Lethal Hooper ensures Celtic stay on easy street

Celtic 2 Dundee 0

Celtic Park

Domestic fixtures can seem mundane after the sophistication of the Champions' League, but Neil Lennon's team could at least ease back into the routine of unremarkable occasions. The merit in this display was that Celtic were determined and purposeful, even if Dundee offered little in response.

The visitors were capable of sporadic moments of crisp and precise play, but that attempt at measured football soon wilted. They ought to have opened the scoring early on, but Colin Nish hit a tame shot, then John Baird lashed the rebound over. Dundee then acted as though their regret was debilitating. They retreated into a deeply conservative approach, while Celtic persevered.

"Those are the chances you have to take," said Barry Smith, the Dundee manager. "We just need more belief." He was, though, irked that his side was not awarded a penalty when Emilio Izaguirre appeared to trip Gary Irvine in the box.

Once Celtic's command of the game was established, it became a serene occasion. A moment of discontent still had to be borne, though. When Lassad Nouioui strode into space inside the penalty area, Kyle Benedictus lunged rashly at him. However, Scott Brown hit the penalty at a height that allowed Robert Douglas to throw a hand up to save while diving towards the corner of his goal.

By that stage in the first half, though, Celtic were already dominant and Brown could console himself that there were still significant interventions to be made. Just before half-time, he had the presence of mind to stab a pass into the path of Gary Hooper, who jinked past two defenders before shooting low and hard beneath Douglas.

Lennon would have been too preoccupied with the ragged elements of his team's display to be relieved by the goal. Much of the play had been pedestrian, even though Dundee offered little meaningful resistance. A sprightliness was certainly evident after the interval, as though a few reprimands were still echoing in the players' minds.

Dundee almost managed to be even more accommodating, with Irvine chesting the ball against his own post. The vulnerability was reassuring for Celtic, and Victor Wanyama took time to measure his deliberate and powerful shot from 22 yards past Douglas. It was a languid finish, but the contest no longer demanded any urgency from the home side.

Through sheer weight of numbers in the Dundee half, Celtic continued to threaten, although the game itself no longer demanded any sense of adventure. Douglas amassed a number of impressive saves, but he could not singularly defy Celtic. The woodwork came to his assistance again, when Hooper struck the post from Tony Watt's slick cross.

"The only disappointment was that we didn't get more goals," said Lennon. "I don't know if it was the atmosphere, but the game slowed down at times. It was maybe a little bit of after the lord mayor's show."

Celtic (4-4-2): Forster; Matthews, Wilson, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Forrest, Wanyama, Brown (Ambrose, 86), Commons (McGeouch, 75); Hooper, Nouioui (Watt, 66).

Dundee (4-5-1): Douglas; Irvine, Benedictus, Davidson, Lockwood; Milne (Boyle, 66), McAlister, Kerr, Conroy, Baird (Riley, 72); Nish.

Referee John Beaton.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Sport
Heskey's aim has improved since the end of his English football career

Long after his career in English football has ended, Emile Heskey's impotency in front of goal remains an object of ridicule.

News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam