Dundee 1-2 Celtic: Celtic restore their 25-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 20/03/17 5:21pm
Celtic deservedly beat Dundee 2-1 to restore their 25-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table on Sunday.
Celtic broke the deadlock in first-half injury time through defender Jozo Simunovic's deflected strike, then Stuart Armstrong headed in the Bhoys' second of the afternoon in the 51st minute.
Dundee surprisingly pulled a goal back in the 76th minute through substitute Faissal El Bakhtaoui, but Celtic were able to hold on at Dens Park.
The win extends Celtic's season-long domestic unbeaten run, and keeps alive their opportunity to clinch the title as early as April 2 against Hearts at Tynecastle. For Dundee, the defeat means they remain in eighth place.
Both teams made two changes to their starting XIs with Simunovic and Callum McGregor replacing Erik Sviatchenko and Nir Bitton for Celtic while Dundee duo Kostadin Gadzhalov and Craig Wighton dropped to the bench for Tom Hateley and Kevin Gomis.
Celtic enjoyed 74 per cent possession during the first half, although their best chances arrived from corners with Moussa Dembele heading wide in the 15th minute.
Paul McGowan then cleared a Dedryck Boyata header off the line but Celtic eventually made their dominance pay just before half-time.
A corner was played short to James Forrest, who dribbled into the box and, with the outside of the right foot, crossed in for Simunovic. The defender slid on the floor and scissor-kicked a shot, which deflected off Gomis, into the net.
The second half began as the first ended with Celtic on the front foot and they doubled their lead six minutes after the break through Armstrong. On the right flank, Forrest skipped around Kevin Holt with ease and played a dinked cross into the near post for the 24-year-old, who glanced his header into the top left corner.
Hearts vs Celtic
April 2, 2017, 12:00pm
Ten minutes later, Dundee had a fabulous chance to pull a goal back after McGowan pounced on a Celtic defensive error to square a ball for Marcus Haber, but he hit his shot well wide.
And with the match getting increasingly scrappy, Dundee pulled one back in the 76th minute through substitute El Bakhtaoui, who had just come off the bench.
The 24-year-old intercepted a Boyata pass, which sliced open Celtic's defence, and rifled his effort into the top-right corner from around 25 yards out.
The goal forced the momentum to swing Dundee's way as they began to pump long balls into the box in search of an equaliser in the final 10 minutes.
However, they were unable to create any clear chances to get back into the match as Celtic closed out the win, and are now just three points away from lifting the Scottish Premiership title.