Odsonne Edouard hits last-gasp winner at Dundee to send Celtic 10 points clear
Odsonne Edouard’s dramatic stoppage-time winner at Dundee took Celtic 10 points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The visitors had much the better of the goalless first half and continued to swarm around the Taysiders’ goal after the break but the second-bottom side were holding them at bay.
But deep into six minutes of added time Edouard converted a James Forrest cut-back to secure a 1-0 win and spark wild scenes of delight from those in green and white.
The champions remain undefeated domestically this year and the next of their eight remaining league games after the international break is against Rangers at Parkhead.
Victory there would go a long way to securing an eighth successive title, but interim manager Neil Lennon will be looking for more of a cutting edge from his players.
Jim McIntyre’s Dundee may feel hard done by after some heroic defending but they remain one point above bottom side St Mirren.
Following three straight defeats, McIntyre gave loanee John O’Sullivan his first Dundee start with Genseric Kusunga also coming into the side.
Callum McGregor, Mikael Lustig, Mikey Johnston and Edouard were reinstated into a visiting team which started with impressive purpose, notwithstanding an early curling effort from Dundee’s Ethan Robson which cleared the crossbar.
The visitors took over and Kieran Tierney, McGregor, twice, Forrest and Scott Sinclair all had efforts on goal of various quality.
After 17 minutes Celtic had a penalty claim when Sinclair went to the ground inside the Dundee box after a challenge by James Horsfield, but referee Bobby Madden waved play on.
Dundee goalkeeper Seny Dieng could only parry a powerful long-range drive from skipper Scott Brown but then saved from Edouard, who pounced on the loose ball.
Celtic kept pressing and in the 35th minute a stunning Forrest volley from a McGregor corner was blocked by the sheer number of bodies in the six-yard box.
Dieng then stretched to claw away a curling shot from Sinclair before defender Nathan Ralph completed the clearance for yet another Hoops corner which came to nothing.
However, it was the home side who could have gone into the interval ahead when Robson sent Scott Wright clear on a swift counter but former Dundee keeper Scott Bain was out quickly to block at the expense of a corner from which he made another fine save to deny Ryan McGowan.
The Celtic chances continued after the break, Edouard missing out on a Johnston cross by a yard in the first minute before Sinclair went close with another shot.
Winger Jonny Hayes replaced Johnston in the 58th minute with Forrest moving into the middle as Lennon reshuffled.
The match remained in attack-versus-defence mode with Celtic relentlessly trying all they could do break down a dark blue wall.
In the 70th minute Tierney’s low drive from the edge of the box flew past Dieng’s left-hand post.
McIntyre’s men were under an aerial bombardment, but just when it looked like Celtic had run out of ideas Forrest unlocked the defence to set up Edouard to slip in from eight yards.