Celtic 2 – 0 Motherwell
Phil McGhee at Celtic Park
A brave, well-drilled Motherwell went down 0-2 to table-toppers Celtic in Glasgow this afternoon.
Despite the defeat, the Steelmen will take a lot of credit from the game, both in terms of their positive play and the fact that three teenagers were blooded in front of big crowd at Celtic Park.
Following heavy defeats on their last two visits to Parkhead, ‘Well boss Mark McGhee changed his formation and line-up, bringing in teenagers Jack McMillan and Ross McLean to make their first team debut.
And the ‘Well under 20 left back McMillan, facing the tricky James Forrest was under attack from the start as Celtic played their high pressing game.
That produced a couple of early openings for the home side with shots racing past Craig Samson’s posts.
However, Motherwell’s lineup with Chris Cadden and Ross McLean deployed in front of Keith Lasley and Craig Clay had more of an attacking threat than on recent visits.
An early indication of that intent came after six minutes when Louis Moult’s snapshot was deflected for a corner. From the resultant flag kick Stephen McManus climbed highest at the back post, nodding the ball down and forcing Craig Gordon to gather.
After that the Fir Parkers enjoyed spells of possession around the home box.
But it was Samson who produced the first of a handful of quality saves in the sixteenth minute, rising high to his left to push a curling shot from Moussa Dembele round his post. When Erick Sviatchenko met the resultant corner Samson was alert to palm his header over the bar.
The ‘Well ‘keeper had no chance two minutes later when Celtic took the lead. Forrest was again the provider from the right but when Dembele took a fresh-air swing in front of goal the ball rolled favourably for Scott Sinclair who guided the ball high past Samson.
Motherwell might have crumbled after that blow but the side kept its shape and composure.
A quick exchange between Lasley and Scott McDonald sent Moult racing through on Gordon but the pace on the ball carried it through to the ‘keeper.
Another series of passes at the involving Cadden and McDonald invited Richard Tait to have a go from the corner of the box and his left drive forced Gordon to save low at his left hand post.
For all of ‘Well’s possession in the home half, Celtic’s pace always carried a threat. A loose pass from Clay left Samson exposed as Dembele curled the ball beyond the ‘keeper and off the face of the post.
Minutes from the break the Parkhead men rattled the goal frame again when Kieran Tierney’s shot cannoned off the crossbar after a fine solo run.
Still only a goal behind and with a real chance of taking something from the game, ‘Well started the second half with Ryan Bowman replacing McDonald in attack.
It required a fabulous double save from Samson, though, to keep the goal margin to one. Getting down low to his left the ‘keeper did exceptionally well to palm Scott Brown’ s deflected drive along his goal line. Samson then reacted swiftly to get across his goal and block Dembele’s follow up.
That was the first of some stunning second half saves but the next chance came ‘Well’s way. Lasley’s free kick into a packed box wasn’t cleared and at the third attempt Ben Heneghan’s header found Moult but his nod on was comfortably held by Gordon.
As Celtic broke to the other end McMillan over stretched and his notable debut was over as he handed the left back berth to David Ferguson.
In the 63rd minute the Motherwell’s top marksman passed up the best chance. A quick break saw the ever improving Cadden play Moult into the box but caught in two minds his ball across goal was smothered by Gordon.
Ten minutes later Samson had another impressive save rising to touch Sinclair’s angled drive over the bar.
Celtic were desperate to grab the second goal and added Leigh Griffiths to their attack but it was the Steelmen who passed up another opening when Bowman fired McLean’s deep cross wide of target.
After an impressive debut McLean made way for another teenager, 17-year old Jake Hastie getting a taste of first team action.
With five minutes remaining and still holding hopes of an equaliser Lasley’s free kick found Moult but his header drifted wide of Gordon’s post.
A minute later though Celtic made sure of the game, when Dembele nipped in between McManus and the ‘Well keeper before being tripped to the ground. It was the Frenchman himself who slammed the resultant penalty into the corner of the goal to secure the points for the home side.
Lewis Irons at Celtic Park
FT | 2-0
A solid performance from Motherwell, undone by a brilliant strike and a penalty late on. Match report and reaction to follow.
’90 | 2-0
Three minutes of added time here at Parkhead
’87 | 2-0
Goal for Celtic. Dembele sends Samson the wrong way
’86 | 1-0
Penalty to Celtic. Samson has to rush out to collect but Dembele knicks past him
’84 | 1-0
Celtic make their final sub, a defensive switch replacing Forrest with Kolo Toure
’82 | 1-0
Louis Moult sends a header just wide of the post, rising up above everyone to head at goal from a free-kick
’80 | 1-0
Lasley send a cross in from a free-kick, won by Hastie, but Gordon comes out and collects it
’79 | 1-0
Motherwell sub: Youngster Jake Hastie has a moment to remember here, coming on to replace MacLean who has had a great afternoon
’78 | 1-0
Moult goes in to the book for a late tackle on Henderson
’75 | 1-0
MacLean charges down the line and puts in a cross to Bowman at the back post, the forward tries a volley – it’s narrowly over
’73 | 1-0
Samson with yet another stunning save. He tips Sinclair’s close range shot over the bar. Incredible from the stopper!!
’70 | 1-0
Scott Brown goes in to the book for petulance, throwing the ball against Cadden
’69 | 1-0
Sinclair receives the ball from a cut-back, and McManus puts in a brilliant sliding challenge to block the shot.
’66 | 1-0
Forrest cuts in and hits one at goal, but Samson produces a great save and is quick to his feet to gather it
’65 | 1-0
Ross MacLean cuts in and the youngster decides to have a go from 20 yards, but it’s wide of the target
’63 | 1-0
Cadden does brilliantly to drive through the middle and slip in Moult who is nearly 1v1, but the striker scuffs his shot
’61 | 1-0
Celtic double sub: Gamboa off for Griffiths and Armstrong off for Roberts
’58 | 1-0
Second ‘Well sub: Jack McMillan limps off and is replaced by David Ferguson.
’57 | 1-0
Lasley fires in a cross from a free-kick, it eventually lands on Moult’s head after a few attempted clearances, but Gordon saves
’55 | 1-0
Sinclair tries an ambitious shot from 25 yards but it doesn’t trouble Samson and it’s wide of the mark
’52 | 1-0
What a save Samson! Brown’s shot deflects but Samson does superb to stop with a strong hand, then denies Dembele on the follow up
’46 | 1-0
Tait goes in to the book for a foul on Sinclair
We’re back underway for the second half at Parkhead
Half time sub for the Fir Parkers, Bowman is on for McDonald
HT: Celtic 1 – 0 Motherwell #CFCvMFC
’44 | 1-0
Kieran Tierney nearly scores a brilliant goal, The youngster dribbles and works a shot, crashing off the crossbar.
’43 | 1-0
Scott Brown has an effort deflected wide off another Celtic body
’37 | 1-0
Scott Sinclair threatens the Fir Parkers with his pace again, cutting inside and curling a low shot off the post.
’35 | 1-0
Tait, Cadden and McDonald work the ball brilliantly around Celtic box, Tait gets his shot away on his left foot, but Gordon saves
’28 | 1-0
Celtic win the ball in their own half and hit with pace on the break. Heneghan puts in a great sliding challenge on Sinclair
’23 | 1-0
Yellow card for Henderson who simply couldn’t get near the pace of Cadden, cynically pulling the ‘Well midfielder to ground
’20 | 1-0
McDonald slips a lovely through ball towards Moult but the striker can’t get to it and Gordon gathers
’18 | 1-0
Goal for Celtic. Scott Sinclair arrives on the end of James Forrest’s low cross to smash high past Samson.
’17 | 0-0
Two corners for Celtic, Samson tips the first Sviatchenko header over the bar and then comfortably holds the second.
’16 | 0-0
Dembele curls a good effort towards the far post but Samson does well to dive and palm it wide.
’14 | 0-0
Motherwell enjoy a good spell of possession, Cadden receives the ball down the right but his cross is collected by Gordon
’11 | 0-0
Great block from Lasley to deny Sinclair’s shot from testing Samson.
’7 | 0-0
Moult has an effort blocked inside the box after a good delivery from Tait on the right flank.
5′ | 0-0
Another Celtic chance but Heneghan gets enough on it to put Armstrong’s shot wide of the post.
2′ | 0-0
First chance of the game and it goes Celtic’s way. Henderson with a low shot which hits the side-netting.
Dembele gets the game underway. COYW!!!
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Celtic Manager Brendan Rogers:
“I must give credit to Motherwell. Mark and his staff, in the last couple of times they have come here, it has been very difficult for them.
“It could have been a bit more today but they didn’t come and play safe. I felt they tried to play and showed good moments in the game, but we were able to get the job done.”
|Craig Gordon||Craig Samson|
|Jozo Simunovic||Richard Tait|
|Scott Brown||Ben Heneghan|
|Moussa Dembele||Stephen McManus|
|Scott Sinclair||Louis Moult|
|(61) Christian Gamboa||Chris Cadden|
|(62) Stuart Armstrong||Keith Lasley|
|Erik Sviatchenko||Craig Clay|
|(84) James Forrest||Ross MacLean (79)|
|Liam Henderson||Jack McMillan (59)|
|Kieran Tierney||Scott McDonald (45)|
|Dorus De Vries||Dean Brill|
|(84) Kolo Toure||Lionel Ainsworth|
|Emilio Izaguirre||Ryan Bowman (45)|
|(61) Leigh Griffiths||Kieran Kennedy|
|Ryan Christie||David Ferguson (59)|
|(62) Patrick Roberts||Allan Campbell|
|Callum McGregor||Jake Hastie (79)|
|9||Shots on target||4|
|15||Shots off target||5|
|Referee: John Beaton|