Dundee, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - Leigh Griffiths scored a second-half hat trick to help Celtic to a 3-0 win at Dundee United on Sunday, restoring the team's eight-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League.
Aberdeen's 2-1 win over Inverness on Saturday reduced the deficit to five points, but after a scoreless first half, Griffiths tallied three goals to lift his team eight points above the Dons with four matches to play.
United's Robbie Muirhead had the best chance for either side in the first half when he forced a fine stop from Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon to keep the match level.
Celtic needed just two minutes after the break to seize the advantage as Griffiths took a pass from Stefan Johansen and drove an angled shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.
A corner kick in the 65th led to the second goal as the ball headed off the post by Virgil van Dijk with Griffiths bundling it over the goal line from close range.
The hat trick was completed six minutes from time when substitute Gary Mackay- Steven was brought down by United's John Rankin, allowing Griffiths to hammer home his third goal from the spot.