Scottish Premiership
Motherwell1Celtic2

Motherwell 1-2 Celtic

Two Leigh Griffiths goals in a madcap win over Motherwell moved defending champions Celtic eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic had eight attempts on goal in the first half - including a missed Griffiths penalty - before the striker made amends just before the break.

Motherwell had their goalkeeper Connor Ripley to thank for keeping them in it before Scott McDonald equalised.

But Griffiths struck again, the ball squirming through Ripley's legs.

It was a bitter end to what had been a terrific performance by the Englishman.

Celtic lorded it early on. The irony was that of all their pot-shots at goal the one shot that did not trouble Ripley was that missed Griffiths penalty.

Patrick Roberts, excellent in the first half, had the first of those chances, Nir Bitton the second and Griffiths the third. All of them were beaten away by Ripley.

Midway through the half, Roberts' quick feet bamboozled Morgaro Gomis and the penalty was won - and then missed. Griffiths pulled his effort wide of Ripley's left-hand post. Bizarrely for a man who has scored buckets of goals this season, it was Griffiths' fourth miss from the penalty spot since August.

Leigh Griffiths misses a penalty for Celtic against Motherwell
Griffiths fired his spot-kick attempt past the post

Ripley continued dealing with the Celtic barrage. Lovely build-up play put Colin Kazim-Richards through on goal but Ripley denied him, this time with his feet.

Motherwell, in that opening half, had none of the edge that had helped them win five on the spin. Their use of the ball was awful, their composure suffering some kind of peculiar bypass.

They continued to invite Celtic on to them. Kieran Tierney and Roberts, again, forced saves from Ripley. True, many of these blocks from the keeper were from attempts delivered straight down his throat, but he had still made seven saves by the time the game was 40 minutes old.

A minute before the break, he was beaten at last, Tierney delivering from the left and Griffiths sweeping it home from close range. One goal was the least that their pressure deserved, but even that slender margin was to be wiped out soon enough.

Motherwell turned up at the party in the second half. At last, they had a bit of attitude and accuracy going forward.

McDonald had the ball in the Celtic net 10 minutes into the half but it was disallowed, controversially, for offside. Celtic now became the nervy team. Dedryck Boyata was an unsettling presence at the heart of their defence as Motherwell's confidence grew.

The equaliser came on the hour when Chris Cadden got the better of Tierney on the left and pulled it back for Celtic's old boy, McDonald, to thump home, aided by a slight deflection off Boyata's knee. It was an emphatic finish from the Australian - one that utterly stunned the visitors.

Scott McDonald celebrates after scoring for Motherwell against Celtic
McDonald (far right) scored against his former club

Celtic dug it out, though. With 15 minutes left - and just after an angry exchange that could have seen Kazim-Richards sent off - Griffiths struck again, his snapshot going through Ripley's legs.

A frustrated figure for much of the afternoon, the irrepressible Celtic striker found a way of getting the job done - again.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 18Law
  • 16Kennedy
  • 6McManusBooked at 83mins
  • 3Hammell
  • 26CaddenSubstituted forAinsworthat 76'minutes
  • 14LasleySubstituted forLeitchat 76'minutes
  • 17GomisSubstituted forThomasat 90'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonald
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 13Samson
  • 15Chalmers
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 28Watt
  • 32Hall

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 20Boyata
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 63Tierney
  • 8Brown
  • 6Bitton
  • 27RobertsSubstituted forArmstrongat 90+1'minutes
  • 25JohansenSubstituted forRogicat 70'minutes
  • 13Kazim-RichardsBooked at 75minsSubstituted forMcGregorat 76'minutes
  • 9GriffithsBooked at 45mins

Substitutes

  • 3Izaguirre
  • 4Ambrose
  • 14Armstrong
  • 15Commons
  • 18Rogic
  • 38Fasan
  • 42McGregor
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
9,123

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home9
Away23
Shots on Target
Home4
Away13
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 1, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Celtic 2.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from long range on the right is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Jack Leitch (Motherwell).

Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces Patrick Roberts.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Morgaro Gomis.

Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Booking

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

Nir Bitton (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the left side of the box misses to the left.

Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Attempt blocked. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Kieran Tierney.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Chris Cadden because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Callum McGregor replaces Colin Kazim-Richards.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Keith Lasley.

Booking

Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, Celtic 2. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kieran Tierney.

Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Tomas Rogic replaces Stefan Johansen.

Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Colin Kazim-Richards (Celtic).

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, Celtic 1. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Chris Cadden.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic33237378255376
2Aberdeen33215756362068
3Hearts32178754332159
4Motherwell33135154149-844
5St Johnstone33127144851-343
6Ross County33134164855-743
7Dundee33914104849-141
8Partick Thistle33118143239-741
9Inverness CT32109134043-339
10Hamilton3399153655-1936
11Kilmarnock3388173354-2132
12Dundee Utd3366213358-2524
View full Scottish Premiership table

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