A Sean Dillon goal in the fourth minute of injury-time handed Dundee United a 1-1 draw at Celtic today. The result sees the Hoops slip three points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League table.
Celtic looked to have claimed all three points thanks to Gary Hooper's first-half strike before Dillon headed a Barry Douglas free-kick past the despairing Fraser Forster deep into injury time after a period of sustained pressure from United. The draw leaves Celtic trailing Rangers, who needed a Kenny Miller hat-trick to help them come from behind to win for the sixth time this season as they narrowly defeated ten-man Kilmarnock 3-2.
"We could have had a couple of goals before Celtic scored," said Dundee United manager Peter Houston. "I thought we were a threat going forward and I felt we got our just rewards."
Celtic manager Neil Lennon disagreed. "He must have been watching a totally different game from me. (David) Goodwillie had a good chance but after that it was chance after chance for us," he said. "We were wayward with our finishing. We defended the set-pieces pretty well but with the last kick of the ball we should have been strong enough to see it through and that's the most disappointing thing."
It was Celtic's Daryl Murphy, in for the injured Anthony Stokes, who came close to opening the scoring after just three minutes when he sent a header off the outside of the post. Goodwillie missed a golden chance to put the visitors ahead a minute later after he beat the offside trap to collect a Johnny Russell pass and raced in on goal but, with only the goalkeeper to beat, the striker sent his shot wide. Celtic had Swedish defender Majstorovic to thank when he threw his body in front of a Goodwillie shot after good play from the newly-capped Scotland international.
United paid the price for their missed opportunities when Hooper gave Celtic the lead in the 23rd minute. The Englishman collected a Maloney pass with his back to goal ten yards out and spun round to lash a strike into the top corner of the net. Hooper should have had a second minutes later when he tried to prod home Emilio Izaguirre's cross but Dusan Pernis superbly saved on the line before United cleared the danger. After the break Niall McGinn found Hooper in space and the striker took a touch before unleashing a low drive but Pernis pushed his strike round the post. United were piling the pressure on the home side and deep into injury time Dillon sent a looping header over Forster from a Douglas free-kick to claim a point.
At Rugby Park, Connor Sammon had fired Kilmarnock into a first-half lead before a Miller penalty levelled the scores at the break. Mohamadou Sissoko, who conceded the first penalty, saw red for his second bookable offence when he hauled down Kyle Lafferty in the box with Miller converting the resultant spot-kick. Sammon got his 13th of the season on the hour mark but Miller completed his hat-trick five minutes later to take him to 18 for the season.
Elsewhere, Hamilton remain bottom after goals from Rudi Skacel and David Templeton sealed a 2-0 win for Hearts, an Adam Rooney hat-trick sealed a 4-2 win for Inverness over Hibernian, Aberdeen lost their fifth successive match as St Johnstone defeated them 1-0 and St Mirren drew 1-1 with Motherwell.