Dundee Utd 2
Celtic 3
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
2 - 3

League (Premier Division)
Wednesday, April 22nd, 1981
Tannadice Park. Att. 15,349
7:30 PM Kick-off

Willie Pettigrew (29)
Paul Sturrock (72)
Murdo MacLeod (3)
Frank McGarvey (35)
Tommy Burns (60)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Billy McNeill

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. John Holt
3. Frank Kopel
4. Iain Phillip
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Derek Stark
7. Eamonn Bannon
8. Ralph Milne
9. Willie Pettigrew
10. Paul Sturrock
11. Derek Addison
Pat Bonner
Danny McGrain
Mark Reid
Murdo MacLeod
Tom McAdam
Roy Aitken
Davie Provan
Mike Conroy
Frank McGarvey
Tommy Burns
Charlie Nicholas

12. Richard Gough
14. Graeme Payne
Roddie MacDonald
Johnny Doyle

Richard Gough for Derek Addison (65)

None. Mark Reid (27)
Mike Conroy (50)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Douglas Downie (Edinburgh) (Referee)

Match Report

Celtic arrived at Tannadice knowing the league title was within their grasp. Following Celtic's win against Rangers the previous week, they needed just a point from this match to clinch the league.

Within just two minutes Celtic were on their way to the title. Dundee United were caught cold in the early seconds of the match in front of a huge travelling Celtic support. Kopel made a bad pass on the right and Provan picked up before playing in the on rushing Murdo MacLeod. The midfielder leapt high to meet the cross, heading in powerfully from 15 yards. Pettigrew almost snatched an equaliser soon after but Bonner saved his diving header. However, two minutes later United were level. On the counter attack Ralph Milne's shot was blocked but Willie Pettigrew was there to thrash home. Celtic went back in front on 35 minutes when a Provan corner was headed back across goal by McAdam for Frank McGarvey to knock into the net.

United went all out for an equaliser in the second half and Pettigrew missed a great chance when Milne squared to him and the striker fluffed his lines. Celtic slowly worked their way back into the game and scored another when Tommy Burns beat two defenders before hitting a tremendous drive into the net. United were still intent on making a game of it and pulled another back when Bonner failed to hold a Pettigrew shot and Paul Sturrock rapped in the rebound. Celtic held on to win the game and the League title and celebrated in front of the noisy away support.

Squad Statistics (as at April 22nd, 1981)

1980-81 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)33 53 - 4623
Derek Stark22 3311153
Frank Kopel32 46 - 38613
Iain Phillip30 45 - 941
John Holt24 31114011
Paul Hegarty26 521029049
Derek Addison25 21313415
Eamonn Bannon23 50118115
Ralph Milne19 2894912
Paul Sturrock24 522327178
Willie Pettigrew27 30108032
Richard Gough (sub)19 1 - 1 -

League Table (as at April 22nd, 1981)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 34 26 3 5 +49 55
2. Aberdeen 34 19 10 5 +37 48
3. Rangers 34 15 11 8 +24 41
4. St Mirren 34 16 8 10 +5 40
5. DUNDEE UTD 33 15 8 10 +20 38
6. Partick Th 34 10 9 15 -15 29
7. Morton 34 10 8 16 -19 28
8. Airdrie 33 9 9 15 -16 27
9. Hearts 34 5 6 23 -41 16
10. Kilmarnock 34 4 8 22 -44 16

League results since United's last match
21st April 1981
22nd April 1981
Dundee Utd2-3Celtic

Manager's Programme Notes

Good evening and welcome back to Tannadice for our first home game since the disappointing defeat by St Mirren here away back on March 21, almost a month ago to the day. Since then of course we have completed five games during which we achieved our passage into a Scottish Cup final against Rangers, added another league win at Tynecastle — and lost twice to Rangers and Morton. But it is that marvellous triumph in exiting tonight's visitors Celtic from the cup which I would like to dwell on in this communication with you amongst the crowd with leanings towards United. The fact that so many of you managed to follow us to Hampden on both occasions of the semi-final was a remarkable achievement, and on behalf of the club and most of all the players I forward our thanks.

Your support was an inspiration to the side to go out and manage to delight me TWICE with their performances. As you all know there are very few sides around who can give Celtic a second chance— and still come out on top. It speaks volumes for the players. And what a thrill that triumph has given to so many people who have given so much of their time and efforts for Dundee United over a long period. I include those my directors who have seen both good and bad times curing their reigns in the Tannadice boardroom. As far as the final itself is concerned it will be no easy task to bring back the Scottish Cup - but no mistake about it, it can be achieved!