Dundee United set a new record for the heaviest home Premiership defeat as Celtic ran out 9-0 winners at Tannadice.
A shambolic United outfit have now shipped 23 goals in FOUR matches and are rooted to the foot of the table.
Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada both helped themselves to hat-tricks, while Jota, Josip Juranovic and Carl Starfelt also rippled the net.
Indeed, only the failure to see that a David Turnbull header had crossed the line stopped the Hoops from registering double-figures.
Big calls — and a tacit recruitment message?
Jack Ross made the bold call to drop both Tony Watt and Charlie Mulgrew for the visit of the Hoops.
Searching for a way to arrest his side’s recent malaise, the United head coach also reverted back to the 5-3-2 which served the Terrors well last term.
In the week that sporting director Tony Asghar, speaking to Courier Sport, stated that United have “done very well in our recruitment”, it was notable that nine players who started against Celtic were already at Tannadice last season.
For the fourth successive fixture, Furuhashi opened the scoring for Celtic.
A wonderful counter-attack saw Abada cut the United back three open, sending Jota haring down the left. His first-time cross was perfect for the Japan international to slam beyond Carljohan Eriksson.
United’s response was initially passable; Edwards and Graham made big blocks, Eriksson made a couple of fine saves.
WHAT A STRIKE 🥵
Kyogo double Celtic's lead ✅ ✅ pic.twitter.com/K7LnalqcQI
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) August 28, 2022
It was backs-to-the-wall stuff and there was always a suspicion that Celtic would extend their advantage, but it was relatively resilient, nonetheless.
Glenn Middleton even fizzed a shot narrowly wide.
Like a pack of cards
Another game, another collapse of staggering proportions.
Against AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands – the fixture that started this dire run of results – United shipped five goals in 15 minutes of match-play, albeit spanning the half-time interval.
Against Celtic, they somehow managed to better that – conceding SIX in 20 minutes.
This like a biology class. Utd being dissected.
— Jim Spence (@JimSpenceDundee) August 28, 2022
Furuhashi curled in a sumptuous effort from distance after Scott McMann surrendered possession, before the Hoops No.8 notched a first-half treble by converting an Abada cross.
In seven minutes of injury time due to an injury sustained by Joe Hart, Jota made it 4-0, slotting in a delivery by the superb Matt O’Riley.
With any semblance of resistance broken, Celtic made it five after the break with a goal akin to a training ground move – Abada popping home a tap-in after O’Riley had once again broken the line.
Juranovic made it six with a drive from the edge of the box before Ange Postecoglou’s side were sent to seventh heaven as Abada – in a carbon copy of the third, fourth and fifth goals – converting a pass across the face of goal.
Haemorrhaging goals and big questions
Seven competitive matches.
It is a ludicrously early stage at which to be judging a manager, regardless of circumstances.
Then again, these are increasingly extraordinary circumstances.
When Abada and Starfelt made it 9-0 in the closing stages, it set a new record for a home defeat since the inception of this current top-flight in 1998, topping Celtic’s 8-1 win at Dunfermline.
That follows United equalling Scotland’s heaviest ever defeat in European competition against AZ.
To describe this as a poor start to the campaign is now a farcical understatement; the players and coaching staff must share the blame for a downright humiliating run of results. Those higher up the food chain will also be sweating.
And questions will inevitably extend – as he is acutely aware – to whether Ross remains the man to get a tune out of this team.