Dundee United 0-2 Celtic: Visitors break down hosts’ resistance to restore nine-point lead

Jota heads Celtic's opening goal
Jota headed in Aaron Mooy’s deep cross to open the scoring

Celtic restored their nine-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership as they ground down Dundee United’s stubborn resistance after the break.

The Glasgow side recorded their biggest-ever away league win with a 9-0 thumping of United on their last visit to Tannadice in August.

A more resilient United held out until Jota headed home an Aaron Mooy cross.

Five minutes later, Mooy slotted home a spot kick after Jota’s flick struck Kieran Freeman’s hand.

Celtic’s fifth game in a row without conceding means they have scored 18 times and lost just one goal in their latest five visits to Tannadice.

It leaves United in third bottom place on goal difference, tied on points with Motherwell, Ross County and Kilmarnock, and without a win against Celtic in 19 games since a 2-1 win at Tannadice in December 2014.

Both managers agreed pre-match that United are a different beast since that August humiliation.

Not surprisingly, though, Mark Birighitti was the busier goalkeeper, the Australian being fortunate not see a clearance charged down by Kyogo Furuhashi nestling behind him before blocking at the Japanese striker’s feet after also saving low from a Jota drive.

Craig Sibbald blocked from midfield counterpart Mooy in front of the United goal before Birighitti bravely punched clear off the head of Kyogo only to see referee Don Robertson point to the penalty spot after the striker was caught by the goalkeeper’s follow through.

Whether VAR decided there was no foul, or a Celtic player had been offside, Robertson was instructed to have a check on the screen and reversed his decision.

However, there was no reprieve shortly after half time when Birighitti appeared to lose his bearings as Mooy launched a deep cross and Jota headed in precisely from a difficult angle.

Celtic ensured the victory soon after as Freeman stuck out a hand and Mooy was given the opportunity from the penalty spot to slot his third goal in two games as the visitors could comfortably afford a close-range miss from Daizen Maeda in the dying seconds.

Player of the match – Jota (Celtic)

Celtic's Aaron Mooy and Jota celebrate
Aaron Mooy set up the opener and scored the second, but Jota did the reverse, with the winger a constant menace to United’s defense

More to follow.

What’s next?

United visit relegation rivals Kilmarnock as Celtic host in-form Livingston on Wednesay (both 19:45 GMT).

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Dundee United

  1. Team number1Player nameBirghitti

  2. Team number22Player nameFreeman

  3. Team number2Player nameSmith

  4. Team number12Player nameEdwards

  5. Team number3Player nameMcMann

  6. Team number16Player nameBehich

  7. Team number23Player nameHarkes

  8. Team number14Player nameSibbald

  9. Team number19Player nameLevit

  10. Team number9Player nameFletcher

  11. Team number15Player nameMiddleton

  1. Team number8Player namePawlett

  2. Team number10Player namedjoum

  3. Team number18Player nameMcGrath

  4. Team number44Player nameMacleod


  1. Team number1Player nameHart

  2. Team number2Player namejohnston

  3. Team number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

  4. Team number4Player nameStarfelt

  5. Team number3Player nameTaylor

  6. Team number13Player nameMooy

  7. Team number42Player nameMcGregor

  8. Team number41Player nameHatate

  9. Team number11Player nameAbada

  10. Team number8Player nameFuruhashi

  11. Team number17Player nameJota

  1. Team number9Player nameHaksabanovich

  2. Team number14Player nameTurnbull

  3. Team number19Player nameOh

  4. Team number33Player nameO’Riley

  5. Team number38Player nameMaeda


Dundee Utd

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Birghitti
  • 22FreemanBooked at 51mins
  • 2Smith
  • 12Edwards
  • 3McMann
  • 16Behich
  • 23HarkesSubstituted forMcGrathat 60′minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 14Sibbald
  • 19LevitSubstituted fordjoumat 74′minutes
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forMacleodat 74′minutes
  • 15MiddletonSubstituted forPawlettat 74′minutes


  • 4Mulgrew
  • 6Graham
  • 7Niskanen
  • 8Pawlett
  • 10djoum
  • 18McGrath
  • 28Anim Cudjoe
  • 31Newman
  • 44Macleod


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hart
  • 2johnston
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 3Taylor
  • 13MooySubstituted forTurnbullat 67′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 41HatateSubstituted forO’Rileyat 67′minutes
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forHaksabanovichat 82′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forOhat 82′minutes
  • 17Neve FilipeSubstituted forMaedaat 67′minutes


  • 9Haksabanovich
  • 14Turnbull
  • 18Kobayashi
  • 19Oh
  • 24Iwata
  • 29Bain
  • 33O’Riley
  • 38Maeda
  • 49Forest

Don Robertson


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