In the early days of season 1971-72, the usual challenge from Rangers had not been the case, the Light Blues having started poorly. Instead, it was the Dons from Aberdeen who made the early running, so it was crucial for Celtic to rise to this new challenge. The League Cup campaign had gone well, Celtic coming through a tough section ahead of the rest.
P W D L F A Pts
Celtic 6 5 0 1 13 2 10
Rangers 6 4 0 2 11 5 8
Morton 6 2 1 3 4 5 5
Ayr United 6 0 1 5 2 18 1
In the League campaign, Celtic had won 5 of the first 6 matches, the highlight the 3-2 win at Ibrox on 9th September, although the ‘goals for’ tally of 21 over those 6 games was equally encouraging. The only loss was to an excellent St Johnstone side at Parkhead on 2nd October.
On this day in 1971, a strong Dundee side arrived at Celtic Park for a league match and manager Jock Stein put out a side of Williams, Hay, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Connelly, Johnstone, Dalglish, Hood, Callaghan and Macari. From the start, Celtic dominated the play, egged on by a crowd of 32,000. Kenny Dalglish opened the scoring in 35 minutes and got another one minute the interval.
Dundee pulled one back almost straightaway but in 51 minutes, Dalglish got a third to claim a hat-trick and give Celtic another win.
NB This match was unusual for another aspect – Tam Gemmell missed a penalty!
NB2 Three days later, John Hughes and Willie Wallace were transferred to Crystal Palace; and six days after that, Denis Connaghan came in from St Mirren.