Leigh Griffiths: I don’t belong in such esteemed company

Kris Commons scores Celtic's fourth goal with a spectacular volley. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Kris Commons scores Celtic's fourth goal with a spectacular volley. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Leigh Griffiths created history for himself last night at Tannadice by scoring his 50th goal for Celtic in just 60 starts. He later added a 51st goal as the champions swept struggling Dundee United aside 4-1.

The striker has needed fewer starts than even Henrik Larsson and Charlie Nicholas to reach this figure but stressed he still does not belong in such esteemed company.

“To score 50 goals at such a big club is special,” he said. “To get mentioned in the same breath as these guys, Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton and John Hartson, I am a long way off that. These are icons of this club. If I can be half as good as these guys I will be happy. But I need to keep working hard on the training field and try to keep moving forward.”

Jozo Simunovic and Kris Commons also scored as the leaders stretched their lead to six points over Aberdeen. Simon Murray made it 2-1 on the half-hour mark but United were unable to capitalise.

Griffiths said it was worth picking up a booking after he displayed a T-shirt with a big 50 printed on the front after opening the scoring.

“Was the T-shirt worth the booking? One million per cent. There was an added incentive to get that goal and I knew when the chance came my way that as long as I put it on target I’d score. I texted 
Stevie the kitman this morning to get a T-shirt made up for me. Broony was giving me a bit of stick saying I should have had one saying ‘51’ as well.”

Mixu Paatelainen pointed to a slip by Gavin Gunning in the run-up to conceding the opening goal as being the beginning of United’s latest problems. He suggested the defender had been wearing the wrong boots for the surface. “We can only blame ourselves defensively,” he said. “I felt we were poor today offensively as well.”

He remains confident United, who are 11 points adrift at the bottom, can stay up. “Yes. Absolutely. It all starts next week [versus Kilmarnock].”