If you had suggested to a Celtic fan this time last year that Stuart Armstrong would be captaining their side, they would probably look at you with the same sort of bemused befuddlement as the player himself would if you told him he didn’t have magnificent hair.

He does, incidentally, and he did captain the side in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Dundee at Celtic Park in the absence of Scott Brown through suspension.

It felt like the final act in a remarkable tale of redemption for a player who could barely get a sniff for Ronny Deila’s altogether less inspiring Celtic side in his favoured central area.

Here he was, not only prowling the midfield but being placed front and centre of it as he tried to bring the drive to Brendan Rodgers’ side that is normally supplied by the reborn Brown.

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For the most part, he did just that, and according to his closest friend at the club Gary Mackay-Steven, who appears to be at the start of his own Rodgers-inspired renaissance, the sight of Armstrong with the armband will be one that Celtic fans could well be getting used to. For his former Tannadice teammate, the unassuming 24-year-old is most definitely officer material.

“He is a leader, definitely,” said Mackay-Steven, who also started the match on the left ahead of the fit-again Scott Sinclair. “He’s quite vocal and he’s definitely a future captain.

“Obviously Broony has been immense this season and it’s unbelievable to play under him but when he wasn’t available Stu stepped up and in the future he’s definitely captain material.

“I’m absolutely delighted for him, it’s a massive honour for him to captain the side in Broony’s absence. He’s done superbly lately. He relished it and I felt he led the team really well.”

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Not bad for a player who looked for all the world to have run his race at Celtic just a few short months ago.

“He was patient earlier on in the season and when he got his chance he took it,” Mackay-Steven added. “In the last few games he’s been amazing of us he’s chipped in with goals and assists and he’s probably been one of our best players. He’s really kicked on and I’m absolutely delighted for him. He’s in a great moment.”

As are Celtic. This win over Dundee, their fourteenth domestic victory in-a-row and twentieth without defeat under their new manager, was a procession for over an hour until suddenly Paul Hartley’s men belatedly found a way to unsettle the home side. Namely, by coming over the half-way line.

The pattern of the first-half especially resembled an attack versus defence training drill, with the 4-5-1 rigidity of the visitors just about managing to thwart the fluidity of Celtic’s attack. Sometimes, that was more through luck than judgment, as a beautiful exchange between Leigh Griffiths and Nir Bitton on the edge of the area which saw Griffiths wrap a volley off the far post neatly illustrated early on.

Another intricate passing move saw Celtic carve open the heart of the visiting rearguard, with the impressive Ryan Christie picking the ball up in a pocket of space on the edge of the area and threading a lovely pass through to Tom Rogic, who shaped his body to place the ball beyond Scott Bain before somehow ballooning it towards the top tier of the Lisbon Lions Stand.

Dundee’s Kevin Holt managed a counter-jab after half an hour when he hit an arrow of a shot about a yard wide from the angle of the box, but just before the break the Dee's dogged resistance was broken.

Former Celt Darren O’Dea was adjudged to have fouled Rogic 35 yards from goal with a lunging tackle. He protested his innocence to referee Bobby Madden, claiming he got the ball before making sufficient contact with Rogic to force him from the field at the break.

Dundee manager Hartley was none too pleased about the free-kick award either, and there was something of the inevitable about the bulge in the net moments after such a contentious call as Griffiths curled a stunner into Bain’s left-hand corner to give Celtic the long-awaited breakthrough on the stroke of half-time.

When Bitton cleared everyone out of the way to stroke home a side-foot effort from 25 yards just before the hour, it seemed as if the best Dundee could hope for was to get out of Dodge with their pride intact, but they managed that and then some.

Marcus Haber, who could have earned the nickname Saint Helena such was his isolation for the most part, gathered the ball on the left of the Celtic area and took advantage of a slip by Cristian Gamboa to get a shot away. It took a deflection off Jozo Simunovic and flew past Craig Gordon, who may have dirtied his gloves for the first time in the match as he picked the ball out of the net.

Suddenly, with a little over 20 minutes remaining, we had a game on our hands. Brendan Rodgers likened the flow of the match from that moment on to a basketball game, and it was a fair summation of how stretched the game had become.

The introduction of Sinclair was a pleasing sight for the home fans, but both he and fellow substitute Moussa Dembele fluffed presentable opportunities for Celtic to wrap up the game as it flowed from end to end before one of Dundee’s replacements passed up the best chance of the lot to earn his side a point.

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Haber’s direct run at the heart of the home defence was halted, but the ball broke invitingly into the path of Faissal El-Bakhtaoui. His is a fair old name to have up in lights, but there it was as he stood in the final moments of the game at Celtic Park with just the keeper to beat to earn his side a famous result and endear himself to the Dee faithful for forever and a day.

Unfortunately for the former Dunfermline man, he sent his attempted finish high and wide, and a rather anxious-looking Celtic outfit were home and hosed.

“We should have at least drawn the match,” said the downtrodden El-Bakhtaoui as he gazed ruefully over the empty pitch at the end.

“I really should have scored that chance but sometimes that happens in football. I need to work on my finishing.

“It all happened so quickly. One minute I was on the bench and then the manager put me on.

“We had been pushing Celtic and then the chance came. It was a good performance but it was a tough result to take.”