1 - 3
1 - 3
Chris Erskine (pen.) (45)
Leigh Griffiths (17)
Mark Durnan (o.g.) (44)
Darren McGregor (74)
51. Luis Zwick
17. Mark Durnan
2. Seán Dillon
12. Ryan McGowan
3. Paul Dixon
28. Coll Donaldson
4. John Souttar
20. Blair Spittal
11. Chris Erskine
22. Scott Fraser
10. Robbie Muirhead
38. Harry Souttar
18. Aidan Connolly
16. Charlie Telfer
27. Ali Coote
15. Simon Murray
14. Ryan Dow
Ryan Dow for Scott Fraser (54)
Simon Murray for Robbie Muirhead (67)
Aidan Connolly for Chris Erskine (77)
Darren McGregor for Charlie Mulgrew (61)
Scott Allan for Leigh Griffiths (68)
Joseph Thomson for Tom Rogic (79)
Paul Dixon (10)
Ryan McGowan (63)
Ryan Dow (72)
Charlie Mulgrew (36)
Efe Ambrose (45)
Scott Allan (83)
Eoghan O'Connell (85)
Willie Collum (Referee)
Following the defeat at Hamilton last weekend, Jackie McNamara rang the changes for United for the visit of Celtic. Club captain Sean Dillon, Scott Fraser, Chris Erskine and Robbie Muirhead all started and there was a place on the bench for youngster Harry Souttar and fit again Ryan Dow. Gary Mackay-Steven was in the starting eleven for Celtic with their new signing, Scott Allan, listed amongst their substitutes.
The visitors certainly started the game on the front foot and early on Ambrose found Janko who then picked out Griffiths but he headed wide of target. Two minutes later Commons took advantage of hesitation in the home defence but thankfully Mark Durnan turned his shot on to the crossbar and the ball was then cleared. Dixon was then booked for a foul on Janko and Mulgrew swung the resulting free kick just over the United crossbar. With 16 minutes on the clock Celtic took a deserved lead. The ball was slipped through but despite an appeal for offside, Leigh Griffiths rounded Zwick and turned the ball into the empty net. United then had a loud penalty appeal when Muirhead clashed with Bailly but the referee waved play on. Mackay-Steven and Commons then combined but with only Zwick to beat, Commons fired over. With half an hour gone Mulgrew floated the ball over the United defence, Commons latched on to the pass but a brilliant save from Luis Zwick kept the score at 1-0. Three minutes before half time United should have been level. Erskine found Spittal and he slipped the ball to McGowan but the big Aussie fired just wide. A minute later it was 2-0 in unfortunate circumstances. A speculative ball was played into the United box but the ball was intercepted off the foot of Mark Durnan past the helpless Zwick. This might have got to the home side but on the stroke of half time they were back in the match. Scott Fraser made a surging run into the box and he was upended by Ambrose. Chris Erskine took the resulting penalty and he calmly sent Bailly the wrong way.
United started the second period in a confident mood and three minutes after the restart they carved out a good chance. Erskine and Spittal combined to set up Paul Dixon but he fired into the side netting. Ten minutes into the half United supporters were glad to see Ryan Dow introduced after a long spell out through injury. He came on in place of the injured Scott Fraser. Shortly after McGregor replaced Mulgrew for the visitors and minutes later McGowan was booked for United for a foul on the Celtic substitute. With 20 minutes left Murray replaced Muirhead for United and at the same time Allan was introduced, replacing Griffiths. Allan almost made an instant impact when he lofted the ball towards the empty net but Zwick backtracked and safely caught the ball. Mackay-Steven then tried to play in Stokes but Zwick slid in and took the ball from the feet of the Irishman. Fifteen minutes from the end Celtic once again extended their lead with a stroke of good fortune. Substitute McGregor gathered the ball 20 yards out and his shot deflected off Donaldson and wrong footed Zwick. United again almost immediately replied. A fabulous pass from Souttar picked out Erskine and his shot was palmed wide by Celtic’s debutant goalkeeper Bailly. The final flurry of substitutions saw Connolly replace Erskine and Thomson come on for Rogic. Towards the end of the game United twice had free kicks at the edge of the Celtic penalty area and on both occasions Connolly forced Bailly to make decent saves. Prior to one of these free kicks Allan picked up a booking on his debut for a foul on Connolly. In the dying moments Stokes failed to connect with a Mackay- Steven cross and then Spittal broke into the Celtic area but his shot was too weak to beat Bailly.
“The biggest thing is belief at this level. The little things that cost us there, especially first half, is believing in each other. When we do it, we look a good side and play without fear. In the first half [we] sat off them and let them play. We got punished with not concentrating. We've lost two goals from our corners. I feel a wee bit unlucky with the goals we lost, especially the last one with a cruel deflection. We've had a lot of changes as well - six players out. You can look at it all different ways."
“Hardly worth turning up at Celtic games these day. All so predictable. All so dissapointing.”
Captain: Seán Dillon
Arab Archive 'Man of the Match': Luis Zwick
Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page
|Luis Zwick (GK)||21||5||-||5||-|
|Aidan Connolly (sub)||20||4||-||28||2|
|Simon Murray (sub)||23||5||1||5||1|
|Ryan Dow (sub)||24||1||-||92||11|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.
I extend that welcome to our visitors who visit on the back on another midweek European occasion. I do not believe that will impact on them today so we will have to be at our very best. Today is about restoring pride back in our performance levels and trying to secure three points. Last Saturday, we fell below the expectation that surrounds Dundee United and no one was more disappointed than myself and the players. The players and staff are aware how much supporters put in travelling to watch the team - both financially and emotionally - and the performance, particularly in the first half, wasn't good enough. We have analysed where we could have done better and, individually, everyone knows how to improve from last week. You will see an improved performance today. We need to get back to the level of performance that Dundee could not live with for much of the second half of the recent derby. Yet we cannot 'unlose' the game now. Our chance to take something from it has disappeared and we must now focus on this match. By applying ourselves to the task of today's game and performing we can produce a result to be proud of. Part of my job is to protect the players from any external forces which could harm their preparation or performance and we spend possibly too much energy on doing this.
We have a relatively inexperienced squad but you can see the talent we have also. That talent is what we must develop and, for the Club to continue the progression already made, it must be allowed to express itself. All of our players have shown time and again they can play at this level and today is a great occasion to showcase that. The fans here at Tannadice have allowed that showcase and with more of your support today we can pull off a great resuft. There will be periods of today's game where we will not have the ball and we will be under pressure but we will also create chances and we have to stick to our belief, trust our talent and look to seize moments when they arrive.