Dundee Utd 1
Celtic 4
League (Premiership)

Dundee Utd
1 - 4

League (Premiership)
Friday, January 15th, 2016
Tannadice Park. Att. 10,848
7:45 PM Kick-off

Simon Murray (31)
Leigh Griffiths (21)
Jozo Simunovic (27)
Leigh Griffiths (48)
Kris Commons (56)

Team Managers
Mixu Paatelainen
Ronny Deila

Starting Eleven
1. Eiji Kawashima
12. Ryan McGowan
4. John Souttar
2. Seán Dillon
19. Gavin Gunning
3. Paul Dixon
22. Scott Fraser
20. Blair Spittal
8. John Rankin
15. Simon Murray
25. Riku Riski
Craig Gordon
Mikael Lustig
Efe Ambrose
Jozo Simunovic
Kieran Tierney
Callum McGregor
Stefan Johansen
Kris Commons
Tom Rogic
Stuart Armstrong
Leigh Griffiths

51. Luis Zwick
24. Euan Spark
28. Coll Donaldson
11. Chris Erskine
6. Paul Paton
16. Charlie Telfer
14. Ryan Dow
Logan Bailly
Scott Allan
Emilio Izaguirre

Ryan Dow for Riku Riski (64)
Chris Erskine for Simon Murray (73)
Paul Paton for John Souttar (82)
James Forrest for Tom Rogic (60)
Scott Allan for Stuart Armstrong (69)
Emilio Izaguirre for Kieran Tierney (78)

Gavin Gunning (47)
Leigh Griffiths (22)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Bobby Madden (Referee)

Match Report

United were dealt a blow prior to the match as Billy Mckay missed out due to being granted compassionate leave. That meant a further shake up to the side with Mixu Paatelainen making five changes to the team that defeated Airdrie. Ryan McGowan and Gavin Gunning returned from suspension and there was a recall for John Souttar and Simon Murray. New signing Riku Riski made his first start for the Club whilst goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima played his first game at Tannadice. Coll Donaldson and Chris Erskine dropped to the bench with Guy Demel and Mark Durnan missing through suspension. There was also a welcome return to the match day squad for Ryan Dow. Stuart Armstrong returned to the visitors line up with Nadir Ciftci and Scott Allan listed as substitutes.

In the opening minute Souttar and Riski combined but United’s Finnish striker couldn’t quite find Fraser who was in a dangerous position. Souttar then did manage to find Fraser but the United man shot well over. The visitors then began to make their mark and firstly Tierney set up Armstrong who shot over and then Commons drilled a shot inches past the post. With 15 minutes gone Armstrong went close after capitalising on a loose pass from the home side. Souttar was very involved for United and he had chance when he gathered the ball at the edge of the box but he just failed to get a shot in. With 20 minutes gone the deadlock was broken. There was very little danger for United and a hint of offside but Gavin Gunning unfortunately slipped on the 18 yard line and Griffiths took full advantage and fired home, through the legs of Kawashima. Griffiths was subsequently booked for his celebration. United looked to hit back and there was a shout for a penalty when Murray went down but play was waved on. Five minutes later the Champions doubled their lead. Armstrong went down after a debatable foul by McGowan. The free kick was swung into the United box and the unchallenged Simunovic headed into an empty net. However, four minutes later United were back in the game. Souttar made a great run and after exchanging passes with Riski he set up Murray who slotted past the helpless Gordon. Murray then tried his luck again after dispossessing Ambrose but he shot well wide of target. Spittal then did well to beat Armtrong and his low cross was unlucky not to find a tangerine shirt. On the stroke of half time United almost made it 2-2. Murray cut the ball back into the path of Fraser and his shot was well saved by Gordon. Fraser’s corner caused chaos in the Celtic box but after a mad scramble the ball cannoned off McGowan and went out for a goal kick.

Within a minute of the restart United almost went further behind. Despite the home side being on the attack the ball was won by the visitors who charged forward in numbers. Gunning was booked for pulling back Johansen. Commons took the resulting kick which was brilliantly tipped round the post by Kawashima. Two minutes later United did fall further behind. Again this came from United being in an attacking position. Murray went down in the box after a challenge from Gordon and despite another penalty appeal play was waved on. The visitors broke down the right and Rogic crossed low to the back post and he found a completely unmarked Griffiths who easily shot past Kawashima. United were not giving up though and Gavin Gunning was close with a shot but the score remained at 3-1. The visitors were certainly looking dangerous every time they went forward and twice Kawashima denied them extending their lead with fine saves from Griffiths and then McGregor. With 56 minutes on the clock the game was put out of reach of United. Fraser was wrestled off the ball by Rogic who then found Armstrong who crossed and Commons spectacularly volleyed past Kawashima. Forrest was then introduced for Celtic in place of Rogic and then United brought on Dow to replace Riski. With 25 minutes left the ball bounced up in the Celtic penalty area and despite a clear hand ball by Forrest the referee, Bobby Madden waved play on. There was the a further change for the visitors when former United players Armstrong and Allan swapped places. Souttar again broke from the half way line and Murray failed to take advantage of an inch perfect pass into the Celtic box. Towards the end United introduced Erskine and Paton with Murray and Souttar, who had picked up an injury, making way. Celtic played out the remainder of the game in the knowledge that the points were safe but United did try to make the score more respectable. A good move near the end involving Erskine and Fraser set up Dow whose fine cross to the back post was turned away by Simunovic. In the dying moments Dixon charged down a Commons shot and then a shot from Fraser was easily taken by Gordon.

Formation: 3-5-1-1
Captain: Seán Dillon
Arab Archive 'Man of the Match': John Souttar

Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page

Written by Ally Stewart

Squad Statistics (as at January 15th, 2016)

2015-16 All Time
Eiji Kawashima (GK)32 3 - 3 -
John Souttar19 20 - 722
Ryan McGowan26 24 - 411
Seán Dillon32 1913136
Paul Dixon29 16 - 1795
Gavin Gunning24 8 - 10710
Scott Fraser20 211221
John Rankin32 22118812
Blair Spittal20 245537
Riku Riski26 2 - 2 -
Simon Murray23 132132
Paul Paton (sub)28 2 - 794
Chris Erskine (sub)28 1316310
Ryan Dow (sub)24 7 - 9811

Team Sheet (Scanned Photo)

League Table (as at January 15th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 21 15 4 2 +35 49
2. Aberdeen 21 13 4 4 +14 43
3. Hearts 21 10 7 4 +12 37
4. St Johnstone 20 9 4 7 +4 31
5. Ross County 22 9 3 10 +3 30
6. Inverness CT 21 7 7 7 -1 28
7. Dundee 21 6 8 7 -5 26
8. Motherwell 20 7 4 9 -5 25
9. Partick Th 20 6 6 8 -5 24
10. Hamilton 21 6 5 10 -9 23
11. Kilmarnock 22 5 6 11 -17 21
12. DUNDEE UTD 22 2 4 16 -26 7

League results since United's last match
15th January 2016
Dundee Utd1-4Celtic

Manager's Programme Notes

Good evening and welcome to Tannadice for tonight's fixture versus Celtic. I'd like to extend the welcome to Ronnie Deila, the players and staff at Celtic. Tonight's match should be fantastic. This is our first home game of 2016 and I thank you for attending. We come into this game on the back of a very professional performance last week against Airdrie. We didn't rush and played in a very composed manner. Our passing and running around the box can be sharper and we shall look to improve that tonight. It was always going to be a tough away tie and we controlled the game after an early push by Airdrie. Their delivery from set pieces was excellent and we were switched on and handled it very well.

Although tonight is a totally different kind of game we are very positive and will try to test Celtic whilst at the same time not exposing ourselves. The clean sheet at Airdne was pleasing and this is something we will again pursue tonight. All players played their part last week but Eiji in particular showed how good a goalkeeper he is and all of the defence will have enjoyed not conceding. The balance in our play when we attacked was excellent and we made sure the door was closed when Airdrie broke away. I liked how we played at a higher tempo in the second half and this is something we must continue to work on. Spitts practices his technique and set pieces after training so he deserves the praise he has received in recent weeks for his excellent goals. Our squad is getting stronger by the week with players returning to fitness, others getting to 100% match fitness and the new signings also. We are working very hard in training to improve in all areas. The support that followed us was again fantastic. To see and hear them backing the team is vital in every game and it is so appreciated by the staff and players as we battle to climb the table. I hope the reaction of the players to the fans is clear to see, It would be great if. by the end of the game tonight, we would all once again be celebrating together. That is certainly our aim. Enjoy the game.