Poor start costly for United
Sat 5th Apr 12.45pm
Dundee United were left reflecting on a poor first-half display as Celtic emerged as comfortable 2-0 winners at Tannadice.
Georgios Samaras fired them in front from an early free-kick delivered by Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes doubled the lead before the break.
The Tangerines were immediately playing catch-up when Beram Kayal was fouled on five minutes and Commons supplied Samaras to volley home from twelve-yards.
Gavin Gunning hoisted over in reply from a Ryan Dow cross before Stokes swapped passes with Commons and struck high past Radoslaw Cierzniak to extend the advantage.
Home boss Jackie McNamara introduced Gary Mackay-Steven at the break but it was the unmarked Keith Watson missing with a header before Dow was ruled offside after converting Mackay-Steven's pass.
Celtic substitute Leigh Griffiths was then twice denied by Cierzniak, who also kept out Commons before opposite number Fraser Forster later thwarted both Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning, Robertson, Paton, Rankin, Armstrong, Ciftci (El Alagui 81), Graham (Mackay-Steven 46), Dow (Gauld 65)
subs (unused): Wilson, Souttar, Gomis, McCallum
Celtic: Forster, Brown, Ambrose, van Dijk, Izaguirre, Henderson (Griffiths 52), Kayal, Johansen (Mouyokolo 90), Commons, Samaras (Balde 88), Stokes
subs (unused): Pukki, Herron, O'Connell, Zaluska
Goals: Samaras (5), Stokes (24)
Ref: C. Thomson