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SPL wrap: Celtic hit Dundee Utd for six, Motherwell win

Braces to Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes made sure Celtic did not suffer a European hangover as they thumped Dundee United 6-2 in SPL.

Braces to Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes made sure Celtic did not suffer a European hangover as they thumped Dundee United 6-2 in SPL.

The bottom-placed visitors had taken an early lead at Parkhead when Stuart Armstrong found the net, as Neil Lennon’s men looked stung by their midweek loss to Juventus in the Champions League.

Dundee’s Gary Mackay-Steven robbed Charlie Mulgrew, before racing forward and finding Armstrong inside the box and he fired the ball beyond Fraser Forster into the net.

Celtic weren’t behind for long, as they went straight up the other end of the park and levelled things up, when the villain of their Juve loss Efe Ambrose got his head onto a corner from Mulgrew and managed to get the ball past Radoslaw Cierzniak in the visitors’ goal.

The league leaders then took control of the game and the lead, as Emilio Izaguirre made his way down the left and whipped in a superb cross that found Commons, who volleyed the ball while falling into the back of the net.

The Parkhead faithful were up in arms as referee Bobby Madden awarded a penalty to the visitors after Matthews had looked to have put in a pinpoint tackle on Mackay-Steven in the box, but the spot kick from Jon Daly was superbly saved by Forster.

Celtic extended their advantage before the first half was finished after some superb work by Stokes saw the Irish striker eventually find Joseph Ledley, who curled the ball into the top corner of the Dundee net.

Lennon’s side were then given a penalty of their own as Barry Douglas brought down Stokes inside the box and Commons made no mistake, firing the ball past the helpless Cierzniak for his second goal of the game.

The home side made it a rout as Stokes got on the scoresheet twice in the space of 12 minutes, before Johnny Russell fired home a late consolation.

Celtic lead the league by 18 points from second-placed Motherwell, who also wrapped up a comfortable result with a 3-0 win over Inverness CT.

Two Michael Higdon goals either side of a Nicholas Law effort saw Stuart McCall’s men leapfrog Inverness into second spot.

A Paul Heffernan hat-trick helped Kilmarnock to a 3-0 away win over Hearts, while Ross County and Hibernian chalked up 1-0 triumphs over St Johnstone and St Mirren respectively.

Sat 16 February, 2013
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