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    Celtic defeat in pictures

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    Celtic 7 – 0 Motherwell

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    Anderson in charge at Celtic Park

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    Johnson – Thriving as an underdog

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    McGhee – Play with a freedom

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    Lasley and Robinson face bans

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    TV: Highlights from Dingwall

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    Ross County win in pictures

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    McGhee – A deserved victory

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    Ross County 1 – 3 Motherwell

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    Celtic defeat in pictures

    Action images from today’s 7-0 loss to Celtic at Celtic Park.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”celtic150516″]

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    Celtic 7 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at Celtic Park

    A hugely disappointing performance ensured Motherwell failed to repeat their December victory at Celtic Park.

    ‘Well lost six goals in a 38-minute blitz as the league champions ran riot against a knackered-looking visitors.

    Three goals inside seven minutes midway through the first half finished the game and another quick treble early in the second sealed ‘Well’s fate, before a late seventh rubbed salt into the wounds.

    For the second consecutive season the Fir Park men concluded their season facing up to the ‘Old Firm’. Unlike last season’s dramatic win over Rangers to retain their Premiership status, this encounter at sun-drenched Parkhead was a totally one-sided affair with ‘Well fans having absolutely nothing to celebrate.

    Injury and suspension hampered Motherwell’s selection with Stevie Hammell and Keith Lasley missing, forcing two changes in the ‘Well ranks, with youngster Luke Watt coming in at right back and Lionel Ainsworth restored to the left flank in front of Marvin Johnston.

    Following a couple of comfortable saves, Connor Ripley was forced into the first of several crucial stops, blocking Ryan Christie’s stab at goal from six yards. In the 13th minute the ‘Well ‘keeper produced a spectacular stop to palm Tom Rogic’s dipping volley over his cross bar.

    From the resultant corner Morgaro Gomis booted Mickael Lustig’s header off the goal line.

    Ripley came to the rescue again after 18 minutes when Christie darted through but the ‘Well ‘keeper again raced from his line to block the striker’s effort.

    The home side’s pressure paid off three minutes later when Motherwell-born fullback Kieran Tierney was allowed to drag the ball across the box before slamming a low right foot shot beyond the despairing Ripley. There were questions of offside, with Christie standing in an offside position, blocking the goalkeeper’s view, but there was no bail out from the assistant referee.

    Five minutes later Celtic doubled their lead. Stuart Armstrong worked a one-two at the edge of the box, but a fortuitous touch off Chris Cadden carried him beyond the ‘Well defence and when his shot rebounded from the post, Rogic was unchallenged as he tapped the ball into the empty goal.

    Before Motherwell could rally, they found themselves three down. Both Ripley and Pearson got caught under Armstrong’s in-swinging corner and Lustig rose unchallenged at the back post to nod the ball down and over the line.

    In truth the damage could have been worse before ‘Well regrouped and reshaped at half-time. With Kieran Kennedy and Joe Chalmers in the respective full back berths the Fir Park men made a positive start to the second half.

    However, that challenge evaporated five minutes into the half when Armstrong’s volley from 12 yards made it 4-0. Within eight minutes, Roberts curled one into the corner and Christie rolled another under Ripley as Celtic effortlessly made it 6-0.

    Ripley was helpless on those occasions but the ‘keeper produced another diving save to deny Callum McGregor. Christie then rattled a shot off the post before substitute Jack Aitchison got in off an unlucky Stephen Pearson and made in 7-0 with his first touch of the match.

    Motherwell’s day was summed up when Craig Gordon made his first and only save 10 minutes from time, admittedly a smart stop to push a Gomis drive round the post.

    It was a dreadful afternoon for the Steelmen, but the loss didn’t dent their league position after confirming fifth in the table during the week.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at Celtic Park

    FT: Celtic 7 – 0 Motherwell

    84′ | 7-0
    Celtic sub, Armstrong off for Janko.

    81′ | 7-0
    Gomis’ shot from distance is palmed wide of the post. Corner is easily dealt with.

    77′ | 7-0
    Goal – Loose ball falls to Aitchison inside the box and he slots it home to make it 7.

    75′ | 6-0
    Celtic sub, Aitchison on for Rogic

    69′ | 6-0
    Christie strikes the post and thankfully the ball comes out off Ripley and wide for a corner.

    66′ | 6-0
    Roberts cuts inside and gets a shot away which Ripley does well to tip around the post.

    64′ | 6-0
    Cadden down receiving treatment after being absolutely clattered by Sviatchenko in front of the dugout

    59′ | 6-0
    Goal – It’s 6. Christie with acres of time and space to fire past Ripley. This is absolutely woeful stuff.

    56′ | 5-0
    First proper sniff at goal and it comes from a McManus header which loops just over the bar.

    56′ | 5-0
    Celtic sub, Tierney off for Izaguirre.

    55′ | 5-0
    Goal – Roberts adds a fifth with a low curling shot from outside the box.

    50′ | 4-0
    Goal – Armstrong volleys into the top corner from inside the box.

    49′ | 3-0
    Positive play from Cadden wins a corner…..but it’s easily headed away by Lustig.

    Celtic get the second 45 underway.

    Double Motherwell change, Chalmers and Kennedy on for Ainsworth and Watt #CFCvMFC

    HT: Celtic 3 – 0 Motherwell #CFCvMFC

    41′ | 3-0
    Should have been four after Ripley saves Rogic’s shot and Christie fires over from 12 yards with an open goal to aim for

    28′ | 3-0
    Goal – It’s three and all too easy for Celtic. Lustig heads home unmarked at the back post.

    26′ | 2-0
    Goal – Celtic double their lead, Rogic tapping in after Armstrong’s shot hit the post.

    21′ | 1-0
    Goal – That’s been coming. Tierney cuts infield and fires low beyond Ripley from 20 yards. 1-0 to Celtic.

    19′ | 0-0
    Ripley is going to be a busy man! Saves yet again from Christie, who was slid in by Roberts

    14′ | 0-0
    Ripley again with a fine save, this time from a long range Rogic drive which was heading into the top corner!

    12′ | 0-0
    Johansen drags his left-footed shot well wide of the post. All Celtic so far…

    7′ | 0-0
    Great save Ripley! Christie looks certain to open the scoring but the big stopper spreads himself well and makes the block.

    4′ | 0-0
    Ripley is forced into action, diving low to his right to deny Christie, who had shot from the edge of the box.

    2′ | 0-0
    Early chances for Celtic. First Rogic’s shot is deflected wide then Lustig heads over the bar from the corner.

    Pearson and Gomis get the action underway. #COYW

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

    Coming Soon…

    Celtic Manager Ronny Deila

    Coming Soon…

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”274″]

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    Anderson in charge at Celtic Park

    Referee for Sunday’s Ladbrokes Premiership finale with Celtic at Celtic Park is Euan Anderson.

    Anderson, 33, will be handling his second Motherwell match of the season.

    The first was a vital 3-1 home win over Dundee back in December, when goals from McDonald, Moult and Pearson gave McGhee’s men all three points.

    The second was a month later, when Motherwell again won at home, this time the comfortable 5-0 victory over Cove Rangers in the Fourth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

    The Dumbarton-based whistler was promoted to category one in the summer of 2011 and has taken charge of three Motherwell matches in the past, the first coming in the Scottish Cup fourth round defeat to Albion Rovers at New Douglas Park on November 2013 where a first goal of the season for Albion’s Gary Phillips ensured the Coatbridge outfit’s qualification to the next round of the cup.

    He was also in charge of Motherwell’s 2-1 win away to Kilmarnock in 2014/15 season where goals from Stephen Pearson and Lee Erwin secured three points for Well’ on this occasion with an Anthony Straker own-goal being the only blotch to the copybook on that day.

    The win was part of a three match win streak that Well’ put together on the backend of last season, commencing with a 4-0 victory over Hamilton and a 5-0 victory over St Mirren to bookend the Kilmarnock fixture.

    Euan will be assisted by Alasdair Ross and Gordon Crawford, with John McKendrick on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    Johnson – Thriving as an underdog

    Marvin Johnson hopes Motherwell can be party poopers when they take on Celtic in Glasgow on Sunday.

    The Steelmen face the SPFL Champions on the day Ronnie Delia’s side lift the trophy.

    With a large crowd expected, the home side will be overwhelming favourites to sign off the season with a victory.

    However, Johnson thinks ‘Well can thrive in the underdog role and perhaps spring a surprise, not for the first time this year.

    [pullquote]Yes, it’s a big occasion with a team being crowned champions, but that gives us a chance to maybe create an upset.[/pullquote]

    “We went to Celtic Park last time and no-one gave us a chance and yet we came away with the three points,” he said.

    “Although there’s a lot going on, it’s just another game of football for us. Yes, it’s a big occasion with a team being crowned champions, but that gives us a chance to maybe create an upset.

    “Not only that, it’ll be an atmosphere for us to enjoy and relish, particularly for the guys who maybe haven’t played there before. I can’t wait to get on the park and get going.”

  • Archive

    McGhee – Play with a freedom

    Mark McGhee hopes his players can play with a freedom as they attempt to sign off the season with a win at the home of the Premiership Champions.

    Midweek results confirmed the Fir Parkers as fifth in the table, with County trailing by five.

    And with the pressure of not dropping down a spot, and the loss of prize money as a result, McGhee has encouraged his players to try and emulate their performance and result of earlier in the campaign.

    [pullquote]Our approach will be similar to last time, which is go there with a view to winning the match.[/pullquote]

    He said: “We’ve won their once and I don’t know when last a team was able to win at Celtic Park twice in the same season, so there’s incentive there for us to do that; we’re in decent form.

    “We should be going there to try and compete for fourth, but we’re not and that’s disappointing, albeit we have fifth secured.

    “Our approach will be similar to last time, which is go there with a view to winning the match. We won’t have any fear both in the sense that we hope we can compete, but also because with fifth secured, we can’t drop a place in the table.”

  • Archive

    Lasley and Robinson face bans

    Assistant Stephen Robinson and skipper Keith Lasley both face suspensions following appearances at the Scottish FA this morning.

    Both individuals were ‘sent off’ at last month’s match with Aberdeen with Lasley dismissed for Serious Foul Play after a tackle on Kenny McLean and Robinson then subsequently sent to the stand for his protests.

    The club appealed Lasley’s card, arguing that it did not meet FIFA’s criteria for a Serious Foul Play judgment, defined as a player having far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring an opponent.

    The club was also able to showcase several examples from the same round of fixtures, even from the same game, where those criteria may have been met, but weren’t punishable by a red card by Scottish officials and highlight our view the differences in each offence.

    However, the Judicial Panel were not satisfied that it could be proven that there was an obvious refereeing error, the cornerstone to any appeal, and the claim was dismissed.

    On account of Lasley having already received a red card back in January for a handball against Hamilton Accies, the player will now miss the next three first-team matches starting immediately

    In the wake of Lasley’s red card in that Aberdeen match, Assistant Stephen Robinson was accused of repeatedly adopting aggressive behaviour towards the fourth official, and repeatedly using offensive, abusing and insulting language.

    Stephen was invited to put his version of events across, including the background prior to the incident taking place, but the three-man committee found him in breach of Disciplinary Rule 203 and he will miss the Celtic match on Sunday, and the first two League Cup matches of the 2016/17 campaign.

    Although naturally disappointed with the outcome in both cases, the club respects and accepts the judgments of the Judicial Panel and the timely, transparent process that now exists in disciplinary matters.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Dingwall

    Highlights from Dingwall as a fine strike from Keith Lasley and a Stephen Pearson double give Motherwell a 1-3 win.

  • Archive

    Ross County win in pictures

    Action images from this evening’s 1-3 win over Ross County in Dingwall.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix

    [svgallery name=”rosscounty110516″]

  • Archive

    McGhee – A deserved victory

    Mark McGhee praised his players after their impressive 1-3 victory at the Global Energy Stadium secured fifth in the SPFL Premiership.

    The Steelmen took an early lead through Stephen Pearson before skipper Keith Lasley doubled their advantage with the game barely sixteen minutes old.

    County improved at the break and substitute Liam Boyce reduced the arrears, but ‘Well restored their two goal advantage late on to secure the win, courtesy of a Pearson header.

    The victory means ‘Well cannot be caught in fifth place, but St Johnstone’s win over Celtic means they Perth side can’t be caught with one game left to play.

    [pullquote]I think our win was deserved, it was certainly better than the last time we were here, that’s for sure.[/pullquote]

    “I think our win was deserved, it was certainly better than the last time we were here, that’s for sure,” he smiled.

    “We started the game very brightly, some of the football was flowing and we scored two goals which gave us a great lead.

    “County, as you might expect, changed their shape to try and cope with what we were doing to them and that made things a bit more difficult for us. That said, even when they were creating chances, I felt we defended resolutely and looked a threat on the break.

    “Obviously we learn afterwards that fourth is out of the equation with St Johnstone beating Celtic, but the bigger picture is fifth represents a very good season for us and we’ll try and finish on a high this weekend.”

  • Archive

    Ross County 1 – 3 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

     Phil McGhee at Global Energy Stadium

    Stephen Pearson scored twice as ‘Well took the points to cement fifth in the table with a 3-1 win away at Ross County.

    The 33-year old gave ‘Well a fourth-minute lead and Keith Lasley quickly doubled the advantage with a wonder strike from 25 yards.

    County improved in the second half and substitute Liam Boyce headed one back but the Steelmen finished the job in stoppage time when Pearson scored again.

    The visitors forced a couple of corners in the opening exchanges but from the second flag kick Steven Hammell’s cross was headed over by Stephen McManus.

    But ‘Well did not have long to wait for the opener. A good move down the right ended with a Louis Moult cut-back which left Pearson with a simple finish. It got better for the visitors in the 16th minute when they doubled their lead with a fantastic strike from Lasley.

    A Hammell corner was only partially cleared and the Motherwell captain fired a low drive into the corner of the net. County made a tactical switch in the 36th minute with Raffaele De Vita replacing Stuart Murdoch to give the home side an added attacking option.

    The hosts came close to getting one back in the final minute of the half when De Vita crossed for Michael Gardyne but his knock down was too hard for Alex Schalk who hooked it over the crossbar.

    County had the first real chance of the second half when Gardyne found David Goodwillie in space in the box but the forward lost control of the ball at the vital time.

    Goodwillie then got on the end of a chip from Martin Woods but he could not get his shot on target.

    The chances kept coming for the home side and it was Goodwillie again who had the chance to net when he was put through by substitute Boyce but Well goalkeeper Craig Samson pulled off a fantastic one-handed save at point-blank range.

    It was all County now and Schalk should have done better when he latched on to a Brian Graham knock on but he blasted his shot wide of the upright.

    But County got the goal their play deserved in the 70th minute when Samson could only parry a Gardyne shot and Boyce was left to nod in from close range.

    Well almost restored their two-goal lead a minute later when Pearson drove the ball wide of target from well inside the box. Marvin Johnson then missed two great chances, firing wide on both occasions, to make the game safe.

    At the other end, Boyce had a great chance to level in the 79th minute when he latched on to a Woods pass but he blasted the ball high and wide. Graham almost caught Samson out with a deep cross cum shot that the keeper scrambled to turn over the crossbar.

    In the dying seconds Boyce got on the end of a Chris Robertson cross but his header was well saved by Samson again. But in stoppage time Pearson scored his second of the game, his ninth of the season, when he headed home from close range after Scott Fox saved from Johnson.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Ally Reilly at Global Energy Stadium

    Lasley and Pearson with the goals to give ‘Well a 3-1 win at Dingwall. #RCFCvMFC

    FT: Ross County 1 – 3 Motherwell #RCFCvMFC

    90+2′ | 1-3
    Johnson’s shot is saved and it falls to PEARSON who heads home!!

    GGOOAALLLL!!

    Three minutes added on.

    89′ | 1-2
    Boyce’s header from 12 yards is comfortably saved by Samson.

    85′ | 1-2
    Samson does well to adjust his footing and tip Graham’s looping cross/shot over the bar

    77′ | 1-2
    McDonald plays in Pearson who shoots straight at Fox. County break and Boyce blazes well over from a good position.

    73′ | 1-2
    Johnson goes close, cutting in off the right but his shot drifts just wide of the post.

    72′ | 1-2
    Motherwell sub, Chalmers on for Hammell.

    71′ | 1-2
    Great chance for Johnson as he gets on the end of a ball looping out the air. but he volleys just wide.

    69′ | 1-2
    Goal – Gardyne’s shot is palmed out to Boyce who takes a touch and volleys home. Thats been coming.

    68′ | 0-2
    Quinn booked after flying into a tackle on Moult

    67′ | 0-2
    Close again or County, Graham with the knock down and Schalk volleys just past the post.

    63′ | 0-2
    Hammell booked for impeding Boyce as he broke away down the right.

    60′ | 0-2
    County sub, Graham on for Goodwillie

    59′ | 0-2
    Schalk jinks around the edge of the box, but looks off balance as he shoots and it’s well over. Decent spell for County.

    57′ | 0-2
    Great save by Samson! Goodwillie looked like scoring but the big goalie spread himself well to smother the chance

    55′ | 0-2
    Ross County sub, Boyce on for Franks

    50′ | 0-2
    Close! Gardyne with the ball in but Goodwillie’s control is too heavy which allows Samson to gather.

    Motherwell get the second 45 underway. COYW!! #RCFCvMFC

    HT: Ross County 0 – 2 Motherwell #RCFCvMFC

    44′ | 0-2
    Very nearly 3! Pearson is played in but Fox does well and beats his low shot away.

    44′ | 0-2
    Good chance for County! Gardyne’s knock-down is a fraction ahead of Schalk and he can’t get enough on it to test Samson

    43′ | 0-2
    County with a succession of corner but can’t fashion a chance from any of them.

    37′ | 0-2
    McDonald just back on the pitch and is booked for an aerial challenge on Irvine.

    35′ | 0-2
    Ross County sub, De Vita on for Murdoch

    34′ | 0-2
    Now Irvine is booked for a high boot on McDonald’s face.

    32′ | 0-2
    Murdoch booked for clattering Johnson wide on the right.

    28′ | 0-2
    Chance for County! Free-kick in a great area but Schalk drills it right into the wall

    22′ | 0-2
    From that corner, Moult has a free header but can’t get it on target!

    22′ | 0-2
    Motherwell well on top here. Moult goes close but his shot is deflected over the bar!

    (surprised we had that goal graphic made up)

    16′ | 0-2
    A rare one for LASLEY!! Some strike from the edge of the box, thundering into the net!! 0-2 ‘Well!!

    GGOOAAALLLL!!

    10′ | 0-1
    Indecision in the County defence concedes another corner. Motherwell with a bright start.

    4′ | 0-1
    PEARSON opens the scoring! Moult is slid in, cuts it back and Pearo does the rest from 10 yards. COYW!!

    GGOOAAALL!!

    2′ | 0-0
    Slack touch from Foster hands Motherwell the first corner of the game….headed clear by Robertson but it’s another corner.

    County get the game underway. COYW!!

    Out come the teams at a sunny Dingwall. Moments away from kick-off.

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:

    “We should have got the third goal earlier to put it beyond doubt. We missed good opportunities but over the piece deserved to win the game.”

    Ross County Manager Jim McIntyre

    “We got off to a really sloppy start. We handed Motherwell the initiative by being really careless, giving away needless corners and possession of the ball which gave them a lot of play in our half and they punished us.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”273″]