Dundee United 0-3 Celtic: Premiership leaders ease into Scottish Cup semi-finals

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Celtic will face Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-finals after seeing off a battling Dundee United.

A deflected shot from Callum McGregor gave the visitors a half-time lead, while a dreadful blunder from goalkeeper Ben Siegrist resulted in a tap-in for Giorgos Giakoumakis.

The striker grabbed a late second goal, helping on an effort from substitute Karamoko Dembele.

United pressed valiantly but posed little threat in attack at Tannadice.

The win stretches the Scottish Premiership leaders’ run of unbeaten domestic games to 30.

Celtic, who have lifted the cup a record 40 times, join Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian in the last four – the first time the Glasgow and Edinburgh clubs have all made it this far together.

And, with the League Cup already in the trophy room and a three-point lead in the league, fans’ thoughts will be turning to a potential fifth treble in six seasons.

Follow radio & text coverageAmid the early hustle and bustle, Celtic forward Daizen Maeda brushed the roof of the net from a long way out.

The breakthrough came on 12 minutes when McGregor ran on to a short corner and let fly from the edge of the penalty area. Nicky Clark stuck a leg out in an attempt to block, but only succeeded in diverting the ball away from Siegrist.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of the home side for a while, as did the loss of energetic midfielder Ian Harkes to injury, but a wild challenge from Reo Hatate on Kieran Freeman reignited United after half an hour.

However, an increase in aggression and work-rate did not stem the flow of Celtic attacks and there was a moment of controversy when the visitors thought they had scored a second goal.

Maeda squeezed a shot in from close range but the ball had come his way via the arm of Giakoumakis. It wasn’t a deliberate action from the Greek, with the changed rulebook therefore suggesting the goal should have stood.

Soon after, McGregor sent a fizzing effort just wide of the top corner and a swivelling Giakoumakis then volleyed off target.

The hosts continued to graft commendably after the interval, although they were undone by too many errant passes.

Just when it looked like Celtic had been knocked off their stride, they were handed a gift by Siegrist, who fumbled a cross from Maeda at the feet of Giakoumakis and the striker could not miss.

Thereafter, Ange Postecoglou’s side managed to keep United at bay without too much fuss and found a late goal when Dembele’s deflected shot looped up nicely for Giakoumakis to nudge home.

Man of the match – Callum McGregorCeltic captain Callum McGregor knocked in the opener and helped his midfield overcome determined opponents with a typically assured displayWhat the managers saidDundee United’s Thomas Courts: “We stuck to the task but probably just didn’t work the goalkeeper enough and we didn’t give our fans – who I thought were tremendous throughout – anything to really shout about and make a real game of it.”

Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou: “We didn’t really give them any opportunities to get near our goal. We scored three goals away from home and I thought we handled the atmosphere well. Away from home, a 3-0 win in a knock-out game is pretty comprehensive.”

Player of the match

McGregorCallum McGregor

with an average of 7.24

Dundee UnitedSquad number2Player nameSmith

Squad number1Player nameSiegrist

Squad number18Player nameButcher

Squad number12Player nameEdwards

Squad number29Player nameGraham

Squad number22Player nameFreeman

Squad number19Player nameLevitt

Squad number7Player nameNiskanen

Squad number10Player nameClark

Squad number23Player nameHarkes

Squad number9Player nameMcNulty

Squad number46Player nameThomson

Squad number17Player nameMeekison

Squad number3Player nameSpörle

Squad number6Player nameMcDonald

CelticSquad number42Player nameMcGregor

Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis

Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

Squad number88Player nameJuranovic

Squad number49Player nameForrest

Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

Squad number38Player nameMaeda

Squad number3Player nameTaylor

Squad number15Player nameHart

Squad number41Player nameHatate

Squad number77Player nameDembele

Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

Squad number18Player nameRogic

Squad number16Player nameMcCarthy

Squad number19Player nameJohnston

Squad number21Player nameIdeguchi

Line-upsDundee UtdFormation 3-5-2

1Siegrist

18Butcher12Edwards29Graham

22Freeman2Smith19Levitt23Harkes7Niskanen

10Clark9McNulty

1Siegrist18ButcherBooked at 49mins12Edwards29Graham22FreemanSubstituted forSpörleat 66’minutes2Smith19LevittSubstituted forMeekisonat 72’minutes23HarkesSubstituted forMcDonaldat 28’minutes7NiskanenBooked at 57mins10Clark9McNultySubstituted forThomsonat 71’minutesSubstitutes3Spörle4Mulgrew6McDonald13Eriksson15Akinola17Meekison46Thomson58Anim CudjoeCelticFormation 4-3-3

15Hart

88Juranovic20Carter-Vickers4Starfelt3Taylor

33O’Riley42McGregor41Hatate

49Forrest7Giakoumakis38Maeda

15Hart88Juranovic20Carter-Vickers4Starfelt3Taylor33O’RileySubstituted forMcCarthyat 76’minutes42McGregorSubstituted forIdeguchiat 87’minutes41HatateBooked at 30minsSubstituted forRogicat 45’minutes49ForrestSubstituted forJohnstonat 76’minutes7GiakoumakisBooked at 86mins38MaedaSubstituted forDembeleat 76’minutesSubstitutes2Jullien6Bitton10Ajeti16McCarthy18Rogic19Johnston21Ideguchi29Bain56Ralston57Welsh77DembeleReferee:John Beaton

Attendance:8,553

Live TextMatch ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 3.

Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Celtic 3.

Greg Taylor (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Miller Thomson (Dundee United).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josip Juranovic.

Goal! Dundee United 0, Celtic 3. Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Karamoko Dembele (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rogic with a through ball.

Substitution, Celtic. Yosuke Ideguchi replaces Callum McGregor.

Karamoko Dembele (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Miller Thomson (Dundee United).

Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

Archie Meekison (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Ross Graham.

Attempt blocked. Liam Smith (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Archie Meekison.

Foul by Michael Johnston (Celtic).

Archie Meekison (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Adrián Spörle (Dundee United).

Substitution, Celtic. James McCarthy replaces Matt O’Riley.

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