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Sunday 22 April 2018

Celtic draw blank at home to Dundee

TUSSLE: Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata (right) and Dundee’s
Roarie Deacon battle for the ball during the Scottish
Premiership match at Celtic Park last night Photo: PA
TUSSLE: Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata (right) and Dundee’s Roarie Deacon battle for the ball during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park last night Photo: PA

Celtic's drive to the Scottish Premiership title hit an unexpected speed bump with a goalless draw against relegation battlers Dundee at Parkhead.

It was below-par performance by Brendan Rodgers' side whose wayward finishing was just one of their faults on a frustrating night for the home fans although credit must go to Neil McCann's men who were organised and disciplined throughout.

The treble-chasing home side moved 10 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen with six games remaining.

However, the more significant point could be the one the Taysiders battled for to take them five points clear of Ross County who occupy the relegation play-off spot and bottom side Partick Thistle.

It was a landmark night for Craig Gordon, 35, who returned from a knee injury which had kept him out since January to make his 200th appearance for the Hoops.

There was less than three minutes played when Dundee keeper Elliott Parish was called upon to save a close-range drive from striker Moussa Dembele after he had worked a clever one-two with wide-man James Forrest. Dundee's first attempt on goal in the 11th minute almost saw them take the lead with

Simon Murray's vicious drive from 25 yards tipped over the bar for a corner by the stretching Gordon, the Hoops repelling the corner.

Celtic pushed Dundee back again but the Taysiders looked organised, aggressive and resolute although Parish had to push a Forrest drive past the post just before the half-hour mark, Scott Sinclair heading over from the corner.

Parish made saves from Forrest, Armstrong and Sinclair as Celtic stepped up the tempo at the start of the second half.

In the 66th minute Rodgers showed what he thought of proceedings with a triple substitution. Leigh Griffiths, Odsonne Edouard and Olivier Ntcham on for Dembele, Sinclair and Tom Rogic in a bid to shake up the home side.

Celtic kept pushing forward but there was little conviction in many of their attacks and almost all of their finishing.

In the 87th minute Hendry headed a Griffiths free-kick inches past the post but there was to be no late winner for the Parkhead men.

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