Dundee 0 Celtic 4: Cup dream over as Dark Blues are no match for Hoops

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Scott Sinclair opens the scoring from the spot.

Dundee were unable to do a PSG on Celtic as they were well beaten in this Betfred Cup quarter-final at Dens Park.

While the billionaire Parisians tormented the Hoops at Celtic Park last week in the Champions League, the Dark Blues were no match for Brendan Rodgers’ mere millionaires in this competition.

Manager Neil McCann had urged his players to play without fear in this tie and Dundee did create chances.

However, the Hoops were always in control and took the lead through Scott Sinclair’s penalty on 25 minutes after he was fouled by Jack Hendry. James Forrest doubled the lead three minutes before half-time with a low drive.

After the break, Celtic played keep-ball at times and were rewarded with a third goal from sub Callum McGregor three minutes from time. In stoppage-time, Forrest rounded it all off with a low shot that made it four.

At kick-off, there was no sign of striker Sofien Moussa in the Dark Blues’ line-up, with the big Tunisian having failed a late fitness test. That meant a place for Mark O’Hara and the other home change from Saturday’s win over St Johnstone was Randy Wolters for Roarie Deacon, who was on the bench.

The Hoops made no fewer than six changes from the team that lined up against Ross County, with Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig, Kieran Tierney, Oliver Ntcham, Patrick Roberts and Sinclair all restored after not starting against Ross County.

Dundee were searching for their first win over Celtic in any competition since Fabian Caballero stunned Parkhead with a double in a 2-0 league victory back on May 13, 2001.

The visitors came close on just two minutes when Ntcham fired a low shot in from just outside the box and keeper Scott Bain had to tip the ball around the post.

Bain did well to cut out a headed cutback from the unmarked Nir Bitton just a minute later before Dundee’s Wolters saw his shot deflected past at the other end.

A corner from ex-Dens frontman Leigh Griffiths teed up Roberts perfectly on nine minutes but the on-loan Manchester City player couldn’t quite get his strike right.

The game hadn’t caught fire yet but the home fans were on their feet on 18 minutes when A-Jay Leitch-Smith beat the offside trap. The Englishman tried to stay ahead of Scott Brown but the Celtic skipper managed to nick the ball away from him and the chance was lost.

On 25 minutes, though, a magical bit of skill from Sinclair gave the Glasgow giants the lead. He picked the ball up near the Celtic dugout in front of the main stand and then proceeded to weave his way towards goal.

He was finally stopped by a body-check from Hendry and referee John Beaton wasted pointed to the spot without hesitation. Up stepped Sinclair himself to make it 1-0 even though Bain guessed correctly by diving to his left.

On the half-hour, Dundee had a glorious chance to level when a Wolters cross found Faissal El Bakhtaoui in a terrific position inside the six-yard box but his foot only found fresh air.

Just as the Dark Blues looked like they would go in at the break just one behind, they lost another goal.

The clock read 42 minutes when Tierney collected the ball on the left, raced on then cut it back to Forrest, who slid his shot past Bain from 12 yards.

After the restart, Bain did well to save a deflected Griffiths strike before there was a scare for the hosts on 54 minutes when Wolters stayed on the deck after being challenged and was writhing around in apparent agony clutching his throat. After a worrying delay, he finally received treatment but was eventually replaced by Deacon.

Celtic were in cruise control at times and far too comfortable in possession from a Dundee perspective.

Home boss McCann put on the experienced Paul McGowan for Lewis Spence on 73 minutes but it was the Hoops on the attack as both sub McGregor and Forrest had shots blocked.

Griffiths ballooned a freekick over the bar then pulled a shot past the far post as he looked for the third goal.

On 81 minutes, Leitch-Smith couldn’t control the ball when it landed to him just yards from goal and, with three minutes left, McGregor made it 3-0 after he was played in by Sinclair.

Forrest added a fourth in added time so it’s the Parkhead men who go through to the semi-finals to meet either Rangers, Hibs or the winner of Motherwell versus Aberdeen.

Attendance: 6,917.

Dundee: Bain, Kerr, Holt, O’Dea, Leitch-Smith, Kamara, O’Hara, El Bakhtaoui, Hendry, Wolters (Deacon 64), Spence (McGowan 73). Subs not used: Parish, Williams, Aurtenetxe, Waddell, Henvey.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata (Ralston 67), Bitton, Tierney, Sinclair, Brown, Ntcham, Roberts (McGregor 73), Forrest, Griffiths (Edouard 85). Subs not used: De Vries, Hayes, Armstrong, Rogic.

Referee: John Beaton.

 

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