Round three of the quadruple of encounters between Celtic and Dundee United took place last night, with their quarter-final replay in the Scottish Cup. After last week's battling draw had made a return game at Parkhead necessary, the game this time around turned out to be much more to Celtic's liking, as they cruised into the semi-finals with a 4-0 success over their Premiership rivals. United still have to face Celtic one more time at the weekend in the league, as they return once again to experience the Parkhead roar.
The Dundee side must be getting sick of the sight of Celtic, after so many recent matches against them in the last few weeks, and do not as of yet seem to have found the answer as to how to defeat them. Their best chance most likely came at Tannadice in the first attempt to settle their quarter-final tie of the Scottish Cup, where to give them their due they played far better than they ultimately did in last evening's replay. Having forced the replay, they then lost the League Cup final against the same opposition at the weekend, so went into yesterday's game with scores to settle.
They were never able to get on the front foot at Parkhead though, as Celtic were already a goal to the good after 17 minutes when Jason Denayer ventured forward from the back to head them in front, with the assist going to Anthony Stokes' as he delivered a pin-point free-kick. Celtic were the dominant side throughout the first period, but could not make their advantage fully reflected on the scoreboard, despite their green and white tide sweeping forward on numerous occasions and hitting the woodwork.
The match was more or less done and dusted when Leigh Griffiths added a second with a neat volley for the home side before the hour mark, with Kris Commons adding a third eleven minutes from time for good measure.
Stokes then found himself given his marching orders for an elbow on United's Paul Paton, but the numbers were levelled up, as they commonly are in such circumstances, when the Australian Ryan McGowan also saw red for his foul challenge on the home side's Liam Henderson.
With the game entering its final moments, Virgil van Dijk gave the Parkhead faithful even more to celebrate with a fourth goal.
Celtic's seemingly relentless pursuit of domestic silverware moves on now to a semi-final clash at Hampden, with their intended prey being Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Few would bet against them proving just as strong against them, as they seek the treble north of the border.