Celtic 2
Dundee Utd 2
League (SPL)


Celtic 

2 - 2

Dundee Utd


League (SPL)
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
Celtic Park. Att. 59,558
3:00 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
Georgios Samaras (12)
Georgios Samaras (58)
Paul Dixon (60)
Warren Feeney (77)

Team Managers
Gordon Strachan Craig Levein

Starting Eleven
Artur Boruc
Lee Naylor
Mark Wilson
Stephen McManus
Gary Caldwell
Barry Robson
Scott Brown
Shunsuke Nakamura
Paul Hartley
Scott McDonald
Georgios Samaras
Lukasz Załuska .1
Seán Dillon .2
Lee Wilkie .4
Paul Dixon .23
Garry Kenneth .18
Willo Flood .6
Craig Conway .15
Morgaro Gomis .16
Danny Swanson .14
Scott Robertson .8
Jon Daly .9

Bench
Scott Fox
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Glenn Loovens
Koki Mizuno
Darren O'Dea
Paul Caddis
Marc Crosas
Michael McGovern .13
Mihael Kovačević .19
Danny Grainger .3
Prince Buaben .25
David Robertson .12
Warren Feeney .7
Fran Sandaza .11

Substitutions
Paul Caddis for Mark Wilson (46)
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink for Georgios Samaras (74)
Koki Mizuno for Shunsuke Nakamura (83)
Warren Feeney for Danny Swanson (61)

Cautions
Stephen McManus (59) Warren Feeney (80)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Steve Conroy (Referee)



Match Report


In a game of two contrasting halves, United gave themselves a mountain to climb – then climbed it with style. Following a disappointing first half from the visitors and with Celtic two goals to the good not long after the break, the game seemed dead and buried. But this United side are made of stern stuff and they produced one of their best 45 minutes of the season to get back on level terms – and then went looking for a winner.

United made one change from the side that defeated Falkirk with Danny Swanson starting in midfield, and Warren Feeney dropping onto the bench. For Celtic, the major talking point was the omission of Aiden McGeady. But the home side didn’t seem to miss him at all in the early stages – aided and abetted by an error-strewn first half showing from the visitors.

Brown and Samaras had already come close to scoring by the time the home side were in front on 13 minutes. Wilkie dallied in possession and was robbed by Brown on the edge of the box – his cut back found Samaras sixteen yards from goal, and the Greek striker sent a low drive into the bottom corner of Zaluska’s net. The goal seemed to serve as a wake-up call and United could have equalised almost immediately but Robertson failed to hit the target when played through on Boruc. Yet while United enjoyed a decent share of possession, Celtic looked much the more dangerous team during the first half. Fast counter attacks offered further chances for Nakamura and then Brown to extend Celtic’s lead.

United were a team transformed in the second half, with the passing and movement of the midfielders and full backs at times overwhelming Celtic. But the defending champions managed to withstand an early storm to double their lead on the hour mark, completely against the run of play. McDonald was awarded a soft free-kick on the left and Samaras outmuscled his marker six yards from goal to head home Nakamura’s cross.

But the two goal cushion lasted barely more than a minute. Gomis did well to win possession and then a free-kick twenty yards from goal. Dixon’s sweet left foot set-piece found the top corner of Boruc’s net, the goalkeeper left with absolutely no chance at all. Immediately, United replaced Swanson with Feeney, as the visitors went all-out for an equaliser. As the game really opened up, there were goal-line clearances at either end within 60 seconds. First Dixon and Dillon combined to scramble Brown’s effort off the line, then McManus saved Celtic after Feeney had rounded Boruc and looked odds-on to score. But with 13 minutes remaining United got a deserved equaliser – Warren Feeney doing tremendously well to latch onto strike-partner Daly’s head flick and lob a stranded Arthur Boruc.

United continued to press for a winner but despite sustained pressure on the Celtic defence there were no further clear cut chances. However the contrast to the first half could not have been any greater, and it was the home side who were relieved to hear the final whistle after being outplayed by United for the full second forty-five minutes.



Squad Statistics (as at January 3rd, 2009)


2008-09 All Time
Age
Lukasz Załuska (GK)26 24 - 43 -
Garry Kenneth21 12 - 764
Seán Dillon25 17 - 732
Paul Dixon22 171171
Lee Wilkie28 234768
Morgaro Gomis23 24 - 802
Craig Conway23 223755
Willo Flood23 20 - 641
Danny Swanson22 17 - 312
Scott Robertson23 245245
Jon Daly25 1583710
Warren Feeney (sub)27 113113






League Table (as at January 3rd, 2009)


No league table has been added for this season.