FINAL What looked like a balanced contest during the first half ended in a goal fest for Celtic. Lockwood's impact on the game wasn't the one John Brown pretended, within 3 minutes he was sent off, and the following penalty crushed Dundee's chances. Since then, Celtic strolled over the Dark Blues to end the afternoon with a comfortable 5-0 win. Ledley, who captained the side today was particularly impressive with a brace and an assist to his name. Forrest, from the penalty spot, McGeouch, with a header, and Gary Hooper, after a good control and a fierce shot inside the box, completed the scoreline for the hosts. Celtic are now 5 wins away from the title while Dundee are on their way to the First Division. Their following match, the derby against Dundee United, could well be one of their latest chances to prove they can be in the top flight next year... but the clock is ticking and their fall down looks inevitable. That's all from me today, enjoy your Sunday!
90+3' Stokes gets a chance with a costless-kick in a good position. The ball is deflected by the wall, and Tom Rogic shots wide from distance. Full time.
90' Added time: 3 minutes.
85' Dundee will remain bottom with just 14 points after 28 games. Celtic are 21 points ahead of Inverness Caley Thistle, though the Caley Jags have a game in hand. If the results favour them, Celtic could well be champions before the top 6 split.
83' HOOPER!! He had so many opportunities on the first half, and he now gets into the scoreline after a great finish, terrific assist from Ledley and Hooper ruthlessly dispatches Douglas with a low shot. 5-0
81' The Bhoys are briefing confidence, they are passing the ball all over the park, but this time, McGeouch's cross goes past all his team mates. The game's rhythm has fallen down a little bit since Ledley's goal.
78' David Morgan replaces Nicky Riley. It's the debut for the player, who arrived on loan from Nottingham Forest.
73' LEDLEY! Patient game from Celtic until Stokes assists Ledley inside the area, his shot with his first touch beats Douglas.
70' Miku takes the place of James Forrest. The winger has made a good contribution and is applauded as he trots off the pitch.
68' Kevin McBride is on to replace Gary Harkins. The former Killie midfielder shakes his head, he may remember what could have happened had he scored one of his two clear chances...
67' After a pacient build up, McGeouch assists Hooper, the striker's low shot is saved by Douglas. Rogic's entry will give more quality and passing ability to the Celtic midfield.
65' Emilio Izaguirre makes way for Tom Rogic.
61' Exciting stuff from Celtic. Stokes assists Hooper, who returns the ball with his heel to the Irishman. Stokes shot is saved at first and his second strike goes over the bar. Less than 30 minutes remaining, but the scoreline will surely change before the final whistle...
59' Wanyama's left footed shot goes wide. Celtic pursue their 4th goal, lead by Forrest and McGeouch on the flanks.
58' DYLAN MCGEOUCH SCORES!! Excellent cross from Stokes and the Scot heads into the net! 3-0 Celtic.
57' Celtic are getting their fair share of posession now as Dundee have most of their men behind the ball.
54' Wanyama's shot is deflected, corner for Celtic. Izaguirre takes it, Rogne is at the end of it, but his header goes over the bar. Celtic look for their third goal as Dundee try to avoid a severe defeat. Their chances of getting something out of the game have been struck after the sending off.
50' JAMES FORREST!! The Scot shots to the right and Douglas goes the other way. 2-0 Celtic and it's an uphill task for Dundee now...
49' Disaster for Dundee! Forrest's low cross can't find Hooper, who was fouled by Lockwood. The defender, after only 3 minutes on the pitch, is sent off.
48' Stokes scores, but the whole action was disallowed due to a foul commited by the Irish striker.
47' Dundee has replaced BrIan Easton, Matthew Lockwood is his replacement.
46' The second half gets underway!
HALF TIME Decent performance from Dundee, whose display has been rather good. They have posed a threat to Celtic, specially in the last minutes of this first half. Gary Harkins will regret the pair of chances he's had, specially the one that hit the post. Celtic have not created lots of chances, but a bad mistake from Rab Douglas, their former goalkeeper during their run to Sevilla in 2003, has allowed them to be in front thanks to Joe Ledley's easy finish against -almost- no opposition. John Brown and their side will surely be boosted after a fine first half, and will try to score during the second one. Their main goal will be not to remember the disallowed goal they had during the opening minutes. Neil Lennon has changed his formation in order to get more chances due to a major presence of men in the middle of the park. Let's see which team succeeds during the following 45 minutes, James Forrest has been quiet on the left flank, and his new position behind the strikers could benefit him. The Scot could make the difference between both teams... Nicky Riley's trickery and Gary Harkins presence could be key to Dundee's interests.
45' No stoppage time as Mr Clancy signals the end of the first half.
43' Rogne is booked after a late tackle on Nicky Riley. Celtic will use now a 3-5-2 formation, with McGeouch and Izaguirre as wing-backs.
42' Victor Wanyama is on to replace Efe Ambrose.
40' Dundee get a costless kick in front of the box. Gary Harkins shot goes wide. Missed chance.
36' Harkins is at the end again! He heads a corner, the ball hits the ground and the crossbar before being cleared out of danger. The Dark Blues have been really unlucky.
35' What a chance for Dundee!!! Threatening chance for Harkins, whose shot is deflected by Ambrose and requieres an excellent save from Forster.
32' After the ball is cleared at first, Hooper gets in a dangerous position inside the box, his low shot goes inches away from target. Another good chance for the English striker.
31' Kayal is fouled on the right hand side of the pitch. Izaguirre will take the costless kick.
29' Hooper strikes again! His powerful shot is saved by Douglas. The ball is kept by the Celts, whose pressure can lead them to their second goal.
28' A one-two between Stokes and Hooper nearly ends with the second goal for Celtic. The Englishman overhits his shot and the ball goes way over the bar.
26' Good footwork from James Forrest on the left hand side, the ball is played to Kayal's position. His shot from long range goes wide.
24' Dundee get their third corner. Harkins cross is headed by Gallagher... wide.
22' Great pass from Joe Ledley, but it's too powerful for James Forrest. Rab Douglas gets the ball easily before the winger gets in a really dangerous position. Despite the teams' distance in the table, Dundee are having a decent performance at Celtic Park.
19' Baird shots off target from 20 yards, he struck it well, but the ball went wide.
17' Dundee get close to Celtic's box as Nicky Riley and Ryan Conroy look to shock their former club, but the visitors are lacking the final step: shooting on target.
15' Nearly the second for Celtic. James Forrest is at the end of a cross coming from the right, but Douglas avoids it.
14' That mistake is just what makes teams like Dundee fall down. They had started well but those kind of things are just what makes them stand well bellow the rest of the teams in the SPL.
13' JOE LEDLEY SCORES!!!! Good movement from Izaguirre down the left, after a one-two with Stokes he crosses. Douglas fails to capture the ball and the loose bladder ends at the Welsh's feet. His shot ends in the net to make it 1-0.
9' Dundee have started the game well, but Celtic could make something happen if their crosses can find their hitmans up front. At the moment, Ambroses crosses go usually behind the strikers' positions.
5' Dundee get a foul in the left flank after Thomas Rogne fouls Baird. Harkins' costless kick ends inside Celtic's net, but the referee signals an offside position that rules out the goal. Disappointment for the visitors, who were already celebrating a stunning goal.
3' Celtic move the ball around Dundee's box with all their attacking players involved, the build up ends with a cross from Efe Ambrose that finds no one. Celtic are pressing well and they can create many problems to the visitors' defense if they are sharp on the ball.
1' Celtic get the game underway!
12:46. The players are out and the game is close to its start.
12:42. 15th April 2000, on this day Dundee got their last positive result at Celtic Park, a 2-2 draw. Since then, they have lost all their match at Celtic's turf.
12:39. Five former Celts start today for Dundee: Rab Douglas, Gary Irvine, Nicky Riley, Declan Gallagher and Ryan Conroy. Dundee XI: Douglas, Irvine, Easton, Benedictus, Gallagher; Harkins, Riley, McAlister, Davidson, Conroy; Baird.
Baird gave some problems to the Celtic defense in December, while Gary Harkins showed at Kilmarnock he can be a threat from midfield. Let's see how they fare with a high profile game against the league's leaders.
12:35. John Brown does not see his appointment as a preparation for the First Division next season:
'All I can ask to them is the 100%, I am a positive guy. Hopefully we can improve our results until the end of the season'
12:28. Celtic trashed Dundee's city rivals United last week (6-2), they will look for another convincing result at Celtic Park, a place where they have not lost since November (ICT 0-1 defeat).
12:25. There is really a gulf in class between both teams. In their last 10 games, Celtic got 25 points, with 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss; meanwhile, Dundee only managed to get 3 points, with 3 draws and 7 defeats. Champions against a truly struggling team.
12:18. A man who could make his first appearance in weeks could be Georgios Samaras. The Greek missed the key game against Juventus, but looks ready for an outing today.
Neil Lennon "He's trained well and hopefully we can drip feed him into the team in the coming weeks."
12:15. In their first SPL game after their 0-0 at home with Benfica in their Champions League debut, Celtic won Dundee thanks to Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama's goals. The Kenyan's goal from long range was specially enjoyable for the home fans, whose team's start in the Champions League didn't make themselves aware of what would come then in Europe.
12:10. In their two previous meetings this season, the Bhoys have won 2-0 (back in September) and 0-2 (in December). Will Dundee score for the first time against Celtic this season?
12:08. Anthony Stokes, who spent most of the season injured and was involved in some off the field troubles, has another opportunity to show he deserves a longer stay at Celtic Park. Since his return he has scored 3 goals at Celtic Park, and he will try to make his mark into the game again today.
12:02. Neil Lennon introduces some changes to his side, as Dylan McGeouch makes a start, with James Forrest, Beram Kayal and Joe Ledley completing the midfield line. Celtic XI: Forster; Ambrose, Rogne, Wilson, Izaguirre; McGeouch, Kayal, Ledley, Forrest; Stokes, Hooper.
12:00. John Brown (left) , a former Rangers player, will lead Dundee in the dugout today. He has previously worked in the Rangers coaching staff; his last experience as a manager was at Clyde, where he was sacked in November 2009. He is asked to end Dundee's season with pride and dignity, as the relegation seems unavoidable (there is a 15-point gap with St Mirren, the team above them).
11:54. Lots of questions have been made around Celtic's final run to get the league, and how the gap with the second place could lead them to a lack of motivation. Celtic's manager Neil Lennon has answered this to the BBC:
"They [the players] are going for a championship so I don't think there's any extra motivation [needed].
"They can start to see there's clear daylight between us and the rest and they want to reinforce that lead, whether it be Dundee or whoever.
"We know that Dundee have had their problems this season but we're fully focussed on what we have to do and that's to win the game and try and win it well."
11:50. Their adventure has been far from impressive, and their manager Barry Smith is no longer there to guide the team. Their bad situation has lead several changes in the Dark Blues, facing a straight relegation after just 7 months in the SPL. After 26 games, they have only managed to collect 14 points. On the other hand, Ross County, the other team that came from the second division, have coped well with the change and are 5th with 38 points in 27 games.
11:47. Dundee got back to the SPL after some difficult years financially in the Scottish First Division, despite some decent results and players at Dens Park (Leigh Griffiths, who plays for Hibernian, started there), administration and off-field matters hold the Dee in Scotland's second league for years. The economic problems gave a boost to them when the new Rangers were expelled from the SPL. As the league needed a 12th team, Dundee were promoted in July and returned to the top flight for the first time in 7 years.
11:45. Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, Bhoys and Ghirls, after February, Celtic's season has already been defined for the further months remaining. They played, arguably, their best game of the season in the Champions League, though they didn't get a good result after a clinical performance by Juventus. In Scotland, their cushion allows them to play with less pressure and only a few points separate them from their second consecutive league championship. There is some unfinished business for Celtic in the Scottish Cup, where they will want to end the 'Hampden hoodoo' in order to get the double at the end of May. Another chapter of this interesting story will be played today, the other main character arrives in a difficult position, but surely a good performance at Parkhead woul give them some needed morale to end the season with a good run.