The Parkhead pair put the transfer speculation to one side in order to help Neil Lennon’s side continue their charge towards the SPL title with another comfortable victoryGary Hooper and Victor Wanyama along with Scott Brown helped Celtic to extend their lead at the top of the SPL with victory over Dundee United.
With both Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas in attendance the duo boosted both their transfer prospects and Celtic’s lead at the top of the table to 12 points.
Neil Lennon made three changes from the side that thumped Hearts on Saturday, with Adam Matthews, Brown and Kris Commons dropping out and Thomas Rogne, Beram Kayal and Lassad Nouioui replacing them.
While the visitors arrived in the East End of Glasgow with the same starting line-up that came from behind to claim victory away to Kilmarnock on Saturday.
Celtic started the game off the brighter, with Charlie Mulgrew playing a free kick in the direction of Georgios Samaras, but the Greek striker couldn’t divert his header on target and the ball ultimately went wide of goal.
Former Dundee United keeper Łukasz Załuska almost handed his former employers the lead as his lazy clearance cannoned off Jon Daly’s back, but fortunately for the Polish shot-stopper, the ball spun wide of goal.
Celtic finally did get in front after a superb counter-attacking move, as Lassad played the ball towards Samaras on the left wing and the striker moved forward before finding Hooper inside the box and he made no mistake, tucking the ball into the net.
The home side doubled their lead when Mulgrew played a short corner to Lustig and the Swedish full-back swung a cross to the back post were Wanyama got in behind his marker and powered his header into the net.
The second half didn’t start as quick as the first, even though Celtic remained in control, with the visitors grabbing the first chance after the break as Daly had a header from a corner kick cleared off the line.
Celtic should have claimed a third when Emilio Izaguirre found the freedom of the left wing and swung in a cross for Samaras, but his low strike was saved comfortably by Radosław Cierzniak in the Dundee United goal.
The victory was sealed late on as Samaras made his way down the right wing, before crossing into the six yard box for Hooper, who would have impressed his admirers with a back heel finish past Cierzniak to wrap up the three points.
Hooper then had a chance to claim his hat-trick as he received the ball on the edge of the area, but the English striker was unselfish and found substitute Brown, who fire home from close range to finish off another comfortable victory for Lennon’s side as they stretch their lead over Inverness CT to 12 points.