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1972-02-26: Celtic 4-0 Dundee, Scottish Cup
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1971 - 1972 | 1971-1972 Pictures|
- Canny Stein acknowledges that "Billy McNeill played a bit." after fine performance in defence and attack by Celtic.
- Lou Macari left out after the sad death of his father, Bert Macari, is announced.
TeamsCeltic: Williams Hay Brogan Murdoch McNeill Connelly Hood Dalglish Deans Callaghan Lennox Sub: McGrain
Scorers: Lennox 15, 75 Dalglish 56 Deans 62
Dundee: Hewitt Wilson Johnston Houston Philip Ford Duncan I Scott Wallace J Scott Lambie
- Match Report (see end of page below)
Articles The Scotsman, Monday 28th February 1972
Celtic 4, Dundee 0
Jock Stein's answer to those who joked about Celtic having yet another home draw in the Scottish Cup was: "If we play like that then we don't have to worry about the draw." When Celtic play as they did against Dundee on Saturday then winning is inevitable. They produced their most devastating form dead on schedule for the run-up to, their European Cup-tie in Budapest.
The only point of argument after a fine cup-tie was concerning the quality of the Dundee team. They looked mediocre indeed, and were never able to put Celtic under any pressure, but one should remember their record this season and this proves that they are among the best in this country. Besides Celtic one would be inclined to rate only Aberdeen above them, with Hibs pressing hard.
Dundee's limitations were exposed in not being able to pressurise Celtic. Houston, who played a tremendous part, Lambie and Jocky Scott could clip the ball about in mid-field as if they were in a one-touch game, but, when it came to challenging the authority of McNeill and Connelly they were as the sheep trying to manoeuvre the sheep dogs.
Connelly played a majestic game in defending and in breaking from defence with telling runs and long passes, but Stein brought us down to earth when he said: "Billy McNeill played a bit." One is liable to overlook him and maybe he has never had a better season than this. It is extraordinary how many goals he is involved in — especially the first on Saturday when his header found Lennox.
This sound basis of the improving partnership between McNeill and Connelly is behind much of Celtic's recent devastating play. It is fine to have dashing strikers and subtle midfield players but it is not good sense to have a fine coat and hat if the shoes are letting in.
Celtic had a formidable defence in the middle and full-backs in Hay and Brogan, who ran miles charging on the flanks. They had a midfield section in the mighty Murdoch, approaching his best again, the incisive hard-shooting Hood, and the rangy Callaghan, who attacked with power and directness that was in contrast to the flicking of their opposites. Twice they produced moves of eight passes which should have ended in goals.
Murdoch was exerting authority on the game from the first kick and he stayed in control until the last one, which says much for his timely return to fitness and form. The bonus for Celtic is that with Murdoch back that extraordinary young man, Dalglish, can be used further forward. On Saturday, the 47,000 who were at Celtic Park must have been thankful that he was—if only to see the goal he scored.
When he read Ford's square pass so well, intercepted it and dashed forward, he had nobody but an advancing goalkeeper in front of him. He took the ball right up to Hewitt and beat him on the right. Then when he was past him, he stopped to have a look at the new position the two defenders had created in dashing back. He calmly wrong-footed them and stroked the ball through the space he had created.
Only the truly great players have such intuition, such inventiveness, such control, such composure and such confidence. We hardly needed this confirmation that Kenny Dalglish is a great player. This young man, who has no hobbies or amusements and just plays football, has more than skill. He showed against the good defending of Ford and the clever Phillips that he has strength in the tackle and a knack of reaching a few inches further than seems possible to get a foot to the ball.
The final thought on the game—and it must be a discouraging one for those left in the cup—is that Celtic achieved football brilliance on Saturday without Jimmy Johnstone, Macari and Craig.
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