Man of the match: It’s hard to look past Tom Rogic when he contributes such a sublime goal. Callum McGregor was the driving force from midfielder as ever but Rogic supplied the art that so few players can. It was a cold, crisp day by the banks of the Tay but the silky Rogic supplied the moment fans were still talking about at the end - even United supporters had to concede it was special. The Australian’s solo goal 19 minutes in will be rated among the goals of the season come May.
Let-down: United have earned several good results this season from sheer endeavour so their fans cannot be too hard on them here. Industry was not the problem in any case. They were up against a side brimming with confidence and with talent to burn. But it was still possible to have expected more from United, who frustrated these same opponents at Parkhead earlier in the season. They barely laid a glove on Celtic except for a poor challenge from Calum Butcher which left David Turnbull grateful for the invention of shin guards.
Referee Watch: Don Robertson will feel he might have been stricter in the aforementioned incident between Butcher and Turnbull. There’s no question the former went over the ball. Fortunately, Turnbull was not badly injured and was able to carry on. However, Butcher can count himself fortunate that he didn’t pick up a second red card in successive Tannadice outings following his ordering off against Aberdeen two weeks ago. He is becoming a liability. Robertson was otherwise untroubled – he showed just two yellow cards in total, with Celtic defender Carl Starfelt rightly penalised early on for a tug.
Talking point: There were holes in the United defence and holes in the Jerry Kerr stand roof. Around 1000 Celtic fans did not gain access to the ground despite having tickets due to the safety concerns surrounding the damaged roof. It limited the attendance to 8,311. The fans who missed out were given refunds but there will be regret they missed out witnessing Rogic’s sublime opener. From the extent of the damage, United will have their work cut out to fix the roof in time for Livingston’s arrival this weekend. Not that extra seating will be required for that particular fixture.
Reason for cheer: It was good to see the Dundee United programme salute the memory of Dundee legend Doug Cowie, who died last month at the age of 95. “Almost exclusively renowned for his playing career across the road, he served United as a coach for five years (under Jerry Kerr) and, latterly, scouted grassroots football, unearthing several gems,” the writer notes. Among these gems are included Graeme Payne, John Holt, Ralph Milne and perhaps United’s greatest-ever player, David Narey. The piece included a team group picture from season 1971-72. Interestingly, Kerr stepped down during that campaign. Jim McLean was enticed from his position as coach at Dens Park to replace him. His first match? A 3-2 defeat against Hearts 50 years ago this weekend.