Larsson sinks Dundee as Celtic roll on

Dundee 1 Celtic 2
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to 19 points last night. Henrik Larsson, with his 30th goal of the season in the 69th minute, and Stilian Petrov, after 38 minutes, did the damage against a Dundee side that started strongly, but had no answer to the Glasgow side's class.

Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to 19 points last night. Henrik Larsson, with his 30th goal of the season in the 69th minute, and Stilian Petrov, after 38 minutes, did the damage against a Dundee side that started strongly, but had no answer to the Glasgow side's class.

Dundee had a chance to go ahead after seven minutes when they carved the Celtic defence wide open. Garry Brady floated the ball over the top for Nacho Novo who controlled with his chest, but then mis-kicked his shot, for Stanislav Varga to make an easy interception.

At the other end, shortly after, David Marshall needed to race off his line to clear the ball as Novo threatened to run on to Dave Mackay's long ball.

Dundee continued to look menacing on the break and they soaked up the Celtic pressure comfortably in the early stages. But only a fingertip save from goalkeeper Julian Speroni prevented Celtic scoring against the run of play when Larsson's left-footed shot was turned round the post.

Speroni thwarted another Alan Thompson curler, with a dive to his left, before Novo fired low into the side netting.

Mark Fotheringham, who scored a superb goal at the weekend, had a great chance to test Marshall when his side were awarded a free-kick in the 33rd minute after referee Willie Young penalised Didier Agathe for a foul on Novo.

Fotheringham's right-foot shot curled towards the top corner of the net but his former team-mate stretched and plucked the ball out of the air.

Five minutes later Marshall produced an even better save when he acrobatically turned Neil Barrett's 22-yard dipping strike over the crossbar.

Moments later Stephen Pearson nipped ahead of Fotheringham to win the ball and launch a counter-attack. Petrov picked up a perfect pass and steered the ball past Speroni.

In the second half, Dundee continued to push for the equaliser, but Celtic increased their lead when Kennedy nodded Petrov's free-kick into Larsson's path and he put the ball past Speroni at the second attempt.

With time running out, Robert Linn set up Sebastian Kneissl with a 20-yard shot which he fired into the top left of the net for a 90th-minute consolation.

Dundee: Speroni; Mackay, Sancho, Mair, Hernandez Santos, Barrett (Cameron, 79), Fotheringham, Brady, Robb (Linn, 72), Novo, Milne (Kneissl, 72). Substitutes not used: Soutar, Jablonski.

Celtic: Marshall; McNamara, Balde, Varga (Kennedy, 45), Agathe, Petrov, Lennon, Pearson, Thompson, Sylla (Smith, 66), Larsson (Beattie, 79). Substitutes not used: Douglas, Lambert.

Referee: W Young (Scotland).

Comments