Dundee United 2 Celtic 2: Ambrose blunder gifts Houston a point as Hoops throw away two-goal lead at the death
15:40 GMT, 4 November 2012
Dundee United came from two behind in dramatic fashion to grab an unlikely share of the points against sloppy Celtic in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Tannadice.
The Hoops were leading through goals from Miku, his first for the club since signing on loan from Getafe in the summer, and Tony Watt and looked certain to take the points back to Glasgow.
However, in the final minute of normal time United substitute Gary Mackay-Steven, on for Richie Ryan, scored what looked like a late consolation only for Efe Ambrose, on for the injured Thomas Rogne, to put a Barry Douglas cross past his own goalkeeper Fraser Forster in injury time.
Slice of luck: Dundee United players celebrate saving a point at the death against Celtic
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning, Douglas, Flood, Ryan (Mackay-Steven 64), Rankin, Armstrong (Skacel 74), Daly, Russell (Millar 90)
Goals: Mackay-Steven 89, Ambrose OG 90
Subs not used: Banks, McLean, Gardyne, Dow,
Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Rogne (Ambrose 20), Wilson, Izaguirre (Miku 49), Brown, Wanyama, Ledley, Mulgrew, Commons (McCourt 82), Watt
Goals: Mike 69, Watt 80
Booked: Izaguirre, Wanyama, Brown, Watt
Subs not used: Zaluska, Lustig, Kayal, Ibrahim
Referee: Willie Collum
Celtic went back top of the SPL table
but it was not the end to the game manager Neil Lennon was looking for
ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League clash with Barcelona at
However, United boss Peter Houston,
who watched his side lose against Hearts on penalties in their Scottish
Communities League Cup quarter-final in midweek, will be delighted at
taking a point from a game that looked all over when Watt scored with 10
Lennon made three changes to the team which beat St Johnstone 5-0 in the League Cup on Tuesday night.
Adam Matthews, Rogne and Charlie
Mulgrew came in at the expense of Mikael Lustig, Ambrose and Gary
Hooper, the latter not even on the bench.
Houston brought in Douglas for
Michael Gardyne, who started as substitute, which allowed skipper Jon
Daly to resume his place in attack.
It was not until the 13th minute that
fans witnessed their first real piece of goalmouth action when Rogne
headed Scott Brown's cross from the right past the post from no more
than eight yards.
On the way: Miku scores Celtic's opener midway through the second half
Relief: Mike celebrates after giving Celtic the lead at Tannadice
The visitors were busier and more
purposeful but suffered a blow in the 20th minute when Ambrose had to
replace Rogne after the Norwegian stopper limped off with a leg injury.
Moments later, Celtic threatened
again when midfielder Victor Wanyama burst powerfully through the middle
and when Kris Commons sent a cross from wide on the right to the far
post, Watt headed over.
It took a timely intervention by
Douglas in the 28th minute to prevent Commons getting a clear strike on
target from 14 yards after the Hoops midfielder had been played in
Brown, with the ball trickling back to Radoslaw Cierzniak.
Doubling up: Tony Watt was on hand to put Celtic two goals ahead against Dundee United
Cause for concern: Celtic celebrations were tempered by an injury worry over Emillio Izaguirre
The home side were very slowly making
their way into the game and in the 35th minute United midfielder Stuart
Armstrong finished off a fine move by thrashing a drive from 25 yards
over the bar.
Celtic reasserted themselves before the break and should have taken the lead five minutes from the interval.
Mulgrew's whipped-in cross from the
left found Brown unmarked inside the box but the Celtic skipper failed
to get a proper connection on the ball with his head and it flew wide.
The champions almost took the lead
less than a minute after the restart when Watt released overlapping
left-back Emilio Izaguirre inside the United box but the Honduran hit
the outside of the post with his left-footed effort.
Men in the middle: Victor Wangama and John Rankin get stuck in at Tannadice
Almost immediately Izaguirre was replaced by Miku, who went up alongside Watt, with Mulgrew moving to left-back.
Moments later United missed their
best chance of the match. Former Celtic midfielder Willo Flood's
powerful long-range shot was spilled by Forster and Johnny Russell
blazed over the bar from around eight yards out.
Then, after Wanyama was booked for a
foul on John Rankin, from Douglas's free-kick United defender Gavin
Gunning stabbed the ball wide from six yards.
Tussle: Celtic captain Scott Brown tries to get away from Dundee United's John Rankin
But when Celtic's landmark opener
from Miku arrived soon afterwards it was well deserved. Wanyama
combined with Watt, who played in the Venezuelan, and he calmly chipped
the ball over Cierzniak from 10 yards and raced to take the acclaim of
the Celtic fans, before picking up a booking by referee Willie Collum
for his troubles.
The home side had only themselves to blame when Watt grabbed the Hoops' second with 10 minutes remaining.
A poor clearance from Cierzniak
arrived at the feet of the teenage striker and he bore down on goal
before rifling in a shot before he too was booked for leaving the pitch.
It looked to be all over for United,
even when Mackay-Steven guided the ball past Forster after Kelvin Wilson
had cleared a shot from United substitute Rudi Skacel, on for
However, there was more drama to
follow in the first minute of added time when Ambrose, at full stretch,
headed a Douglas cross into his own net to leave the travelling fans and