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Terrors battle but can't avoid defeat

Celtic
2 - 1
Dundee United

Celtic Park

Sat 14th Jan 3pm

Attendance: 50,139

Referee:

Dundee United midfielder John Rankin gave his side renewed hope but the visitors couldn't halt Celtic's progress towards an eleventh successive league victory at Parkhead.

The experienced Rankin drilled a 35-yard shot that caught Fraser Forster's right-hand post and found its way into the back of the net five minutes into the second-half.

However, Celtic were by then already a couple of goals ahead as they scored twice inside the opening seventeen minutes.

First Anthony Stokes provided the opening for Gary Hooper to slot past Dusan Pernis before Victor Wanyama headed in Emilio Izaguirre's cross to add to it just five minutes later.

Garry Kenneth had already forced a sharp save from Forster with an angled volley from Gary Mackay-Steven's cross. Jon Daly later shot narrowly wide and Stokes glanced a header behind in reply.

Following the restart Charlie Mulgrew and Georgios Samaras each produced decent stops from Pernis before Rankin swiftly helped his side back into contention.

Home keeper Forster then turned over a Daly header after Paul Dixon supplied the cross and Stuart Armstrong was also wide with a difficult chance.

But Celtic were always themselves dangerous and Samaras headed straight at Pernis and also blazed over from the edge of the box before the outcome was finally decided.

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Rogne, Mulgrew, Izaguirre (Commons 78), Brown, Ledley, Wanyama, Samaras, Stokes (Ki Sung-Yueng 65), Hooper

subs (unused): Zaluska, K. Wilson, Cha Du-Ri, McCourt, Keatings

Goals: Hooper (12), Wanyama (17)

Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Dixon (Douglas 64), Kenneth, Neilson, Flood (Armstrong 46), Robertson, Rankin, Mackay-Steven (Swanson 77), Daly, Russell

subs (unused): Banks, Ryan, Dalla Valle, Dow

Goals: Rankin (50)

Ref: Winter

Att: 50,139

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Writer:Vital Arabs
Date:Saturday January 14 2012
Time: 11:02PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Celtic 35 24 8 3 80 55
2 Aberdeen 35 22 5 8 71 20
3 Hearts 35 17 9 9 60 18
4 St. Johnstone 35 14 7 14 49 1
5 Motherwell 35 14 5 16 47 -10
6 Ross County 35 13 5 17 44 -8
7 Inverness 35 12 10 13 46 2
8 Dundee 34 10 14 10 44 0
9 Partick 35 11 8 16 41 -11
10 Hamilton 35 10 9 16 39 -21
11 Kilmarnock 35 9 8 18 35 -19
12 Dundee United 34 6 6 22 24 -27
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