Tangerines soundly defeated
Tue 23rd Jan 7.45pm
Dundee United were soundly defeated as top scorer Gary Hooper netted two more goals for leaders Celtic in a 4-0 victory at Parkhead.
Hooper opened the scoring following a swift break from a visitors corner and a first-time pass by Georgios Samaras which saw the in-demand forward calmly slotting underneath goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.
The Tangerines fell further behind when Victor Wanyama headed in Mikael Lustig's cross just past the half-hour and they could have conceded more goals before the half-time interval.
Gary Mackay-Steven had earlier slipped a clear opportunity wide for the visitors after being set-up by Johnny Russell while midfielder Willo Flood struck beyond an upright from the edge of the area.
Skipper Jon Daly also went close when charging down a Lukasz Zaluska clearance and with a later header from Mackay-Steven's cross.
But the hosts continued to threaten to extend their lead on a number of occasions and the contest was effectively over when Hooper glanced in his second of the evening from Samaras' low delivery.
Hooper then allowed substitute Scott Brown to add a fourth and complete the scoring with six minutes remaining as Celtic moved twelve points clear at the top of the table.
Celtic: Zaluska, Lustig (Matthews 73), Rogne, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Ledley, Kayal (Brown 61), Wanyama, Samaras, Lassad (Stokes 82), Hooper
subs (unused): Thomson, Gershon, McGeouch, Watt
Goals: Hooper (19, 80), Wanyama (33), Brown (84)
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning, Douglas, Flood, Rankin, Millar (Armstrong 51), Mackay-Steven (Skacel 71), Russell, Daly
subs (unused): Banks, McLean, Ryan, Gardyne, Dow