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  • 17 October 2010
  • • 12:45
  • • Tannadice Park, Dundee
  • Referee: D. McDonald
  • • Attendance: 11790

Dundee United 1-0 Celtic: Robertson nets winner as hosts see off SPL champions

Dundee United 1-0 Celtic: Robertson nets winner as hosts see off SPL champions

A 21st minute header was enough for Peter Houston's men to beat the newly crowned champions and claim Europa League football next season

Scott Robertson’s first-half header was enough to give Dundee United a 1-0 win over champions Celtic and secure fourth place for his side in the Scottish Premier League.

The 27-year-old showed desire and commitment to attack a short corner and direct the ball past Fraser Forster to guarantee qualification to next season’s Europa League.

Despite numerous half chances for Celtic throughout the match, and a barnstorming finish, Dundee were able to close the game out in relative comfort with the champion’s attack lacking composure and penetration.

United made two changes from the side that was humbled 5-0 against Rangers on Wednesday evening, with, most notably, Willo Flood recovering from a knock to take his place in midfield.

Celtic, with the title in the bag, made wholesale changes to their starting eleven, with seven fresh faces coming into the side, with top goalscorer Gary Hooper among them.

Neither side took control of proceedings in the earlier stages, conceding possession all too regularly, with the only glimmer of action coming when Hooper almost took advantage of some space in the Dundee penalty area, but his cut-back was well intercepted by Gunning at the expense of a corner.

Aside from that, the first 15 minutes passed without incident with Dundee seemingly happy to sit back and soak up any Celtic pressure.

The game desperately needed a spark and, largely against the run of play, it was the home side who provided it in the 21st minute.

Celtic fell asleep at a short corner allowing Paul Dixon to hang up a cross for Robertson to send the ball back across Forster into the far corner of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

The goal stung the champions into action, and Hooper, in particular, was beginning to show what a handful he could be, beautifully laying the ball off for Kris Commons to fire in an effort that was deflected behind. From the resulting corner, Hooper saw his effort saved well by Dusan Pernis before the ball was scrambled away.

Despite failing to build any consistent pressure aside from half chances, Celtic should have gone into half time level. Commons’ superb cross from the left was missed by Stokes at the back post, with the goal gaping.

Hoops boss Lennon, carrying out the second of his three-game touchline ban, looked less than impressed on the touchline, so it was no surprise that the former Celtic player made a change at half-time, bringing on Tony Watt for the goal shy Stokes.

The change seemed to have the desired effect.

Favourite for the Scottish Player of the Year award, Charlie Mulgrew, should have done better when the ball broke to him in the penalty box but he could only fire wildly over before Watt himself directed a header straight at the increasingly over-worked Pernis.

Unperturbed by the champions’ mounting pressure, Dundee remained threatening on the counter-attack with Gary Mackay-Steven firing over and John Daly seeing his effort blocked by Mulgrew, with the rebound stabbed wide by John Rankin.

In a frantic finish to the game, Celtic saw a penalty claim turned down when an Izaguirre cross seemed to strike the hand of Keith Watson, and Hooper spurned a glorious opportunity when through on goal.

But Dundee gamely survived to secure fourth place in the Scottish Premier League and Europa League football next season.

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