Forrest the hero as Celtic beat Dundee to stay three points clear at top

Celtic stay three points clear at the top of the Premiership with four games remaining.

Celtic have defeated Dundee to stay three-points clear at the top of the Premiership with four games remaining.

The league leaders had to survive a late scare to take all three points with a 2-1 win at Dens Park on Sunday.

James Forrest was the hero with a match-winning brace.

He opened the scoring with a volley from the edge of the area on the half-hour mark before doubling the lead in the second-half.

Dundee got themselves back in it through an Adam Idah own goal with 15 minutes remaining after a shot from Antonio Portales deflected off the Ireland international and into the net.

Forrest was recalled to the starting line-up for the first time in 2024 and he had the first attempt at goal of the game when he fired wide from outside the box in the opening stages.

Next up was Nicholas Kuhn who cut inside before having a shot that was easily saved by Jon McCracken as Celtic looked to take hold of the game.

McCracken was forced into action again when he palmed a Reo Hatate cross away from danger before making a diving save to keep out another Kuhn effort.

The visitors came close again from a corner when Greg Taylor had a close range header well saved again by the Dundee keeper who had a busy opening ten minutes.

After that surviving that early onslaught the game settled down a bit for Dundee and they got themselves involved with a good spell of possession midway through the half.

Hatate should have opened the scoring after good play from Forrest on the left-hand side but the Japan midfielder fired wide from close range.

Amadou Bakayoko had Dundee’s first real chance and he will feel he should have done better with his shot that was easily collected by Joe Hart.

But just as it looked as though Tony Docherty’s side were in the ascendency, Celtic took the lead when Forrest fired in a volley from the edge of the box to make it 1-0.

Kyogo collected a pass from Hatate and clipped it up to Forrest who took it first time and gave McCracken no chance as it flew into the bottom corner.

Dundee continued to push for an equaliser with Luke McCowan and Bakayoko both trying their luck but Hart again easily kept both shots out and Celtic went into the break 1-0 up.

The hosts had the first chance of the second-half when Scott Tiffoney burst through the defence but his cross was kept away from Bakayoko by Liam Scales who got a toe to it just at the right moment to deny the forward of a goal-scoring opportunity.

Celtic then had to survive another few nervy moments from two corners and then a free-kick at the edge of their box to keep their slender lead intact.

Mo Sylla then had a header just inches wide of the post as Dundee continued to put pressure on the Celtic defence in the second 45.

The champions were struggling to get a foothold in the game and were lucky to survive the first ten minutes of the restart with their lead still intact.

It was now only looking like a matter of time before the equaliser as Scales denied Bakayoko an almost certain goal before Carter-Vicker made a goal-line clearance just moments later and Hart saved a close range header from McGhee as the one-way traffic continued.

Brendan Rodgers called for reinforcements on the hour-mark with Tomoki Iwata and Idah brought on in the place of Kyogo and Callum McGregor.

Celtic gradually got themselves back into the game and they doubled their late on the 67th minute when Forrest burst through the defence and smashed it past McCracken to make it 2-0 with his second of the match.

Hatate nearly put the win beyond doubt when he fired a shot past McCracken but it rebounded off the inside of the post and was cleared from danger.

And just moments later Dundee got themselves right back in it when a Portales shot was deflected past Hart off Idah to make it 2-1.

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