Dundee 0-5 Celtic: Rampant visitors give Brendan Rodgers his 100th win
- Celtic’s Tom Rogic scored a quite sumptuous opener inside the first 20 minutes
- Scott Sinclair scored from the penalty spot to double their lead on Wednesday
- James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie also got on the scoresheet
For his hundredth victory as Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers’ players gave him the gift of a near-perfect performance.
Five different scorers, a clean sheet and passing so pretty it ought to be classified as performance art.
Well, if you’re going to rack up the century, you might as well do it in style, right?
Celtic’s Ryan Christie scores his side’s fifth goal of the game against Dundee on Wednesday
Christie celebrates making it 5-0 in the second half of the league match against Dundee
On a freezing Wednesday night at Dens Park, precisely the kind of scenario so often used as the set-up when people question a team’s ability to perform, the visitors were four up at half-time – Ryan Christie adding a fifth just after the break.
Rodgers’ 144th match at the helm was a complete no-contest from the moment when Tom Rogic, making his 150th appearance for the Hoops, scored a quite sumptuous opener inside the first 20.
Further first half goals from Scott Sinclair, with a penalty, James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard put the game out of sight long before the break.
Ryan Christie maintained his own scoring run with a cool finish three minutes into the second half to make it 5-0 and, in all honesty, any visiting supporter left hungry for even more goals should be tested for a tapeworm.
For this was a statement performance, a show of strength equal to just about anything we’ve seen from Celtic during the Rodgers era. They’re back. And in the mood to punish any opponent so ill-suited to the task as Dundee were here.
The Dark Blues hadn’t beaten Celtic since May 2001 and, truthfully, few harboured many hopes of an upset in this one.
Tom Rogic scored a quite sumptuous opener for the visitors inside the first 20 minutes
They’d shipped seven goals, without scoring one, in Jim McIntyre’s two games at the helm.
And the rot stretches back much further than his arrival as a replacement for Neil McCann, of course.
Going into Wednesday night’s fixture, the Dark Blues had lost six home games on the bounce.
Few could blame them, then, for adopting an extremely conservative approach for the visit of the champions.
Celtic’s Scott Sinclair slots home a penalty to make it 2-0 in the first half of the league clash
Sinclair celebrates his goal with his Celtic team-mates on Wednesday night at Dens Park
With four at the back and five strung across midfield, meaning former Scotland striker Kenny Miller often found himself in territory more natural for a full-back, they dug in for dear life.
Ranged against them was a Celtic side bristling with attacking threat, even allowing for personnel changes both enforced and selective on the part of Rodgers.
For much of the game, they effectively lined up with a front five, leaving just Callum McGregor in the holding role.
Regardless of his qualities as a game breaker further up the park, many see this as McGregor’s eventual home as a footballer – purely because, being so technically gifted, he plays it brilliantly.
Celtic’s James Forrest (L) celebrates his goal, which came in 38th minute, with Kieran Tierney
There’s no rule that says your sitter has to be a hammer thrower; the best have always been able to do much more than close play down.
With McGregor setting the tempo, Celtic were quickly into a mesmerising rhythm that had the home side looking positively dizzy at times.
Ryan Christie, promoted to the starting XI after his weekend cameo as a sublime substitute at Murrayfield, came close to opening the scoring with a thumping left-footed strike after just 12 minutes, the ball fizzing a matter of inches over the bar.
Mikael Lustig had a shot touched over by Jack Hamilton soon after, the visitors finding their way into the danger zone with ease.
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard (centre right) celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal of the game
Indeed, there was something almost languid about the build-up to the opener as, with 19 minutes on the clock, Celtic played their way towards the Dundee box in a series of nine easy passes.
McGregor played the final ball to Rogic, who found himself tightly marked on the left edge of the box.
He’s a magician, though, the Aussie playmaker. And he conjured up a stunning finish with his left boot, arcing the ball over and away from Hamilton to find the far corner.
Celtic nearly made it 2-0 a matter of moments later, Edouard latching on to a long ball to beat the madcap charge of Hamilton – only for Darren O’Dea to make a brilliant recovery challenge. Followed by a mouthful of, ahem, ‘advice’ for his keeper.
The second goal wasn’t long in coming, Celtic awarded a penalty after just 32 minutes when Lustig was brought down by Ryan Inniss inside the box.
Brendan Rodgers secured his 100th win as Celtic boss on Wednesday evening at Dens Park
It all began with Celtic playing out from keeper Craig Gordon, with Filip Benkovic involved before Kieran Tierney sent a raking ball down the right to Forrest, who found Rogic in support.
Lustig then went screaming up the inside, taking Rogic’s pass in his stride – and just touching it beyond Inniss, who could do nothing but take the rampaging full-back out.
After Sinclair had scored from the spot, Celtic could do whatever they damned well pleased with this game.
The third, Forrest finishing first-time with his right boot from another Tierney cut-back, merely added a number to their tally with seven minutes until half-time.
And Forrest then turned provider in first-half injury time, playing a series of give-and-go passes as he darted from right to left and then into the box, where he had ample time to cut back for Edouard’s first-time finish.
Celtic’s Sinclair (right) Dundee’s Cammy Kerr battle for the ball during Hoops’ 5-0 victory
Any hopes Dundee had of disrupting Celtic’s momentum after the break were blown away by Christie running off Glen Kamara to finish from Edouard’s pass with 48 minutes on the clock.
All the home side had left now was fury and frustration, which perhaps explains why Roarie Deacon went flying into a very nasty challenge on Tierney that bagged the offender a yellow card; it could easily have been red.
Celtic fans caught a first glimpse of Daniel Arzani in a first-team fixture just before the hour mark, the Australian teenager replacing Edouard as Rodgers looked to protect his one fit striker.
The one low point for the visitors, on an otherwise ideal night, came when the elusive Arzani was stretchered off 11 minutes from full-time, having wrenched his right knee in an awkward fall – leaving Celtic down to ten men.
Oh, how would they ever cope? With predictable ease. They move to within four points of the lead, with a game in hand. While Dundee stay rooted to the bottom of the table.
With Hearts heading to Celtic Park this weekend, expect more movement at the top, a further closing of the gap. In this mood, win 101 has to be on the cards.
Source: Read Full Article