Dundee’s long, long wait for a win over Celtic continues after this narrow defeat in the east end of Glasgow.
Not surprisingly, the Hoops dominated for long spells of the game and created a whole host of chances but the Dark Blues had opportunities of their own and on another day could have secured a draw.
The big team news from a Dundee perspective was boss Neil McCann’s decision to hand Josh Meekings his first start for the club since signing back in August at the expense of the two-goal hero Kerr Waddell from the previous game against Hearts.
The only other change from the starting line-up that faced the Jambos was A-Jay Leitch-Smith coming in for Sofien Moussa who dropped to the bench.
Celtic may have been missing the likes of skipper Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong and Craig Gordon but manager Brendan Rodgers was still able to select an incredibly-strong starting line-up.
The Hoops had the first chance of the game in just the third minute when Scott Sinclair hit a fierce angled drive from the left that Dark Blues keeper Scott Bain did well to push away at full stretch for a corner.
There then followed a succession of half chances for the home side but none were converted as Dundee tried to gain a foothold in the game.
There were though more than a few hearts-in-the-mouth moments for McCann’s men as they stuck to their game plan of playing out from the back.
Dundee skipper Darren O’Dea was the victim of a bad late challenge in the 26th minute by Eboue Kouassi which was incredibly missed by all the officials with the Irishman requiring lengthy treatment.
The Dark Blues finally tested stand-in Celtic keeper Dorus de Vries six minutes later when Leitch-Smith spun and shot inside the home box but his effort was easily gathered by the goalie.
However, Dundee then had a huge let-off when Patrick Roberts teed up Callum McGregor but with the goal at his mercy he fired his shot straight at Bain who gratefully gathered up the gift.
The half ended with a late flurry from the Dark Blues who would have been happy to go in at the break with everything still to play for.
As the second 45 began, it was Dundee who were visibly growing in confidence, passing the ball about well while the home support became increasingly restless that their team had not broken the deadlock.
Just before the hour mark the Hoops did come incredibly close to doing just that, first when Roberts embarked on a remarkable run before hitting a shot that Bain had to save diving low to his left and then Griffiths was straight through on goal only to be denied by the keeper.
However, Bain was finally beaten in the 61st minute when Olivier Ntcham hit a swerving shot from 22 yards past the keeper.
Paul McGowan who had lost the ball in the build-up to the Celtic goal almost made amends when he hit a fierce rising shot that stung the De Vries’ palms before Dundee felt they should have had a penalty when Jack Hendry won a high ball, only to be wiped out by Cristian Gamboa but nothing was given.
However, Dundee could and should have scored in the 77th minute when Roarie Deacon found himself with a gilt-edged opportunity with only De Vries to beat but his shot was tipped over by the keeper.
The Celtic stopper also had to look lively in the first minute of stoppage time to keep out a snap shot from Dark Blues’ sub Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
For full report, reaction and analysis, see Monday’s Courier.