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Commons, Stokes help Celtic thrash Dundee United

Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes both bagged a brace at Parkhead on Saturday to help Celtic cruise to a comfortable 6-2 defeat of Dundee United.

The visitors got off on the right foot when Stuart Armstrong opened the scoring in the 10th minute, but his strike was overturned after Efe Ambrose equalized one minute later and Commons put the Hoops in front in the 22nd minute.

United had a brilliant opportunity to draw level four minutes later when they were awarded a penalty kick, but Jon Daly failed to convert from the spot.

They were left to rue that miss as Celtic seized control of the match thereafter.

Joe Ledley added another goal for Neil Lennon's side before the halftime interval, scoring in the 37th minute. Commons completed his brace with a penalty in the 55th minute before Stokes extended the lead with a brace of his own, scoring in the 70th and 82nd minutes.

Johnny Russell pulled back a consolation goal on the stroke of full time to cut United's final deficit to four goals.

Celtic remains atop the Scottish Premier League by improving to 58 points while Dundee United remains on 33 points.

Moving into second place in Scotland's top flight is Motherwell, which claimed a 3-0 victory over Inverness on Saturday behind a brace from Michael Higdon. The win sees Motherwell improve to 40 points, two points clear of third-place Inverness.

Kilmarnock emerged from Tynecastle Stadium with all three points on Saturday as Paul Heffernan produced a hat trick in the club's 3-0 defeat of lowly Hearts.

Also on Saturday, Leigh Griffiths converted a penalty to guide Hibernian to a 1-0 win at St. Mirren while Ivan Sproule notched the lone goal in Ross County's 1-0 defeat of St. Johnstone.