Football: Payton lays on a show

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Celtic. . . . . 2

Dundee United. .0

THE aerial power of Gerry Creaney, coupled with one of Celtic's finest 45 minutes of football for some time, destroyed the challenge of Dundee United in the opening quarter of an hour at Parkhead, and put Celtic to the top of the Premier League.

Celtic's latest acquisition from Middlesbrough, Andy Payton, set the pattern for the early part of the game. He created Celtic's first chance in the opening 10 seconds. It took only four minutes for Celtic's early pressure to be turned into a goal. Payton knocked the ball past Freddy van der Hoorn to Joe Miller, whose accurate cross was beautifully headed past Alan Main by Creaney. In the 12th minute, with the United defence absent, Creaney rose at the back post to send a header from a Boyd cross looping over the helpless Main.

After the devastating opening by Celtic, the game moved into a more settled pattern, with Celtic looking the more likely to score, and Dundee United playing their usual tight passing game but giving little support on their counter- attacks to Duncan Ferguson. United came closest in the final minute, when a Ferguson header was cleared off the line by John Collins.

Celtic: G Marshall; T Boyd, D Wdowczyk (B O'Neill, 5 min), M Gallaway (T Coyne, 45 min), T Mowbray, G Gillespie, J Miller, P McStay, A Payton, G Creaney, J Collins. Manager: L Brady.

Dundee United: A Main; J Clark, M Malpas, B McKinley, F van der Hoorn, D Narey (A Cleland, 74 min), J O'Neill, G Johnson, J McInally, D Ferguson, P Connolly (V Ferreyra, 78 min). Manager: J McLean.

Referee: A Waddell (Edinburgh).

Goals: Creaney (1-0, 4 min); Creaney (2-0, 12 min).