4 - 2
League (Premier Division)
Mark Reid (pen.) (56)
George McCluskey (67)
Davie Provan (77)
George McCluskey (83)
Jim Smith (3)
Iain Ferguson (78)
1. Pat Bonner
2. Danny McGrain
3. Mark Reid
4. Roy Aitken
5. Tom McAdam
6. Murdo MacLeo
7. Davie Provan
8. Dom Sullivan
9. George McCluskey
10. Tommy Burns
11. Danny Crainie
Bobby Geddes .1
Les Barr .2
Stewart McKimmie .3
Cammy Fraser .4
Jim Smith .5
Bobby Glennie .6
Iain Ferguson .7
Albert Kidd .8
Eric Sinclair .9
Brian Scrimgeour .10
Ray Stephen .11
12. Paul McStay
14. David Moyes
Peter Mackie .12
George McGeachie .14
Peter Mackie for Albert Kidd
George McGeachie for Brian Scrimgeour
K. J. Hope (Clarkston) (Referee)
After Dundee beat Rangers on Wednesday, Dens manager Donald Mackay claimed if his side had performed similarly all season, they'd be fighting for a place in Europe instead of trying to stay in the Premier League.
Well, for an hour here, Dundee played as if this was a European tie.
They defended steadfastly, broke briskly into attack with simple, straightforward passes and caused Celtic no end of trouble.
They justified their half-time advantage, despite Celtic having more possession.
Then without wishing to take anything away from Celtic, who thoroughly deserved their win in the end, Dundee suddenly stopped playing. Their midfield, previously so adroit at winning quick possession and finding a colleague, disappeared.
You can't give Tommy Burns and Co. a free run in this department. Celtic's midfield in full flight will make life difficult for anyone. Yet, in my humble opinion, it took a dodgy penalty to set Celtic on the way to success. Les Barr was harshly adjudged to have raised his foot high going for a loose ball with Burns.
Even at that, Kenny Hope waited to see if Celtic would gain advantage before belatedly pointing to the spot. Surely you can't have it both ways.
Anyway, Mark Reid didn't hang around. He beat Geddes comprehensively from the spot. After that, Celtic ran riot. They forced a cavalcade of corners as they turned Dundee's defence inside out.
Eventually, one had to pay off. Provan floated a near-post one from the left. Aitken back-headed it and George McCluskey had the simplest of tasks to finish it off. Then, with the sands of time fast running out on gallant. Dundee, Stephen gift-wrapped a goal for Davie Provan. He gave the ball away 12 yards out and bang-3-1.
Dundee pulled one back immediately with their first concerted attack of the second half. Mackie crossed from the right and lain Ferguson confidently swept the ball past Bonner.
But there was no fairytale ending to this thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining game. MacLeod seemed to run for miles without being challenged, eventually hit the by line, and McCluskey had as straightforward a task for his second goal as he had for his first.
Yet for almost an hour it looked like Jim Smith's early goal would be enough for Dundee. He outjumped everyone to powerfully head in a Ferguson corner.
Then Cammy Fraser, in particular, ran the midfield. His use of the ball was immaculate, In 31 minutes Stephen hit the bar with a tremendous 25-yard effort.
When Celtic did threaten, young Smith was a tower of strength in the visiting defence.
Dundee lived dangerously at times with 'keeper Geddes particularly vulnerable at cross balls. However, Celtic over-elaborated in this spell.
Sure, they struck Woodwork three times through Reid, Sullivan and McCluskey, but it looked like being Dundee's day until their midfield went AWOL.
Full marks to Celtic. They showed a refreshing appetite after the interval with everyone bar Bonner threatening Geddes.
Now it seems a matter of time before the League Championship flag is unfurled at Celtic Park yet again.
Billy McNeill must be delighted with the form of McGrain, Reid, Aitken, Provan and Burns.
Although Dundee lost, they certainly are too good for Division One. They have improved a ton since last time I saw them.
Fraser, Smith, Glennie, Kidd and Stephen were their most impressive.
Match report written by The Sunday Post
|Bobby Geddes (GK)||21||30||-||61||-|
|George McGeachie (sub)||23||33||2||129||7|
|Peter Mackie (sub)||24||34||5||102||12|
No league table has been added for this season.