Dundee United 0-4 Celtic: Visitors prepare for the Scottish Cup final with a comfortable victory

The Parkhead side get ready for their Scottish Cup final clash with Hibernian at Hampden next Sunday with a simple four-goal victory away to Dundee United
A double from Georgios Samaras along with strikes from Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes saw Celtic finish off their SPL title winning campaign in style with a 4-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

The SPL champions now prepare for their trip to Hampden next Sunday, as they take on Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final to secure a double winning season for the Parkhead men.

The home side made three changes from the side that defeated Inverness CT, with Ryan Dow, Ryan Gauld and Johnny Russell dropping out, with Barry Douglas, Mark Millar and Rory Boulding all coming into the starting line-up.

Neil Lennon also made four changes, with Commons, Samaras and Efe Ambrose starting along with Paddy McCourt who was making his farewell appearance for the Hoops, with Charlie Mulgrew, Victor Wanyama, James Forrest and Stokes all missing out.

There was only 11 minutes gone when the visitors claimed the lead, after Rangers-bound Jon Daly hauled Commons to the ground just outside the Dundee United penalty and the 29-year-old Scotland international whipped the ball around the wall and into the net.

Celtic continued to push forward and were rewarded with a second goal six minutes later, as Commons found Samaras and the Greek striker’s effort deflected off of young defender John Souttar and past Radoslaw Cierzniak in the home goal.

The one-way traffic towards Cierzniak’s goal continued as Commons set-up Gary Hooper some 35-yards out, but the strike towards goal by the English hitman drifted wide of the Pole’s right hand post.

Just before the half hour mark the visitors claimed their third of the game as Commons whipped in a free kick from the right wing onto the head of Samaras, who had got in front of his marker and guided his effort beyond Cierzniak.

Dundee United started the second half brightly and could have got one back when Gary Mackay-Steven found Willio Flood, but the effort at goal by the Irish midfielder went just wide of Fraser Forster’s goal.

With eight minutes gone in the half, Celtic thought they had a claimed a fourth, as Samaras found Hooper inside the box, but as his strike nestled in the Dundee United net he was met by the assistant referee’s flag, which waved him offside.

Celtic continued to dominate as a corner from the left by Commons was met by Joe Ledley, but the Welsh midfielder found his effort towards goal clawed away from danger by Cierzniak in the home goal.

Jackie McNamara’s side started to create more with the introduction of Russell from the bench, as he played in Daly, but Forster was there to deny the Irishman and the Celtic stopper done well to also save the rebound from Stuart Armstrong.

With five minutes left in the game Celtic made it four after a short corner involving Emilio Izaguirre saw Stokes gain possession and unleash a vicious strike which took a deflection and landed in the back of the net as the Hoops get ready for what could be a double-winning season with victory over Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final next Sunday.