0 - 2
0 - 2
League (Premier Division)
Tommy Burns (2)
Tommy Burns (84)
Eamonn Bannon for Richard Gough
||Paul McStay for Frank McGarvey|
Andrew Waddell (Penicuik) (Referee)
Midfielder Billy Kirkwood replaced Ian Gibson as United's only change from the weekends 5-0 win over Morton. Goalkeeper Hamish McAlpine was a doubt until just before the game, but made the starting eleven for United's clash with league leaders Celtic at Tannadice.
Celtic took the lead with just 85 seconds on the clock. Tommy Burns played in Frank McGarvey, who's cross from the byeline was dropped by McAlpine under a challenge from Danny Crainie, and Burns drove the loose ball into the net. United complained that the keeper was impeded but the goal stood. The home side then started to build pressure with Paul Sturrock, Ralph Milne and Derek Stark all seeing their efforts well saved by Pat Bonner in the Celtic goal. The match became a bad-tempered affair, with United manager given a lecture from referee Andy Waddell, John Holt booked for demonstrating with the referee after a penalty claim was denied, and ex-United man Tom McAdam booked for a foul on Davie Dodds.
Immediately after the restart, Celtic missed a chance to tie the game up, when McGarvey blasted high over the bar. A deflected shot by substitute Eamon Bannon was tipped over the bar by Bonner, and soon after McGarvey was injured after a clash with McAlpine who had rushed from his box to clear - an injury that was later confirmed as a broken leg. Burns was cautioned for trying to tell referee Waddell how to run the game. But with six minutes left to play, Tommy Burns gabbed his, and Celtic's second goal, steering home from 14 yards after build up play from George McCluskey and Crainie.
The Glasgow sides victory put them well into the driving seat to retain the Premier Division title, but the defeat severely dented United's hopes of a place in Europe.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||34||47||-||514||3|
|Eamonn Bannon (sub)||23||49||17||135||34|
So much has been said by myself and others concerning Dave Narey's individual display in that heartening victory over Morton last Saturday that I would like to close the file by way of an explanation concerning our internationalist. Many of you fans who saw his performance last weekend have rightly questioned why the player has not added his skill and flair to our midfield division sooner. Well the answer to that lies in a combination of Dave's own feelings and a conscious decision of my own not to break up his defensive partnership with Paul Hegarty before now. But having done so now and even with the full knowledge of what his midfield presence did to the general trend of overall team performance against Morton, I simply cannot say at this time that Dave Narey will not have to be moved into the back four again - even within the next few games. One of the major problems in the game nowadays is convincing your players where best they can serve their clubs, and it appears that the younger the players are then the happier they are to take the easy way out and plump for the departments which tend to test them least. Needless to say we face a big task when Premier League leaders Celtic travel here tonight doubtless doubly determined to succeed following that upset against Aberdeen last Saturday. The Parkhead men are, and have been for some time, the best side in the country - any outfit which wins titles as they do will always get my vote on that award! But if we can maintain the type of form shown against Morton at the weekend then I hope that we can stretch the title interest a further few weeks into the term. Tonight, with Dave Narey again pencilled in for another midfield outing, will provide a severe test for the new Richard Gough/Paul Hegarty partnership in central defence, especially when faced by such a formidable striking partnership as the free-scoring Frank McGarvey and George McCluskey duo.