Celtic’s title march stalled by goalless Dundee draw
Defending champions still move 10 points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table
Scott Sinclair is tackled by Dundee’s Mark O’Hara during Celtic’s goalless draw at Parkhead. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA
Celtic 0 Dundee FC 0
Celtic’s drive to the Ladbrokes Premiership title hit an unexpected speed bump with a goalless draw against relegation battlers Dundee at Parkhead.
It was below-par performance by Brendan Rodgers’ side whose wayward finishing was just one of their faults, although credit must go to Neil McCann’s men who were organised and disciplined throughout.
The treble-chasing home side moved 10 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen with six games remaining.
However, the more significant point could be the one the Taysiders battled for to take them five points clear of Ross County, who occupy the relegation play-off spot, and bottom side Partick Thistle.
It was a landmark night for 35-year-old Craig Gordon, who returned from a knee injury which had kept him out since January to make his 200th appearance for the Hoops.
There was less than three minutes played when Dundee keeper Elliot Parish was called upon to save a close-range drive from striker Moussa Dembele after he had worked a clever one-two with wide-man James Forrest.
Dundee’s first attempt on goal in the 11th minute almost saw them take the lead with Simon Murray’s vicious drive from 25 yards tipped over the crossbar for a corner by the stretching Gordon.
Celtic pushed Dundee back again but the Taysiders looked organised, aggressive and resolute, although Parish had to push a Forrest drive past a post just before the half-hour mark before Scott Sinclair headed over from the corner.
Dundee were slowly growing in confidence as the first half unfolded, but there was a let-off in the 39th minute when Forrest swept a Mikael Lustig cut-back over the bar from 14 yards.
Celtic enjoyed some luck in added time when Dedryck Boyata’s tackle on Roarie Deacon at the edge of the box saw the ball fly past Gordon, only to rebound off a post with Hendry completing the clearance.
Parish made saves from Forrest, Stuart Armstrong and Sinclair as Celtic stepped up the tempo at the start of the second half.
But in the 66th minute Rodgers showed what he thought of proceedings with a triple substitution. Leigh Griffiths, Odsonne Edouard and Olivier Ntcham came on for Dembele, Sinclair and Tom Rogic in a bid to shake up the home side.
Celtic kept pushing forward but there was little conviction in many of their attacks and almost all of their finishing.
In the 87th minute Hendry headed a Griffiths free-kick inches past a post but there was to be no late winner for the Parkhead men.