Terrors battle but can't avoid defeat
Sat 14th Jan 3pm
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)