Injury to Hooper dampens Celtic joy
Celtic 5 Dundee United 1
Sunday 14 August 2011
This was an accomplished, at times ruthless, performance by Celtic, but still Neil Lennon suffered a moment of angst. It came during the second half when Gary Hooper was carried off on a stretcher after suffering a foot injury. As the striker passed by the dugout, Lennon leaned over to commiserate with him, buthe might also have been regretting his own misfortune.
Emilio Izaguirre and Beram Kayal – Celtic's two best players last season – were already out injured, and then Hooper suffered a knock concerning enough for the striker to immediately signal to the bench that something was wrong. He fell heavily on his right foot as Paul Dixon slid in to try to block a shot, much to the disquiet of Lennon, whose side face FC Sion in a Europa League play-off first-leg tieat Parkhead on Thursday.
"He'll get a scan [on Monday]," the Celtic manager said. Hooper was Celtic's most effective striker last season, and scored their second goal here with an alert finish when the ball broke to him after Anthony Stokes's header hit the bar. Hooper's effort restored Celtic's lead only two minutes after United had equalised through Johnny Russell's close-range finish.
The opening goal came when the visitors failed to deal with a high ball and Stokes tucked away Daniel Majstorovic's knockdown. In Scott Allan, the 19-year-old midfielder, United have a player of remarkable promise, but Scott Robertson and Russell also performed with aplomb.
There was virtuosity in the home side, too, mostly when Ki Sung-yueng was in possession. When Kris Commons slid the ball into his path during a brisk counterattack after the interval, he lashed it home.
The fourth and fifth goals, scored by Joe Ledley and James Forrest respectively, provided confirmation of Celtic's authority.
Celtic (4-4-2): Zaluska; M Wilson, Majstorovic, K Wilson, Mulgrew; Brown, Ki, Ledley, Commons (Forrest, 65); Stokes (McCourt, 82), Hooper (Maloney, 67).
Dundee United (4-5-1): Pernis; Watson, Dillon, Kenneth, Dixon; Flood (Gunning, 82), Robertson, Allan (Armstrong, 68), Rankin, Russell; Daly.
Referee Craig Thomson.
Man of the match Brown (Celtic)
Match rating 7/10
Latest in Sport
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Premier League Power Rankings: Eden Hazard and Harry Kane continue to slip but Wayne Rooney has to perform against rivals
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be