Celtic continued their fine early-season form with a convincing 3-1 win at Tannadice courtesy of goals from Leigh Griffiths, a Mark Durnan own goal, and Callum McGregor.
The win put the Hoops back to the top-of-the-table as Ronny Deila rang the changes ahead of Tuesday’s crucial second-leg Champions League playoff clash away to Malmo.
Logan Bailly: 7/10
The backup goalkeeper to Craig Gordon was given his first competitive start for Celtic in between the sticks, and produced one or two good saves to keep the Hoops in control. Could’ve given away a penalty in the first half after a lapse in concentration, but would’ve been harsh if given. Decent competitive debut from the Belgian and showed good handling as well as a high quality of shot-stopping.
Saidy Janko: 8/10
The former Manchester United man was given another chance to impress by Deila, and took his opportunity with both hands. Went passed countless United defenders all game and showed a tremendous range of crossing once he got to the byline. Defensively sound and wasn’t troubled all game. Will be a good option for Celtic against Malmo if Lustig doesn’t make it.
Efe Ambrose: 7/10
Gave away a penalty in the last kick of the first half to haul United back into the game, but overall a solid display from the Nigerian. Kept his composure well throughout the match and kept the play flowing impressively for the visitors, especially when under pressure from the opposition. A similar performance against Malmo would be fine for Ronny Deila’s side, but expect Virgil Van Dijk and Dedryck Boyata to return for the trip to Sweden.
Eoghan O’Connell: 8/10
Impressive showing from the youngster in a rare outing. Surged forward whenever possible to add some more bodies to the visitors’ attacks, whilst remaining composed and solid enough at the back whenever United attempted a counter-attack. Has to take these kind of opportunities by the scruff of the neck whenever he gets the chance, and he did so today. Can be happy with his performance.
Emilio Izaguirre: 7/10
Overlapped Commons several times as he constantly looked to provide a threat for Celtic whenever they exploited the flanks. Put in a few decent crosses but couldn’t find his man whenever he did. A lack of United attacks meant that the Honduran was rarely troubled defensively throughout the match and was therefore unable to have his defensive skills tested. A worrying performance against Malmo in the first leg could have Deila wary of playing Izaguirre for the second, but expect him to get the nod nevertheless.
Tom Rogic: 6/10
The Aussie failed to produce much going forward, as he remained anonymous throughout the match whilst playing the Scott Brown role. Not as effective as in his previous displays against Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock, but that could be down to instructions from Deila. Broke up play from the hosts well enough, but failed to get into the game enough to be a stand-out. Hooked for Joe Thomson with 10 minutes remaining.
Charlie Mulgrew: 7/10
Good display from Celtic’s utility man, showing some nice turns and touches to get Celtic going in the middle of the park. Never the one to have a turn of pace, Mulgrew used his range of passing to cover that as he consistently kept the attacks flowing for the Chanmpions. Good performance from the Scotland international, who came off for Callum McGregor on the hour mark.
Gary Mackay-Steven: 5/10
Poor from the former Dundee United man. Failed to perform at his old stomping ground as he struggled to find a way through the United defence throughout the game. Stayed on for the entire 90 minutes in an attempt from the manager to keep pace on the park, but Mackay-Steven failed to be of any effect in the final third. Always works hard for the team and that continued today, but quality was non-existent today.
Kris Commons: 6/10
A couple of years ago Commons could’ve had a hat-trick with the chances he had today. Created openings for himself with his typically clever movement, but his clinical finishing just wasn’t there. Had a shot cleared off the line in the first few minutes, before firing straight at the keeper from six yards and drilling another effort towards the near post that forced United keeper Zwick into a good save. Poor finishing, but created chances for himself which is reassuring.
Anthony Stokes: 4/10
Dreadful. Never looked like doing anything all game as he failed to take a rare opportunity given to him by Deila. Dragged efforts wide, took heavy touches, lost the ball easily – it just wasn’t Stokes’ day. The talent will always be there, but the Irishman has to come up with something quick if he wants to revive his Celtic career. Rumours have been doing the rounds that Stokes could be off before the transfer window closes, and today’s performance won’t help in silencing those rumours.
Leigh Griffiths: 7/10
Classy finish to put Celtic ahead almost 20 minutes in, but couldn’t get any more opportunities to score after that. Good movement and worked hard for the team as always, showing neat touches to create space for himself and others. Wrapped up in cotton wool by Deila ahead of Tuesday’s Malmo clash as he came off for debut-man Scott Allan.
Callum McGregor: 6/10
On for the final half-hour and sealed the game with a deflected strike with around 15 minutes remaining. Did his job well in keeping Celtic in the ascendancy and can consider this outing as a good performance considering the youngster isn’t a natural central midfielder. Bouncing back from his injury well and will be happy with his progress since returning back into the fold at Celtic Park.
Scott Allan: 6/10
On for the final 20 minutes and showed some classy touches. Set up Stokes and Gary Mackay-Steven with a couple of terrific through balls, but both men failed to make the most of the opportunities. Good debut for Allan and showed ing limpses what he could bring to the Celtic team. Had a chance with nearly his first touch, but it was difficult to take as his shot was headed clear.
Joe Thomson: 5/10
On for the final 10 minutes and helped his team-mates see the game out. Will only have a few appearances this season at most, but the midfielder can be happy with his small contribution today. Made some good dribbles and passed the ball well, but not enough time to be of any significant impact.