Dundee Utd 0
Celtic 1
League (SPL)

Dundee Utd
0 - 1

League (SPL)
Sunday, December 4th, 2011
Tannadice Park. Att. 10,980
12:45 PM Kick-off

None. Gary Hooper (12)

Team Managers
Peter Houston
Neil Lennon

Starting Eleven
1. Dušan Perniš
3. Paul Dixon
18. Gavin Gunning
5. Garry Kenneth
26. Robbie Neilson
6. Willo Flood
17. Gary Mackay-Steven
11. John Rankin
8. Scott Robertson
9. Jon Daly
15. Johnny Russell
Fraser Forster
Daniel Majstorovic
Cha Du-Ri
Glenn Loovens
Adam Matthews
Beram Kayal
Victor Wanyama
Georgios Samaras
Anthony Stokes
James Forrest
Gary Hooper

13. Steve Banks
2. Seán Dillon
14. Barry Douglas
12. Keith Watson
16. Stuart Armstrong
19. Lauri Dalla Valle
22. Ryan Dow
Lukasz Zaluska
Filip Twardzik
Scott Brown
Paddy McCourt
Ki Sung-Yeung
Dylan McGeouch
Mohamed Bangura

Lauri Dalla Valle for Scott Robertson (61)
Stuart Armstrong for Gary Mackay-Steven (61)
Ryan Dow for Willo Flood (83)
Scott Brown for Glenn Loovens (67)
Ki Sung-Yeung for Anthony Stokes (78)

John Rankin (22)
Robbie Neilson (78)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Alasdair Ross & Billy Baxter (Assistants)
Mat Northcroft (Fourth Official)

Match Report

For the third match running Peter Houston named the same starting eleven for the visit of the Parkhead club. Garry Kenneth shrugged off injury and started after two previous clean sheets against Hearts and Motherwell.

United were almost caught out in the opening minute when Samaras sent an inviting ball into the six yard box but Stokes just failed to connect. With seven minutes gone Forrest crossed and found the head of Stokes but this time he headed well over. United then put the visitors under a bit of pressure and eventually from a corner kick the ball landed at the feet of Dixon who was unlucky to see his shot deflect wide of the target. Three minutes later however the Glasgow club took the lead. Forrest set up Gary Hooper who managed to shrug off a challenge from Gunning and the Englishman fired past the helpless Pernis. Three minutes later Stokes found himself in a dangerous position and with only Pernis to beat he fired straight at the United keeper. Dixon then had a good run and shot but Loovens charged down his effort. United then created a further chance when Rankin gathered the ball on the left and his cross picked out Neilson who headed the ball down but Forster comfortably saved. In the period that followed Samaras for Celtic and Russell for United both shot from distance but failed to find the target. On the stroke of half time Cha burst into the United box and powerfully shot but fortunately for United his effort cleared the crossbar.

The second period took a long time to spring in to life and in fact the first move of note was on the hour mark when United made a double substitution with Dalla Valle and Armstrong replacing Robertson and Mackay-Steven. The Celtic skipper Scott Brown also entered the fold when he came on for Loovens for the visitors. United’s on loan Finn almost made an immediate impact when he broke into the Celtic box but his run was halted by a fine tackle from Majstorovic. Armstrong then fouled Samaras and from the rebound Brown shot but Neilson did well to block. Shortly after United’s new boy Neilson was cautioned for a late tackle. With a single goal advantage and time running Neil Lennon’s men showed their intent when Stokes was withdrawn and replaced by Ki. Seven minutes from the end United perhaps made their best chance of the afternoon when Dalla Valle teed up Flood but United’s Irish midfielder shot wide of the target. That was Flood’s final action of the afternoon when young Ryan Dow came on for him with a couple of minutes left. United looked very unlikely and in fact it was Celtic who looked the more likely and in the final stages both Samaras and Ki tested Pernis but the score remained at 1-0. A very subdued performance from United in an attacking sense. Although United did battle well for the ninety minutes they never looked like scoring and in the end Celtic deserved their win.

Squad Statistics (as at December 4th, 2011)

2011-12 All Time
Dušan Perniš (GK)27 21 - 92 -
Paul Dixon25 2111233
Gavin Gunning20 161161
Garry Kenneth24 19 - 1817
Robbie Neilson31 3 - 3 -
Willo Flood26 21 - 891
Gary Mackay-Steven21 122122
John Rankin28 21 - 21 -
Scott Robertson26 1711026
Jon Daly28 191013546
Johnny Russell21 1935914
Stuart Armstrong (sub)19 9 - 21 -
Lauri Dalla Valle (sub)20 123123
Ryan Dow (sub)20 91121

League Table (as at December 4th, 2011)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Four points from two very difficult games against Hearts and Motherwell has been very pleasing and has shown the battling qualities in the squad. Indeed, over our last two games, we have defended very well, leading to us keeping consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season. Against Hearts we showed a great determination not to lose. And to beat Hearts twice as we have done this season is no mean feat. Even more so, when you look at the budget and the amount of players they have, given that their kit man tells me their first team squad numbers 1-40! It was a tough match, Hearts are a good side and I thought the game was nip and tuck, and we had to defend properly at times. And that was good to see because we have been working hard in training getting back to basics and doing the fundamentals in the right manner. I can't really recall Hearts having a clear cut chance. Right after we scored, they did go up the park and it was debatable whether the goal John Sutton scored should have been chalked off, but there was no question that Jan Daly wasn't onside when providing that great cross from which Scott Robertson headed our winner. I have watched the goal a couple of times and McGowan definitely plays Jon on.

Looking at last week's game with Motherwell, in addition to again defending so well in horrendous conditions, the best chances once more fell to us at a venue that has never been that kind to us. Whilst I was obviously happy with a clean sheet and a draw after losing all four games there last season, it was slightly tinged with a bit of disappointment that we didn't get the three points. It was good to go there and create the number of chances we did, the only pity being that we didn't convert one of them. It once more highlighted the resilience and character of the boys who have taken on board the stuff that we have done in training. What we have to do first and foremost after losing three goals in consecutive games was defending properly and I think the lads are doing that now, right from the front. And that will certainly be put to the test today against a Celtic side on fire at the moment. I always knew that they would come good after a sticky spell because they have so many quality players. Recently, they have shown what a good team they can be and it came as no surprise to me that they have won their last four league games. So there is no doubt that we will have to be at our best if we are to take something from the game.