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‘Real authority’ ‘More ruthless’ ‘Huge blow’ Chris Sutton’s verdict from Dens Park

Chris Sutton had a mixed bar of take-aways from Celtic’s 3-0 win at Dens Park which probably matches the feelings of Brendan Rodgers.

It was an afternoon of total domination for the hoops but despite a record number of corners for an SPFL match this season they had to wait until the 83rd minute that Mikey Johnston put the match beyond Dundee with Celtic’s second goal.

The first half had ended goal-less with countless near misses around the Dundee goal but very little in the way of shots on target.

Sky Sports did highlight and replay two incidents where Cameron Carter-Vickers was manhandled by Trevor Carson and then with the back-up of Joe Shaughnessy as the Celtic defender stood his ground on the goal-line. Like many others at Dens Park and elsewher Sutton was amazed that play wasn’t halted for a VAR check.

Celtic started the second half by forcing even more corners but very little was coming from them with Luis Palma delivering some balls that were easily cleared, knee high at the six yard box.

Seven minutes after the interval the breakthrough arrived as Bernardo drove deep into the Dundee penalty box then squeezed a shot beyond Carson to the delight of the lively away support behind that goal.

Dundee did open up a little after going behind but there was barely a threat to Joe Hart although there was concern when Cameron Carter-Vickers went off injured soon after the opening goal.

The former Spurs man has been troubled by hamstring issues this season, missing two months of action at the start of the campaign and looked unhappy as he left the pitch at Dens.

Stephen Welsh put in a steady, composed shift alongside Liam Scales, keeping the defence secure and quickly releasing the ball forward, mainly down the flanks.

Mikey Johnston replaced Palma in the 79th minute and made the most of the appearance with two goals scored with eight stoppage time minutes played.

Carson was badly at fault for Celtic’s second in the 83rd minute but Johnston can claim full credit for the third goal of the game, scored in stoppage time.

The thoughts now of Sutton and the Celtic support will all be on Saturday’s Glasgow Derby with the fitness of Carter-Vickers highly important.

A win on Saturday will add substance and credibility to Celtic’s defence of the SPFL title, anything less and January transfer business will have a feeling of anxiety about it.

CLICK HERE for Scott Burns verdict on Matt O’Riley transfer talk.

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