FROM NEIL DOHERTY IN GLASGOW: The 200 or so Celtic fans from Donegal are on their way home happy tonight after seeing their side regain top spot in the SPL after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Dundee United at Celtic Park.
Several English clubs may have offered fortunes for Hoops striker Gary Hooper but he was only interested in Celtic today as he drove the hosts into the lead in the 12th minute after a lovely ball from Anthony Stokes.
Midfielder Wanyama doubled the advantage five minutes later when he headed an Emilio Izaguirre cross.
But five minutes after the break, John Rankin fired in an unstoppable strike, but Celtic held out to jump two points clear at the top of the table – with chances at both ends which could have extended the Hoops lead or given United a point. Samaras could have had a couple.
Boss Neil Lennon was just delighted with the three points.
He admitted Rankin’s goal made for a nervous finish.
“Goals change the psychology of the game and we maybe stopped competing for 10 to 15 minutes (in the second half) but I thought we finished the game strongly,” said Lennon.
“Going in 2-0 up at half-time, I was pretty happy. You can’t expect us to win 3, 4 or 5-0 every week. That’s part of the problem here – everyone seems to think it’s a foregone conclusion.
“United are a decent team and have come into a little bit of form of late. But that’s 11 wins in a row and that takes some doing.”
“Overall, I’m delighted with the team and the performance. I thought Hooper was tremendous; Wanyma, Rogne and Mulgrew. There were a lot of good performances and we have scored two good goals.
“But for some slack finishing, we could’ve won by three or four.”
Lennon was delighted with goalscorer Wanyama and said he wanted his players to score more headers.
“He was very strong in midfield when Dundee United got a foothold in the game,” he added.
Rangers had won the earlier game 2-1 at St Johnston, scoring a late winner, putting them top for several hours.
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