Celtic 4 Dundee United 1
Sun 1st May
Substitute Johnny Russell scored an injury-time consolation as Dundee United eventually went down to a 4-1 defeat at Celtic.
Manager Peter Houston was earlier able to recall Morgaro Gomis, Paul Dixon and Sean Dillon from suspension at the expense of David Robertson, Barry Douglas and Keith Watson.
But it was his goalkeeper Dusan Pernis who was in early action when denying James Forrest before Swedish centre-back Daniel Majstorovic soon headed over the visitors bar.
The Tangerines then had an escape when Anthony Stokes diverted Kris Commons' firm cross-shot against an upright before Garry Kenneth dropped an intended backpass short and Stokes allowed Gary Hooper to stab in the opener.
Stokes soon drilled another shot narrowly wide before David Goodwillie and Morgaro Gomis threatened at the opposite end either side of the break.
But Kenneth twice cleared the danger as the hosts continued to look dangerous while Dixon survived strong handball accusations inside the area.
However, Celtic still increased their lead with Beram Kayal finding the top corner from 25-yards before the visitors made a couple of substitutions as Russell and Jon Daly entered the contest.
And that appeared to work as Russell fired against an upright and also chipped onto the roof of the net after Gomis had already called a save from Fraser Forster.
His opposite number Pernis then denied Scott Brown and Commons but was beaten when the former Derby County winger swept home a third goal as the visitors failed to clear their lines with only five minutes remaining.
Goodwillie did create a consolation for substitute Russell in added time, although the margin was quickly restored when Celtic substitute Daryl Murphy produced a fine solo goal in the closing seconds.
Celtic: Forster, Wilson, Majstorovic, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Forrest (Ki Sung-Yueng 64), Brown (Murphy 86), Kayal, Commons, Stokes, Hooper (Maloney 75)
subs (unused): Zaluska, Rogne, McCourt, Samaras
Goals: Hooper (23), Kayal (54), Commons (85), Murphy (90)
Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Dixon, Severin, Kenneth, Conway, S. Robertson, Buaben (Russell 57), Gomis, Swanson (Daly 56), Goodwillie
subs (unused): Banks, Douglas, Watson, D. Robertson, Armstrong
Goals: Russell (90)
Ref: I. Brines
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