Robbie Keane's first-half strike in a 1-0 win against Dundee United at Parkhead took Celtic to within seven points of Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and set up a tasty Old Firm encounter at Ibrox next Sunday.

The Irishman, on loan from Tottenham, turned in a man-of-the-match performance, topped off in the 21st minute when he raced on to a through ball from Diomansy Kamara to slot the ball past Tannadice keeper Dusan Pernis.

Rangers have a game in hand after their lunchtime game at St Johnstone was called off due to the frost but Celtic can increase the pressure in Govan next week in a game which now takes on added significance.

Keane opened the scoring for the home side in the 21st minute after Kamara had cleverly sprung United's offside trap. From then until the half-time whistle, Celtic dominated with Keane pulling the strings.

In the 33rd minute United defender Garry Kenneth was booked for a cynical foul on Marc-Antoine Fortune just outside the box but again the Taysiders survived the set-piece.

Thomas Rogne might have scored his first Celtic goal when he climbed high to meet a Ki Sung-Yueng corner from the right but the Norwegian defender headed past the far post when it looked like he should have hit the target.

Aside from an Andy Webster header which flew wide of the target, the Tannadice side had rarely threatened.

Just four minutes in to the second half Celtic wasted another chance to possibly tie up the points when Keane set up Fortune only to watch the former Nancy striker mis-kick from six yards out. A snap-shot by Kamara just before the hour mark drew another decent save from Pernis who, moments later, made an even better parry from Keane.

With only one goal to show for their dominance, there was no hiding the tension which enveloped Celtic Park in the closing stages and there was a collective gasp of relief in the 78th minute when Hoops' keeper Artur Boruc had to make a point-blank save from Jon Daly.

However, Celtic were not further troubled and deservedly took the three points which spices up the title race ahead of next week's trip to Ibrox.

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Topics:
#Tottenham Hotspur
#Robbie Keane
#Football
#Marc-Antoine Fortune
#Premier League
#Diomansy Kamara
#Andy Webster