Balde and Larsson strike to set up Old Firm final

Celtic 3

After a terrible first-half the defender pounced to liven up the game before Jim Lauchlan was red-carded for a foul on the Swede, who got his name on the scoresheet before the giant defender headed his second of the night late on.

Celtic made the breakthrough in the 52nd minute and it came through an unlikely source. Hartson’s intended pass found its way to Larsson and he rounded the goalkeeper leaving Balde with the easy chance of hitting left-foot shot into the empty net.

But United’s hopes of a comeback diminished in the 55th minute when Jim Lauchlan was shown a straight red card for a clumsy challenge on Larsson.

Larsson sealed the contest in the 80th minute when he controlled Sutton’s infield pass, spun to get room on McCracken before striking a right-foot shot into the corner which wrong-footed the Tannadice goalkeeper. Balde, however, had the final say when he headed Thompson’s corner home from close range in the dying seconds to compound United’s agony and set up another Old Firm showdown.

CELTIC: Hedman, Valgaeren, Balde, Laursen, Agathe, Lambert, Lennon, Sutton, Smith, Larsson, Hartson.

DUNDEE UTD: Combe, Wilson, Lauchlan, McCraken, Duff, Easton, Miller, McIntyre, Paterson, Lilley, Dodds.

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