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Celtic power on at top

Celtic
4 - 0
Dundee United

Celtic Park

Tue 22nd Jan 7.45pm

Attendance: 42,596

Referee:

Celtic continue to power on towards a second straight league title with a 4-0 victory against Dundee United at Parkhead.

Gary Hooper added two more to his tally while Victor Wanyama and substitute Scott Brown were also on target as their side eased twelve points clear at the top of the table.

The SPL leaders began purposefully with Wanyama and Georgios Samaras each trying early attempts while Gary Mackay-Steven chipped beyond the far post after being set-up by weekend hat-trick hero Johnny Russell.

Willo Flood also struck wide from twenty-yards for the visitors and Celtic goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska saw an attempted clearance charged down by Russell and travel dangerously wide after Hooper had already sliced behind.

However, Hooper next nodded over a Samaras cross and the Greek international then saw another effort diverted wide until supplying a first-time pass for Hooper to earn his side a nineteenth minute lead following a swift break from Lassad.

Both Wanyama and Lassad threatened additional reward before the former headed in Mikael Lustig's 33rd minute cross at the far post to double their advantage.

Home midfielder Beram Kayal then blazed over after both he and Wanyama tried further attempts while Barry Douglas similarly lacked direction in reply.

The visitors survived another couple of scares before the break and their skipper Jon Daly at least offered a header from Douglas' cross following it.

But Polish goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak was required to deny a low drive from Samaras until being beaten again when the same player delivered for Hooper to grab his 22nd goal of the season with ten minutes remaining.

Four minutes later Hooper turned provider when setting up substitute Brown to find the far corner with a curling left-footed finish from inside the area.

Celtic: Zaluska, Lustig (Matthews 73), Rogne, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Ledley, Kayal (Brown 61), Wanyama, Samaras, Lassad (Stokes 82), Hooper

subs (unused): Thomson, Gershon, McGeouch, Watt

Goals: Hooper (19, 80), Wanyama (33), Brown (84)

Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning, Douglas, Flood, Rankin, Millar (Armstrong 51), Mackay-Steven (Skacel 71), Russell, Daly

subs (unused): Banks, McLean, Ryan, Gardyne, Dow

Ref: Norris

Att: 42,596

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Writer:stev
Date:Tuesday January 22 2013
Time: 11:08PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Celtic 35 24 8 3 80 55
2 Aberdeen 35 22 5 8 71 20
3 Hearts 35 17 9 9 60 18
4 St. Johnstone 35 14 7 14 49 1
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