Dundee 0
Celtic 2
Scottish Cup (5th Round)

0 - 2

Scottish Cup (5th Round)
Saturday, February 7th, 2015
Dens Park
Attendance: 7,525
12:30 PM Kick-off

None. Leigh Griffiths (7)
Stefan Johansen (47)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Ronny Deila

Starting Eleven
12. Scott Bain
3. Willie Dyer
26. Kostadin Gadzhalov
2. Gary Irvine
5. James McPake
20. Jim McAlister
48. Stephen McGinn
18. Paul McGowan
15. Greg Stewart
21. Luka Tankulic
33. Craig Wighton
Craig Gordon .26
Emilio Izaguirre .3
Virgil van Dijk .5
Jason Denayer .22
Mikael Lustig .23
Nir Bitton .6
Scott Brown .8
Kris Commons .15
Stefan Johansen .25
Leigh Griffiths .28
James Forrest .49

1. Kyle Letheren
34. Matty Allan
4. Thomas Konrad
19. Paul McGinn
24. Andrew Black
8. Kevin McBride
16. David Clarkson
Lukasz Zaluska .24
Efe Ambrose .4
Adam Matthews .2
Liam Henderson .53
Callum McGregor .42
John Guidetti .9
Anthony Stokes .10

Paul McGinn for Greg Stewart (36)
David Clarkson for Craig Wighton (58)
Andrew Black for Luka Tankulic (90)
Anthony Stokes for Kris Commons (46)
Adam Matthews for Mikael Lustig (55)
John Guidetti for James Forrest (74)

Willie Dyer (57)
Anthony Stokes (56)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

John Beaton (Referee)
Alastair Mather & Stephen Mitchell (Assistants)
Stephen Finnie (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee slipped out of the Scottish Cup at Dens Park today, losing 2-0 to an in-form Celtic side who were too good for the Dark Blues. Goals early in each half by Leigh Griffiths and Stefan Johansen gave the Celts a well-deserved victory.

Dundee made three changes from last Saturday. Kevin Thomson was injured, Alex Harris cup-tied and David Clarkson on the bench. Stephen McGinn came in for his first start, and was joined by Luka Tankulic and Craig Wighton.

When Celtic were at Dens in August they were rocked by the Dee's fast start. They made sure that they didn't make the same mistake today and went for Dundee's throat right from the kick off.

Pressing hard in the Dundee half they had the Dark Blues under heavy pressure, but it was the Dark Blues who might have had an early lead when they won a corner. Unfortunately the referee didn't spot James McPake being taken out off the ball.

Celtic took full advantage of the escape and took a 7th minute lead. Lustig had space on the right to fire over a cross and Leigh GRIFFITH's perfect glancing header left Scott Bain with no chance.

That set the pattern for the rest of the half. Dundee had no option but to hang on as Celtic controlled the game. The Dundee midfield weren't given even a second on the ball before being harried by the Hoops' hard-working pressing game. When the Dee's front players did get on the ball they managed to build the odd promising attack, but these moments were few and far between.

Midway through the half Dundee did have a concerted attack, only for Celtic to carve the Dee open with a lightning fast break. Commons sent Forrest through on goal, but Bain saved brilliantly and the ball just evaded Griffiths, who would have had an open goal.

Kosta Gadzhalov had Dundee's first shot when he volleyed wide from 20 yards following a corner. Play was soon back at the other end, and Commons cut the ball back for Griffiths to force a save from Bain at point blank range. Another fast attack ended with Commons shooting carelessly wide after Griffiths had stepped over Johansen's low cross.

Dundee's hopes took a huge blow when Greg Stewart limped out of the match. He'd required treatment for an earlier knock. He tried to play on, but had to give up 10 minutes from half time. Paul McGinn came on to play a central midfield role with Jim McAlister moving wide.

The first half finished in frenetic style with chances at either end in the last couple of minutes. Scott Bain pulled off another great save to defy Johansen, who had managed to force his way past James McPake.

Dundee then had their best move of the match, when Tankulic showed a great touch to pull down a high ball and then set up McGowan to burst into the box and shoot. Craig Gordon had seen little action, but he responded with a superb save to prevent an equaliser that would have been harsh on the dominant Celts. There was still time before the break for Griffiths to find space in the box and flash a volley wide.

Dundee were happy to reach the break only a goal behind, and there was always hope that they might be able to stage a fightback. Those hopes were crushed by a killer second goal only two minutes after the restart.

Lustig's cross from deep found Griffiths, who had peeled wide. His header was well saved by Bain but when the ball broke for JOHANSEN to slam home number two the Dark Blues were as good as out of the cup.

David Clarkson came on for Craig Wighton, but Dundee found it impossible to change the pattern of the game. Celtic were controlling the midfield, where Scott Brown was showing what an valuable player he is. Without doing anything flashy he was bossing the middle of the park, stopping Dundee playing and making life so much easier for the players in front of him.

Sadly Dundee offered little threat after the second goal, while Celtic were operating in cruise control. Stefansen nearly scored a freakish third when his cross nearly sailed over Bain, who just managed to turn it onto the post.

At times Celtic had so much possession in the final third that they were trying to walk the ball into the net. Dundee's defence stuck to their task manfully, and managed to keep Celtic at bay. However, it was always clear that Celtic could easily find another gear if they had to. Further Celtic goals always looked more likely than a consolation for the Dee.

Dundee didn't have the resources to cope with the loss of key players like Thomson, Harkins and Stewart. The midfield was hampered by an unbalanced midfield with too many similar players. Whenever they did manage to work the ball into promising positions the Dark Blues glaringly lacked the players who could have taken advantage.

Luka Tankulic had done well with minimal support, often dropping deep to try and set up attacks. Dundee's disappointing day was finished off when the German striker picked up an injury that forced him out of the game late on. Young Andy Black came on to make his debut in the last few minutes.

In the previous two games between the sides this season Dundee have played very well and run Celtic very close. Today, for the first time Celtic fielded Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths from the start. These two players made a massive difference to Celtic's performance and the Hoops were a far better team than they'd been in the other two matches. That was bad news for Dundee, but at least it's good news for Scotland.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at February 7th, 2015)

2014-15 All Time
Scott Bain (GK)23 16 - 16 -
Willie Dyer27 13 - 39 -
Kostadin Gadzhalov25 6 - 6 -
Gary Irvine29 2741846
James McPake30 261261
Jim McAlister29 29111311
Stephen McGinn26 2 - 2 -
Paul McGowan27 24 - 24 -
Greg Stewart24 28142814
Luka Tankulic23 252252
Craig Wighton17 101243
Paul McGinn (sub)24 261261
Andrew Black (sub)19 1 - 1 -
David Clarkson (sub)29 188188

League Table (as at February 7th, 2015)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome to Dens for the Scottish fifth round tie with Celtic this afternoon. I'd like to welcome Ronny Deila, his backroom staff.and.all the fans along to the match today.

Considering we didn't play that well was happy to take a point last weekend against Hamilton.

Against ten men it can always be difficult and I don't think we did enough to work the Accies back four and goalkeeper.

We were disappointed in the goal they scored but we scored a quality goal and it keeps the run going.

The boys kept going till the end and we'll always give them credit for that. We just felt we should have been better with the ball.

We completed some transfer business on the final day of the window this week. Paul Heffernan is a good addition to the squad and I was delighted to get him signed up. He's cup-tied today but will be in contention for a place next weekend.

Six unbeaten now and we go into today's game full of confidence. It's the cup, we're underdogs and there is no pressure on us and we'll pick a team to try and win the game.

Enjoy the game.