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Brown scores winner for Celtic at Dundee

Scott Brown scores

Brown (far right) netted for the second time this season

Captain Scott Brown ensured Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic went into the international break with another three points at Dundee.

Celtic dominated the first half without reward, Scott Sinclair having two efforts saved well by Scott Bain.

But Brown found a way through early in the second half, lashing in a loose ball with his left foot from close in.

Sinclair tested Bain again after the break while stubborn Dundee only fleetingly threatened.

They remain on six points while Celtic restore their five-point advantage over Hearts, though Aberdeen could go to within four points of the leaders with a win at Kilmarnock later.

Subdued Celtic

Celtic had vast tracts of possession but, for once, they were not sharp enough to convert mountains of ball into mountains of goals, as they have done so often domestically this season.

Their European exploits in midweek – the 3-3 draw with Manchester City – took a lot out of them, for sure.

Their hosts offered little threat themselves but they were focused at the back.

That will give Paul Hartley some encouragement in difficult times. Celtic were dominant but this was a day when Sinclair’s goal rush – one in each of the past six league games – was halted, when Moussa Dembele failed to threaten and when Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts, off the bench, could not add to Brown’s goal.

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Sinclair was replaced by Stuart Armstrong near the end

Brown leads the way

This was far more mundane fare for the Celtic captain compared to the stellar cast list he came up against on Wednesday, but Brown was as tuned in and as professional against Dundee as he was against City.

He was the one who broke Dundee’s resistance and that was appropriate because he was the best player on the field until that point. Celtic were not anywhere close to their best, but Brown did what needed to be done.

Having been held goalless in the opening half – the first time that has happened in the league this season – Celtic probed and Dembele did great work to create the moment from which Brown scored. When the ball broke loose from the striker’s attempt on goal, it was Brown who was there to drive home.

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Dundee have six points from a possible 24 while Celtic are on 19 after seven games

Long road for Dundee

This was Dundee’s seventh game without a win, a run that has brought just three points from a possible 21. That’s bottom-two stuff, if it continues.

It is not hard to have some sympathy for Hartley, though. His team defended pretty well, but he does not have much in front of goal.

For all of Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Yordi Teijsse’s work-rate, they cannot be expected to fill the giant boots of the departed Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart.

El Bakhtaoui and Teijsee have scored just one league goal between them this term. Their only chance against Celtic was a tame close-range header from Teijsee.

At this point last season, Hemmings and Stewart had seven. They scored 30 in the league overall – 56% of Dundee’s total. Hartley has a seismic job on his hands to fill that void.

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee 0, Celtic 1.

Second Half ends, Dundee 0, Celtic 1.

Darren O’Dea (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Moussa Dembele (Celtic).

Nir Bitton (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mark O’Hara (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Kieran Tierney (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces Scott Sinclair.

Substitution, Dundee. Rory Loy replaces Danny Williams.

Nick Ross (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Substitution, Dundee. Nick Ross replaces Nicky Low.

Attempt blocked. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Darren O’Dea (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Substitution, Celtic. Patrick Roberts replaces James Forrest.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right.

Yordi Teijsse (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Forrest (Celtic).

Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Yordi Teijsse (Dundee).

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) header from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Yordi Teijsse (Dundee) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Yordi Teijsse (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic).

Substitution, Dundee. Craig Wighton replaces Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Tomas Rogic.

Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Foul by Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee).

Erik Sviatchenko (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Darren O’Dea (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Moussa Dembele (Celtic).

Goal! Dundee 0, Celtic 1. Scott Brown (Celtic) left footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Scott Sinclair.

Second Half begins Dundee 0, Celtic 0.

First Half ends, Dundee 0, Celtic 0.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37459583