Celtic beat Dundee United 3-1 in the SPL.
|Picture from Eurosport|
The game at Tannadice Park was subject to an early pitch inspection but referee Mike Tumilty decided that the match could go ahead.
A poor pitch, though, made for a scrappy game, with the two first-half goals really typifying the encounter as a whole. Stokes opened the scoring after fifteen minutes, striking from inside the area after Dundee United’s Scott Robertson gave the ball away in his won half. Stokes’ effort was deflected in past ‘keeper Dusan Pernis, and the Slovakian was again beaten by a deflection ten minutes before half-time, Mark Wilson roaming forward and getting a toe on Scott Brown’s cut-back, which was deflected over Pernis and into the back of the net.
The Terrors looked nervous at the back with defensive trio Scott Severin, Darren Dods and Mihael Kovacevic all out, but Celtic were also shown to be feeble defensively when Prince Buaben burst through the back-line to strike straight at Celtic’s on-loan goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Peter Houston’s side looked down-and-out before half-time, although Goodwillie did strike across goal from a tight angle after easing past the Celtic defence. The second half, though, saw United come out with more vigour and more strength going forward, and, with just under half-an-hour to go, Goodwillie scored his 12th goal of the season after The Bhoys failed to clear an awkward free-kick. Poor goalkeeping from Forster gifted the Scottish striker with a volley from five yards, and the forward should have levelled the scores with almost seventy minutes gone, but his shot was deflected saved and put over the bar by Forster.
Their hard work, though, was un-done with just over ten minutes to go as Majstorovic connected with a curling Charlie Mulgrew free-kick to restore Celtic’s two-goal lead. His powerful diving header sealed the victory for Celtic, although Gary Hooper did have the ball in the back of the net right at the depth; he was ruled to be offside after a good ball across from substitute Georgios Samaras.
The win means that Celtic are top by five points, with Rangers in second but two games behind The Hoops. Dundee United, meanwhile, are sixth, with just two points now separating 5th place (Inverness) and 8th position (Motherwell).