12172017

Celtic stay top with narrow win over Dundee

Olivier Ntcham scores

Olivier Ntcham scored his third goal of the season to give Celtic victory

Celtic stayed top of the Scottish Premiership on goal difference with a narrow win over Dundee.

Scott Sinclair and Callum McGregor tested Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain in the first half and McGregor also fired wide.

Bain continued to frustrate Celtic by blocking efforts from Patrick Roberts and Leigh Griffiths.

But Olivier Ntcham struck to make the breakthrough and keep Brendan Rodgers’ side ahead of Aberdeen.

The hosts fielded several fringe players but there was no change in terms of the general plot line – wave after wave of Celtic attack, right from the start.

Celtic and Dundee players<!–

Dundee kept Celtic at bay for long periods in Glasgow

Sinclair set the tone in the fourth minute, cutting inside and firing a shot on target which Bain turned wide.

Griffiths nodded a header past the post and Ntcham fired over as the Dundee backline braced themselves to withstand the early bombardment.

In the 20th minute a burst of pace took Celtic captain for the day Kieran Tierney into the Dundee box. The left-back fired off a shot which arrowed just past the top corner.

Dundee tried to play out from the back with Bain as sweeper-keeper as Neil McCann used a 3-5-2 system which allowed plenty of Dundee players to get into the Celtic half. Making chances was still an issue, however, with Celtic goalkeeper Dorus de Vries, starting in place of the rested Craig Gordon, a virtual spectator for the first half-hour.

The visitors began to grow into the game as the regularity of Celtic chances subsided, but the away side would take until the 32nd minute before they forced a save from De Vries. In the end it was an easy take for the Dutchman, the shot from A-Jay Leitch-Smith.

Celtic then looked certain to take the lead through McGregor. Roberts cut a ball into the box for the midfielder but he fired his shot straight at Bain.

Cristian Gamboa then sprung forward from right-back and unleashed a shot which flew over the Dundee bar as the half ended 0-0.

Celtic celebrate<!–

The win set Celtic up for their midweek Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich

A fantastic run and shot from Roberts almost brought a roar of approval from the Celtic Park faithful, but the effort was saved.

Just a moment later there was another moment of Roberts magic. This time the English winger played in Griffiths but with the crowd again anticipating a goal there once again was Bain to make a vital stop.

But Bain would finally be beaten. This time it was midfielder Ntcham who found a yard of space 20 yards from goal. The French youngster unleashed a shot which swerved in the air, the movement on the ball deceiving Bain on its way into the net.

Dundee almost equalised through a former Celtic player, Paul McGowan with the shot but De Vries blocked well to maintain the Celtic lead.

De Vries then produced an even better save after the ball broke to Roarie Deacon, who was through on goal. He got his shot on target but De Vries did superbly well to divert it over.

From the corner there was another great chance for Dundee as the ball found the head of debutant Josh Meekings, but he failed to find the target.

Right at the end there was another big chance for Dundee as Faissal El Bakhtaoui’s shot was saved by De Vries to keep the score at 1-0, as the champions withstood the late Dundee rally.

Overall it was a match in which Celtic never really found top gear but crucially did enough to garner yet another three points.

Post-match reaction

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: “A bit disjointed, I felt. Passing wasn’t accurate enough for parts of the game.

“We showed moments of quality. There’s no doubting the absolute spirit in the team.

“Very pleased with the result, another clean sheet.

“Performance? I’ll demand and expect better but you can’t question the mentality of the team and the spirit to get the result.”

Dundee manager Neil McCann: “It’s not often teams will come to Celtic Park and go away thinking that they should’ve taken something from the game.

“We worked the ball into areas where we could get into good places in the pitch where we could have a real go at Celtic and we had great chances.

“I thought we were going to get something from the game because we kept going for it.

“Dorus de Vries came up with some remarkable saves.

“Yes, Scott Bain had a couple of saves today. But I think De Vries had better saves today and he’s earned his side the three points instead of maybe being only one, which I felt we deserved at least.”

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 1, Dundee 0.

Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Dundee 0.

Attempt missed. Roarie Deacon (Dundee) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Moussa Dembele (Celtic).

Glen Kamara (Dundee) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sofien Moussa (Dundee).

Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee).

Kevin Holt (Dundee) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Patrick Roberts (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kevin Holt (Dundee).

Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee).

Substitution, Dundee. Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaces Paul McGowan.

Attempt missed. Patrick Roberts (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Darren O’Dea (Dundee).

Patrick Roberts (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Lewis Spence (Dundee).

Lewis Spence (Dundee) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Substitution, Celtic. Kristoffer Ajer replaces Cristian Gamboa because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Josh Meekings (Dundee) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Dorus de Vries.

Attempt saved. Roarie Deacon (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution, Celtic. Moussa Dembele replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Foul by Olivier Ntcham (Celtic).

Glen Kamara (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Roarie Deacon (Dundee) right footed shot from very close range is just a bit too high.

Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).

Roarie Deacon (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Dundee. Jesse Curran replaces Jack Hendry because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Paul McGowan (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces Eboue Kouassi.

Foul by Olivier Ntcham (Celtic).

Glen Kamara (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Cristian Gamboa (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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