Nakamura leads fightback

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The Independent Online

Celtic came from two behind against Dundee United to rescue a point and consolidate their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League in a dramatic game at Parkhead yesterday.

Goals by David Robertson and Collin Samuel looked like giving the visitors their first SPL win at Celtic Park in 14 years. But in a second-half turnaround, the Hoops' substitute Darren O'Dea, who had replaced Bobo Baldé, scored with 12 minutes remaining before Shunsuke Nakamura curled in a delightful equaliser two minutes later.

It was a more than creditable comeback from the champions who had looked to be heading for their first home SPL defeat this season. United may feel they should have hung on to their two-goal lead but in the end they were probably happy to leave with the point.

The Hibernian midfielder Dean Shiels has denied punching the Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon following an explosive Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle. The 21-year-old had just brought Hibs level from the penalty spot in the 61st minute when he was dismissed for violent conduct after colliding with Gordon while racing into the goal to grab the ball.

Hearts went on to win a pulsating game 3-2 thanks to a spectacular Saulius Mikoliunas strike. But the dismissal proved to be the turning point of the game, with the referee, Mike McCurry, consulting one of his assistants before dismissing Shiels.

"The linesman came over and accused me of punching Craig Gordon and I totally deny that," Shiels said afterwards. "I was running to get the ball."

At Love Street, Simon Lappin's 67th-minute strike gave St Mirren a 1-0 victory against Falkirk, their first win in the SPL since the end of September.

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