
  • 57:47 The ball is swung over by Emilio Izaguirre.
  • 57:22 Effort from inside the area by Beram Kayal misses to the left of the target.
  • 56:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Goodwillie on Emilio Izaguirre. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.
  • 56:21 Substitution Prince Buaben leaves the field to be replaced by Johnny Russell.
  • 55:44 Substitution Jon Daly replaces Daniel Swanson.
  • 53:54 GOAL - Beram KayalCeltic 2 - 0 Dundee Utd A goal is scored by Beram Kayal from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 2-0 Dundee Utd.
  • 53:07 Corner taken by Kris Commons, Garry Kenneth manages to make a clearance.
  • 53:03 Kris Commons produces a cross, clearance by Paul Dixon.
  • 51:14 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons by Scott Robertson. Beram Kayal takes the free kick.
  • 50:48 Emilio Izaguirre delivers the ball, clearance made by Prince Buaben.
  • 49:21 Kris Commons delivers the ball.
  • 48:57 Kris Commons produces a cross, clearance made by Sean Dillon.
  • 48:18 Morgaro Gomis has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
  • 47:11 Paul Dixon crosses the ball, clearance by Daniel Majstorovic.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+0:07 The referee blows for half time.
  • 43:51 Foul by Beram Kayal on Craig Conway, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Morgaro Gomis, clearance made by Emilio Izaguirre.
  • 42:57 The ball is swung over by James Forrest.
  • 40:33 Kris Commons takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Daniel Swanson.
  • 37:21 Daniel Majstorovic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Goodwillie. Craig Conway takes the direct free kick.
  • 37:00 Effort from 12 yards by James Forrest. Save by Dusan Pernis.
  • 33:13 Beram Kayal concedes a free kick for a foul on Morgaro Gomis. Garry Kenneth takes the direct free kick.
  • 29:41 Anthony Stokes produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.
  • 29:03 Handball decision goes against David Goodwillie. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 27:36 The ball is crossed by Kris Commons, Header from deep inside the area by Anthony Stokes goes over the bar.
  • 26:48 Inswinging corner taken by Kris Commons, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.
  • 26:42 Centre by Kris Commons, Paul Dixon manages to make a clearance.
  • 25:26 Kris Commons has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
  • 22:57 Assist on the goal came from Anthony Stokes.
  • 22:57 GOAL - Gary HooperCeltic 1 - 0 Dundee Utd Gary Hooper finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Celtic 1-0 Dundee Utd.
  • 22:21 Sean Dillon produces a cross, save made by Fraser Forster.
  • 21:16 Scott Robertson challenges Kris Commons unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kris Commons takes the free kick.
  • 20:37 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons, clearance by Paul Dixon.
  • 19:36 Prince Buaben challenges Charlie Mulgrew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Beram Kayal restarts play with the free kick.
  • 17:12 A cross is delivered by Emilio Izaguirre, save made by Dusan Pernis.
  • 12:01 Effort from deep inside the area by Kris Commons misses to the left of the goal.
  • 11:08 Kris Commons takes a shot. Fraser Forster makes a save.
  • 9:30 Kris Commons gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul Dixon. Direct free kick taken by Paul Dixon.
  • 8:39 The ball is sent over by Paul Dixon.
  • 7:37 The assistant referee flags for offside against Scott Robertson. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 6:50 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Kris Commons, Daniel Majstorovic produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
  • 6:33 Daniel Majstorovic takes a shot. Blocked by Sean Dillon.
  • 6:18 A cross is delivered by Emilio Izaguirre, clearance by Scott Severin.
  • 5:59 Corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons, save by Dusan Pernis.
  • 5:15 Prince Buaben is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Daniel Majstorovic.
  • 2:57 Anthony Stokes is ruled offside. Dusan Pernis takes the indirect free kick.
  • 1:31 James Forrest takes a shot. Dusan Pernis makes a save.
  • 0:44 Effort from inside the area by Prince Buaben misses to the right of the target.
  • 0:00 The match begins.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Scottish Premier results

1 May 2011 23:59 UK


Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 1 May 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Rangers 35 49 84
2 Celtic 34 55 83
3 Hearts 35 16 63
4 Dundee Utd 35 2 55
5 Kilmarnock 35 4 48
6 Motherwell 35 -12 45
7 Inverness CT 34 3 41
8 Hibernian 35 -17 37
9 St Johnstone 35 -23 37
10 Aberdeen 35 -19 35
11 St Mirren 34 -23 29
12 Hamilton 34 -35 20

see also
Lennon hails midfield partnership
01 May 11 |  Celtic
Houston to complain about referee
01 May 11 |  Dundee Utd
Celtic v Dundee Utd as it happened
01 May 11 |  Scottish Premier


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