Celtic And Dundee United’s Fortnight Feud Comes To An End
The run of matches began on Sunday, the 8th of March at 3.30pm.
Celtic visited Dundee United in the Scottish Cup quarter finals just one week before the pair would contest the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden and two weeks before a league encounter at Celtic Park. The 1-1 draw meant that the two teams would face each other four times in a fortnight as a Scottish Cup reply was added to the mix.
The feud began on Sunday, the 8th of March at 3.41pm.
It would only take ten minutes of the first of those encounters for red cards to be shown. On 11 minutes, both Virgil van Dijk and Paul Paton were sent off by referee Craig Thomson after a lunging Scott Brown tackle started a mini fracas, into which Van Dijk and Paton were adjudged to have gotten involved. Paul Dixon was also dismissed early in the second half for handling the ball in the box, resulting in a penalty which Leigh Griffiths failed to convert.
The match ended, therefore, with ten men against nine and in a draw, but neither Van Dijk nor Paton should have been sent off and both their red cards were overturned on appeal.
Fast forward seven days to the League Cup final and yet another red card was to be shown, this time to captain Sean Dillion after a monster tackle on Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre. There was little doubt about this red card and Dillion marched off with his side down 1-0, effectively ending their chances before James Forrest’s late goal made doubly sure.
One would have thought that after four red cards in two matches, managers Ronny Deila and Jackie McNamara would be calling for calm from their players. Indeed, in the Scottish Cup reply held just three days after the League Cup final, calm did seem to have prevailed, perhaps aided by the fact that the Celtic’s 4-0 victory made the game very one-sided. Two minutes from time, however, the red cards reappeared as Anthony Stokes and Ryan McGowan were sent off within minutes of each other, the former for an elbow and the latter for a late challenge.
The suspensions were racking up, as were the matches, when Dundee United lined up against Celtic for the fourth time in two weeks this Saturday for a league meeting.
Fortunately, on this occasion all 22 men stayed on the pitch and unfortunately for United fans, Celtic were just as ruthless in front of goal as they had been in midweek. Former United man Gary Mackay-Steven rubbed salt in his old club’s wounds as he opened the scoring on 16 minutes as he squeezed the ball through a crowd of bodies and, more importantly, past keeper Cierzniak.
If United fans were frustrated by their former hero’s goal , they would have been even more irritated by Mackay-Steven’s pass for Guidetti, which the Celtic striker sent into the net just after the half hour mark, albeit with the help of a deflection.
A back heel by Denayer – the centre-back’s second goal in as many matches versus the Arabs – sealed the victory and Celtic eased home towards a third consecutive victory against Dundee United, ending the fortnight feud once and for all.