An excruciating series of missed chances for them at Tannadice denied them the victory required to prevent Rangers being confirmed as champions...a status that has been the Ibrox men’s merely without the rubber-stamping for months.
In essentially handing the title to their bitter rivals as they have courtesy of all manner of hapless efforts in their league campaign from hell, the Parkhead side produced another shameful statistic on an afternoon wherein their performance was often effervescent.
They had no fewer than 27 goal attempts against a home team they penned in for long spells, and yet could not find the net. Anyone who thought that Celtic’s confidence crash might be solved by Neil Lennon’s departure, would have been disbursed of the notion watching the inability of interim manager John Kennedy to get the job done.
Once again, their inadequacies came down to an absence of conviction - a facet over which they have been utterly devoid in the past six months. Often times, of course, that has manifested itself in defensive frailities. It wasn’t the case on Tayside, even when United pushed late on for a winner.
Mohamed Elyounoussi will wonder how he could be so powderpuff, so often. Presented with precious openings on a raft of occasions, he shot straight at Benjamin Siegrist, twice, and failed to connect cleanly with headers demanding to be put away.
The United keeper did play a part, beating away a thunderous hit from Diego Laxalt in the first period, then blocking with his legs a downward header from a corner produced by Stephen Welsh early in the second period. But, Celtic’s undoing was the timidity of what they offered with Siegrist in their sights.
Dundee United: Siegrist, Smith, Reynolds, Butcher, Fuchs, Edwards, Robson, Harkes (Chalmers 79), McNulty (Appere 71), Clark (Pawlett 61), Shankland.
Substitutes: Deniz, Sporle, Connolly, Hoti, Chalmers, Bolton, Neilson.
Celtic: Bain, Kenny, Ajer, Welsh, Laxalt, Brown (Forrest 78), McGregor, Turnbull (Rogic 62), Christie, Elyounoussi (Griffiths 84), Edouard. Substitutes: Barkas, Duffy, Ajeti, Klimala, Soro, Montgomery.