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  • Women

    ‘Well lose out to Glasgow City

  • First team

    Manager reacts to Celtic defeat

  • First team

    Motherwell 1-4 Celtic

  • First team

    Stephen O’Donnell embracing life in ML1

  • First team

    Lang positive on ‘Well’s chances

  • First team

    Tony Watt is your October Player of the Month

  • First team

    Manager previews the visit of Celtic

  • Women

    Glasgow City next in SWPL1

  • First team

    How to watch Motherwell v Celtic

  • First team

    Storylines: Motherwell v Celtic

  • Women

    ‘Well lose out to Glasgow City

    ‘Well lose out to Glasgow City

    Motherwell gave perennial champions Glasgow City a close contest, before eventually losing 3-0 in SWPL1.

    Eddie Wolecki Black’s side had the Champions League participants locked at 0-0 at the break before the resistance finally broke in the second half.

    But the women of steel were more than a match for their opponents and, on another day, may have taken chances which would have put a different complexion on the scoreline.

    City had the most of possession in the first 45 and had a good number of chances, coming closest with a header crashing off the bar.

    ‘Well’s back four though defended well to limiting the number of clear shots on goal, with goalkeeper Ailey Tebbett only having to make a handful of saves.

    Lori Gardner came closest for Motherwell in the opening half, with a looping shot from out wide landing on the roof of the net.

    City started the brighter of the two teams with several chances early in the second half. That pressure finally resulted in a penalty being given for a handball in the area with 63 minutes played.

    The resultant spot kick was slotted into the corner of the net by Leanne Ross at Tebbett’s right-hand side.

    The second goal came four minutes later. With Tebbett saving onto the bar and the ball falling at the back post, Jo Love did well to get the touch and take the ball into the net.

    City then started to make their greater amount of possession count by adding a third with 18 minutes to go.

    A good ball in from the right-hand side found Tyler Toland at the far post, who struck the ball well into the net leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

    Motherwell created a couple of chances late on. However, they were unable to capitalise on them.

  • First team

    Manager reacts to Celtic defeat

    “The scoreline suggests it was a doing. It wasn’t. We created opportunities but we have to defend better.”

    Stephen Robinson reacts to the home loss to Celtic.

  • First team

    Motherwell 1-4 Celtic

    Motherwell 1-4 Celtic

    Motherwell’s battling efforts were in vain as Celtic ran out 4-1 winners at Fir Park.

    The scoreline, though, didn’t reflect on the home side’s contribution, especially in the second half, as they bravely fought to reduce the leeway.

    A double from Mohamed Elyounoussi gave the Parkhead men a 2-0 half-time lead. But for the first 25 minutes of the second half, the determined hosts were denied several times before Declan Gallagher’s goal raised hopes of taking something from the game.

    However, clinical finishing from Neil Lennon’s men – as Elyounoussi grabbed his hat-trick and Olivier Ntcham made it 4-1 – saw Motherwell slump to only their second loss in six games.

    Despite it being a midday kick-off, the floodlights were required to brighten up the proceedings on a damp and murky Remembrance Sunday.

    With no additional injury problems, Stephen Robinson, not surprisingly, stood by the same starting side which has served him so well in recent games.

    That meant that Mark O’Hara was once again paired with Declan Gallagher at the heart of a ‘Well defence which was prepared for a Celtic backlash after their disappointing midweek Europa League performance.

    However, the first threat on the home defence was self-inflicted as the under-pressure Parkhead side opened the scoring after only seven minutes.

    Liam Polworth’s slack backpass put Gallagher under pressure. Albian Ajeti stole possession to drive the ball across Aaron Chapman and when the ball rebounded from the ‘keeper’s right hand post, Elyounoussi stabbed it home to punish the home side.

    The Steelmen recovered from that early blow and for the next 20 minutes had the bulk of the action around Scott Bain’s goal.

    ‘Well came within a metre of an immediate equaliser when Tony Watt drove the ball low across the six-yard box and Kristoffer Ajer’s boot diverted the ball narrowly past his own goal post.

    Motherwell’s possession around the Celtic penalty area was reflected in the number of free-kicks conceded by the visitors. But from a number of promising positions, Polworth’s free kicks failed to find a teammate. After 17 minutes Polworth’s free-kick was missed by everyone forcing Bain into a one-handed stop.

    Five minutes later a powerful run from Callum Lang ended when he tumbled in the box under pressure from Scott Brown but strong appeals for a penalty were waved away.

    At the other end of the pitch Chapman’s goal was rarely threatened until the 27th minute when Celtic doubled their lead. An interchange on the left side of the home box allowed Tom Rogic to wriggle his way to the byline before the Australian cut the ball back for Elyounoussi to slide the ball into the net for his second goal of the game.

    The Fir Park men might have wilted as efforts from Jeremaine Frimpong and Ryan Christie flew over Chapman’s crossbar.

    The home side still remained a threat and only a last gasp intervention from Frimpong at the corner of his six-yard box prevented Watt from forcing the ball beyond Bain and give ‘Well some belief for the second half.

    ‘Well came even closer to pulling a goal back within two minutes of the restart. Polworth sent his corner beyond the far post for Gallagher to head it back across goal but despite the combined efforts of Lang and then Devante Cole, they couldn’t force the ball past Laxalt on the goal line.

    The Uruguayan defender came to Celtic’s rescue again just before the hour mark. Watt’s head flick found Lang six yards from goal but as he seemed certain to blast the ball home Laxalt stepped in to brilliantly block the effort.

    Motherwell kept pressing for a deserved goal at it almost arrived when Nathan McGinley, providing great support down the left channel, whipped in a cross only to watch in dismay as Watt’s goal-bound drive from 10 yards blocked by Lang.

    With 29 minutes remaining Robinson made a double substitution bringing on Robbie Crawford and Christopher Long.

    And the former Everton striker almost made an immediate impact when within a minute he had created some space at the edge of the Celtic box before firing a low shot and forcing a save from Bain.

    The much-deserved goal was only delayed another minute, Gallagher stretching to head Polworth’s free-kick low past Bain to give ‘Well hopes of a dramatic fightback.

    Those hopes were killed off three minutes later as Elynounoussi claimed his hat-trick rising high eight yards from goal to send a powerful header high past Chapman.

    ‘Well brought another forward into the game when Jordan White replaced Cole and the former Inverness CT striker almost slid the ball home from Polworth’s pass.

    But it was the Celtic subs who combined five minutes from time to complete the scoring. Odsonne Edouard set up Ntcham, to drive the ball low beyond Chapman, to make it 4-1 and a scoreline that reflected harshly on Motherwell’s performance.

    Motherwell: Chapman, O’Donnell, O’Hara, Gallagher, McGinley, Maguire (Crawford), Campbell, Polworth, Lang, Cole (Long), Watt (White).

    Subs: Archer, Grimshaw, Johnston, Devine, Cornelius, Hastie.

  • First team

    Stephen O’Donnell embracing life in ML1

    Stephen O’Donnell embracing life in ML1

    Stephen O’Donnell is putting the ML on the map.

    The Lanarkshire lad is currently living the local hero dream. Born and bred in Wishaw, O’Donnell is no stranger to high-flying domestic success or international recognition through his time at Kilmarnock, but this time it feels different.

    Still living in the area, the defender is embracing life at Fir Park.

    Handed a short-term deal in the summer, he has been part of a side that made it to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, is now prospering in the Premiership and is involved in a Scotland setup that’s just one game away from taking the nation to its first major finals since 1998.

    However, the 28-year-old insists there is more to come from him.

    “It’s been great being able to represent your club at international level, regardless of what club,” he said.

    “But what makes this special for me is this is where I’m from. I grew up in Wishaw and it’s good to be part of that. The amount of people I know Motherwell because it’s their local team is huge, the negative of that is if we lose I’m quick to hear how bad I was…

    “Just hopefully I can perform better, I think I have a lot more to offer at Motherwell. I’ve shown it in glimpses but not as consistently as I would have liked.

    “I love going away with Scotland and being able to play a part. I think Declan is the same, we are in a squad that’s full of top talent and for us to play any part is fantastic.”

    The form of the national side in recent months has been incredible.

    Currently on an eight-game undefeated run, Steve Clarke has brought together a side that people were doubting, and turned them around to a formidable force on the cusp of something big once more.

    Parallels can be drawn with what Stephen Robinson is doing with the Motherwell squad. A slow start to the season caused many outside the club to believe a top-three finish had been swapped for a relegation scrap, but that prospect is a million miles away from their current outlook.

    Now with two games in hand over some, the Steelmen are well in the hunt to get into the top six.

    O’Donnell acknowledges the high of last year may well have been a hindrance, not that he or any of the squad are complaining. A run in the Europa League, on the back of a prolonged summer break, “took its toll” on the sharpness of the squad in those early weeks, reckons the former Killie man.

    But recent landmark results against the likes of Aberdeen, Ross County and Livingston have demonstrated to the doubters what this Motherwell team are capable of.

    “The results have changed,” he said. “There were signs at the start that we were a good side but it just wasn’t falling for us. There were also key players missing which I think is why I was probably brought in.

    “You can see the quality the squad has, and maybe they were victims of the success of last year.

    “You were coming back from the long Covid-19 break going into a European campaign with few warm-up games, it’s Sunday-Thursday-Sunday-Thursday.

    “It’s then you realise you have to take your hat off to guys like Callum McGregor who do that for six months of a season. We aren’t quite used to that.

    “It was a challenge we enjoyed and maybe it took a toll on our cutting edge on the weekends that followed. Now we’ve started to get some wins on the board and climb the table, which is always nice.

    “You defend from the front and their work rate against Ross County and Livi was incredible. Even going into training the intensity is huge, it gets you ready.

    “We are disappointed we couldn’t play the two games that were cancelled but hopefully we’ll get them played soon or get the points, and we can make that league position look even better.”

    Of course, the challenge of continuing their upward trajectory today is a formidable task.

    Some scaremongers would have you believe Celtic were a side on the slide after defeats to Rangers and AC Milan, along with a draw at Pittodrie.

    A credible draw in Lille and a comfortable Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen have discredited that theory, and Celtic arrive at Fir Park today still well in the hunt to nail their 10th title in a row.

    Having said that, O’Donnell insists the home side are up for the challenge of giving the Scottish champions another tough day at the office when they step on to that Fir Park pitch.

    “Celtic are a top side,” said the right-back. “They came under criticism recently but they have top players and a top manager. They maybe had a wee dip just there but we’ve had ours, every team has one.

    “We hopefully are clear of ours now and we can go on and finish at least in the top six.

    “We just need to make sure we build on them dropping points against Rangers and Aberdeen.

    “It’ll be a very tough task, but we’ve had a week to prepare for it while they’ll have had another game, so we’ll be trying to capitalise on that.”

    By Scott Mullen.

  • First team

    Lang positive on ‘Well’s chances

    “We are positive we can put in a performance.”

    Callum Lang, who is in goal scoring form, previews the visit of the champions on Sunday.

  • First team

    Tony Watt is your October Player of the Month

    Tony Watt is your October Player of the Month

    Tony Watt is our Paycare Motherwell FC Player of the Month for October.

    The forward was instrumental in the two wins picked up from two matches across the month, netting both in wins against Ross County and Livingston.

    Watt beat off competition from fellow forward Callum Lang, as well as defensive duo Declan Gallagher and Mark O’Hara, who contributed to two clean sheets in the month.

  • First team

    Manager previews the visit of Celtic

    “We have to be at the top of our game. But there’s no reason we can’t get a result.”

    Stephen Robinson looks ahead to Sunday’s Scottish Premiership encounter with Celtic.

  • Women

    Glasgow City next in SWPL1

    Glasgow City next in SWPL1

    Champions Glasgow City lie in wait next for Motherwell at home in SWPL1.

    The women of steel are looking to pull off a shock at Airdrie’s Penny Cars Stadium on Sunday. Kick off is at 12.30pm.

    The game is closed to supporters.

    You can buy and watch a live stream of the game for £5 here.

    Tale of the tape

    Motherwell and Glasgow City have faced each other three times, with City winning all three.

    Eddie Wolecki Black’s side are looking for their first goal against their dominant opponents.

    Form guide

    Defeat at home to Hibernian last weekend followed on from a 4-2 loss at Forfar Farmington in the opening fixture of the season for Motherwell.

    Glasgow City came through their UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifier with Peamount United on penalties on Wednesday night.

    Domestically, they have won 36 of their last 37 league games – with the only defeat coming in an away loss at Celtic in November 2019.

    A chance to test ourselves

    “Glasgow City are the top side in the country, so it’s a test for us to see how we stack up against them,” said manager Wolecki Black.

    “It is important we are not intimidated by them. We will put a game plan in place and try to take something from them.”

    Match programme

  • First team

    How to watch Motherwell v Celtic

    How to watch Motherwell v Celtic

    There are a number of ways to watch Motherwell v Celtic on Sunday,

    Season ticket holders and international-based fans can watch as part of their package at live.motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Subscriptions are also available for supporters based outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland for £15 a month, allowing you to watch all games home and away.

    To subscribe, head to live.motherwellfc.co.uk.

    No pay-per-view option will be available at the weekend. In the UK/Ireland, Sky Sports are showing the game live.

  • First team

    Storylines: Motherwell v Celtic

    Storylines: Motherwell v Celtic

    Celtic make their first visit to Motherwell since February when they come calling in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

    Here are the storylines going into the fixture.

    A hoodoo to banish

    The last 10 matches at Fir Park between the two sides have seen four draws and six wins for Celtic.

    ‘Well’s last home wins in the fixture came back-to-back in 2013.

    A 2-1 February win, with goals from Chris Humphrey and Michael Higdon, was followed by a 3-1 victory two months later. Henrik Ojamaa, Higdon and a Fraser Forster own goal contributed the goals to seal it.

    Celtic’s congested calendar

    Neil Lennon’s side will arrive in ML1 on Sunday having played in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night for the third week in succession.

    Sunday’s match will be their 20th competitive match of the 2020/21 campaign, while it will be Motherwell’s 15th.

    The return of David Turnbull

    Having left Fir Park as the club’s record transfer in the summer, David Turnbull has gradually eased himself into life at Celtic.

    The talented midfielder has clocked up 131 minutes in six appearances since his move to Glasgow, with five of his six outings coming from the bench.

    Contrasting form

    The two teams have slightly different league form going into the match.

    Motherwell have won four of their last five Premiership games, keeping four clean sheets.

    Celtic meanwhile have won three, drawn one and lost one, keeping two clean sheets on the way.