James Forrest Rolls Back The Years As Celtic Win On The Road In Dundee

James Forrest Rolls Back The Years As Celtic Win On The Road In Dundee
James Forrest Rolls Back The Years As Celtic Win On The Road In Dundee

By at Dens Park

Dundee 1-2 Celtic

Idah (Own goal, 74)         Forrest (30, 67)

Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic side took another step closer to retaining their Scottish Premiership title with a crucial away win at Dens Park over Dundee.

Celtic dominated the game in the early stages and had a number of chances to take the lead in the opening ten minutes.

The best of those early opportunities fell to Greg Taylor who saw a headed effort parried off the line by Dundee goalkeeper Jon McCracken following a Matt O’Riley corner.

Dundee remained resolute in spite of continual Celtic attacks and frustrated the Champions without being able to effectively forge too many counter-attacks of their own.

Celtic should have taken the lead in the 24th minute when Nicolas Kuhn laid the ball off to Reo Hatate – from a James Forrest cross – inside the Dundee box only for the Japanese international to fire wide from close danger.

A matter of moments later, Dundee had an equally good opportunity to break the deadlock when Amadou Bakayoko got on the end of an inviting Owen Dodgson cross only to see his effort comfortably saved by Joe Hart.

Brendan Rodgers’ side finally took the lead on the half-hour mark in phenomenal fashion as Forrest fired home on the volley from the edge of the box following a lovely passage of play between Hatate and Kyogo in the build-up to the goal.

That goal was all that separated both teams at the break.

Whatever the Dundee backroom staff said to the team at halftime worked a treat as they started the second half with intensity, getting in behind the Celtic defence to win a number of corners in the opening stages following the restart.

Mo Sylla came closest to equalising for the home side when he header narrowly wide from a Dodgson corner in the 52nd minute.

Jordan McGhee was the next Dundee player to come close from a Dodgson corner, but he could only direct his header into the grateful hands of Joe Hart.

Celtic lost control of possession in the opening twenty minutes of the second half which led to Brendan Rodgers introducing Adam Idah and Tomoki Iwata to the game in place of Kyogo and Callum McGregor.

Dundee’s hopes of scoring an equaliser were extinguished in the 67th minute when Forrest scored his second goal of the game following a defensive mishap between Lamie and McGhee that allowed him to slot the ball under a helpless McCracken in the Dundee net.

Sooner after the second goal, Hatate was denied a goal after seeing an effort smash off the left-hand post.

Dundee were not for giving up and got their reward in the seventh fourth minute when a freakish Adam Idah own-goal got them back into the game.

The goal came from another Dundee corner that saw centre-back Antonio Portales hit a tame effort that deflected into the Celtic net via a deflection off the boot of Adam Idah to leave Hart helpless.

That set up a grandstand finish at Dens with a quarter of an hour to play.

Push as they did, Dundee could not find a leveller despite creating more opportunities from corners and long throws which spooked the Celtic defence at times.

Victory for Celtic could be another crucial milestone in their quest to retain the Scottish Premiership title with only four games remaining.

WFi player of the match: James Forrest (Celtic) – the winger rolled back the years to be the match-winner for Celtic and fire his side one step closer to a third consecutive SPFL title.