Dundee 0-4 Celtic: Dark Blues outclassed in Betfred

Dundee were knocked out of the Betfred Cup as Celtic eased their way into the last four of the competition with a dominant 4-0 victory.

The Dark Blues had their moments, particularly in the first half, but the holders of the competition sailed into the semi-final with a penalty from Scott Sinclair and a James Forrest finish before the break doing the damage. In the second half, late goals from Callum McGregor and Forrest again capped a good night for the Glasgow side.

Dundee boss Neil McCann made two changes from the side that beat St Johnstone at the weekend as Roarie Deacon was replaced by Randy Wolters and Mark O’Hara came in for Sofien Moussa. Deacon suffered a head knock at the weekend and took a place on the bench while striker Moussa failed a late fitness test.

Celtic, meanwhile, made six changes but put out almost a full-strength side for this quarter-final.

And they quickly came close to opening the scoring within two minutes as Oliver Ntcham fizzed a low effort toward goal, tipped wide by Scott Bain.

It wasn’t going to be all Celtic, however, and Dundee crafted a good opening from a well-worked corner. Runners dragged the visiting defence to the front post, leaving Randy Wolters free at the back post but his volley was deflected wide.

On 18 minutes, it looked like Saturday’s two-goal hero A-Jay Leitch-Smith was in for his third goal in a week but, after being sent through by Glen Kamara, Scott Brown made up the ground and the danger passed for Celtic.

Wolters had been heavily involved in the opening period, doing good work with and without the ball but late tackles on Kieran Tierney and then Sinclair saw him into the referee’s book.

On 25 minutes, Celtic turned their dominance into the opening goal as winger Sinclair single-handedly burst through the Dundee defence before his jinking run was brought to a halt by Jack Hendry and referee John Beaton pointed to the spot.

Sinclair dusted himself down and stroked the spotkick past Bain to make it 1-0.

Five minutes later and the Dark Blues had a wonderful chance to equalise as Wolters again made a nuisance of himself on the right wing but his beauty of a left-foot cross was completely missed by Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

They rued that miss before half-time as Brendan Rodgers’ side doubled their lead. The left wing had been a problem all evening for the Dundee defence and this time Tierney got in behind the backline before cutting back for Forrest to slot home.

Straight from the restart Celtic went close to making it three. Leigh Griffiths had had a quiet first half but made space for himself outside the area before firing a shot goalwards. Bain was worried as he could only watch the deflected effort loop just wide of the far post.

The visitors were well in control of the contest by this point as they dominated possession and played the ball around Dundee.

The Dark Blues responded by picking up some yellow cards for late challenges as Lewis Spence was followed into the book by Cammy Kerr.

On 75 minutes, Bain had to be alert as the Hoops went looking for a third with Forrest firing a low effort goalwards only to see it beaten out by the goalkeeper.

Into the final 10 minutes and Dundee had a chance to make it a tense finish as an El Bakhtaoui cross squirmed through to striker Leitch-Smith but he couldn’t gather the ball as Craig Gordon mopped up.

With two minutes to go, substitute McGregor put the finishing touches to the Celtic performance as he fired a low effort across Bain and into the corner for 3-0.

And in injury time, Forrest added his second, cracking a low shot from the edge of the area beyond Bain to complete the scoring.

 

Dundee: Bain, Kerr, Holt, O’Dea, Leitch-Smith, Kamara, O’Hara, El Bakhtaoui, Hendry, Wolters (Deacon 64), Spence (McGowan 73).

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata (Ralston 67), Bitton, Tierney, Sinclair, Brown, Ntcham, Roberts (McGregor 72), Forrest, Griffiths (Edouard 85).

Attendance: 6,917

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