3 - 0
Scott McDonald (7)
Scott McDonald (67)
Scott McDonald (72)
Jean-Joel Perrier Doumbe
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Grzegorz Szamotulski .21
Seán Dillon .2
Lee Wilkie .4
Darren Dods .5
David Robertson .12
Prince Buaben .20
Willo Flood .6
Barry Robson .11
Morgaro Gomis .16
Jordan Robertson .22
Noel Hunt .10
Euan McLean .13
Stuart Duff .24
Garry Kenneth .18
Greg Cameron .17
Mark Kerr .7
Steven Robb .14
Johnny Russell .30
Chris Killen for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (37)
Evander Sno for Massimo Donati (78)
Maciej Zurawski for Scott McDonald (82)
Stuart Duff for David Robertson (45)
Steven Robb for Morgaro Gomis (45)
Greg Cameron for Willo Flood (61)
|Paul Hartley (65)||
Darren Dods (24)
Dougie McDonald (Referee)
A Scott McDonald hat-trick consigned United to their second league defeat in a row at Parkhead this afternoon as Celtic ran in 3-0 winners.
Goals after seven, 66 and 71 minutes were enough to beat a dogged United side who worked tirelessly but never really looked like breaking down the Champions’ defence.
Manager Craig Levein described the match as a “learning experience” for six of United’s team who were making their debuts in this type of arena and felt that at times they lacked a little composure.
The Manager made only one change to the side that defeated Falkirk in the CIS Cup on Tuesday with David Robertson replacing Mark Kerr in midfield.
United made a positive start to the match, backed by a very vocal minority of fans and, although playing only one upfront in the shape of Jordan Robertson, were managing to push men forward including Lee Wilkie, who powered into the Celtic box on more than one occasion.
However, United were to fall behind after seven minutes as Celtic launched their first real attack. Aiden McGeady beat Barry Robson on the right wing and got a cross in. Vennegoor of Hesselink’s header was parried by Szamotulski but the ball broke to Scott McDonald who managed to bundle it across the line from close range.
United had their best chance of the half after 27 minutes. Good work by Noel Hunt out wide on the right earned him a free kick. Barry Robson sent the ball deep into the box and it was Hunt again on the end of it but his header at the far post was well held by Boruc.
Celtic could have gone 2-0 up in 33 minutes. Morgaro Gomis’s shot was blocked on the edge of the Celtic box by Donati and he quickly broke upfield before playing a one-two. With a clear sight of goal, the Italian could only shoot weakly into the arms of a relieved Szamotulski.
Two minutes later, Celtic were forced into a substitution when striker Vennegoor of Hesselink landed awkwardly when putting a powerful shot wide of the United goal. A resulting hamstring injury led to him being replaced by Aussie hitman Chris Killen.
The final chance of the half fell to McGeady but his 20-yard strike was palmed away by Szamotulski and eventually cleared to safety.
Levein made two changes at half-time with Steven Robb and Stuart Duff replacing Morgaro Gomis and David Robertson. With Duff moving to left back, skipper Barry Robson was able to take up a more familiar role in the centre of the midfield
It was Celtic who were first to threaten though. Donati should have scored after 53 minutes when he found himself with space and time on the United penalty spot but he could only shoot wide. Immediately afterwards, Scott McDonald fed Scott Brown in the box and he put the ball across goal but Killen couldn’t connect at the far post.
United then passed up two great chances to get back in the match. First, an excellent through ball from Lee Wilkie put Jordan Robertson one on one with Boruc but the young striker’s shot was well blocked by the keeper.
Then, continuing to press, United won a corner and, from Robson’s delivery, Dods was unable to get his header on target at the back post after rising well to win it.
Two minutes later, United were to rue those missed opportunities. Brown fed McDonald in the box and the striker managed to muscle his way past Sean Dillon before taking it round Szamotulski and slotting into an empty net from an angle.
Five minutes later, it was game over. A McGeady cross from the right missed three United defenders and McDonald was there at the back post to finish from close range for his hat-trick.
United continued to fight and Hunt and Jordan Robertson both had efforts come close but there were to be no goals for United in this one.
|Grzegorz Szamotulski (GK)||31||10||-||10||-|
|Stuart Duff (sub)||25||5||-||167||4|
|Steven Robb (sub)||25||5||-||22||1|
|Greg Cameron (sub)||19||2||-||36||2|
No league table has been added for this season.