Scottish Premiership
Celtic3Motherwell0

Celtic 3-0 Motherwell

Celtic continued their unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership with a comfortable win at home to Motherwell, despite being reduced to 10 men.

Kris Commons pounced on a Anthony Stokes shot to open the scoring inside the first five minutes.

A foul by Motherwell keeper Gunnar Nielsen on Stokes allowed Commons to convert from the spot.

Stephen McManus turned the ball into his own net before Stokes was dismissed for a lunge on Keith Lasley.

The win is Celtic's tenth in a row with Commons' two first half goals making him the star of the show and puts Celtic 13 points clear at the top of the league table.

Motherwell hang on to third place on 43 points, just one behind Aberdeen, who lost at Inverness.

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Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

After picking up the Scottish Premiership Player of the Month award for December Celtic looked again to Commons to create in the final third.

With Motherwell's Simon Ramsden injured, Stevie Hammell took up the right-back slot for with Zaine Francis-Angol at left-back.

Celtic made the perfect start when Stokes narrowly beat the offside trap and his shot was parried by Gunnar Nielsen into the path of Commons who couldn't miss.

In the 18th minute, Stokes beat the offside trap again, but his shot from the edge of the area flashed inches wide of the post.

After their poor start, Motherwell soon improved with McFadden becoming more of a presence, the former Everton man sending in a cross from that only just eluded the foot of John Sutton.

At the other, end a searing run from James Forrest resulted in a shot whistling narrowly wide, then Lionel Ainsworth fired low and hard after a pacy run, but his shot was just off target.

In the 35th minute Nielsen was forced to save from a Charlie Mulgrew header, then Virgil van Dijk fired over after making space in the box.

Celtic doubled their lead in the 39th minute from the penalty spot, after Stokes knocked a through ball past Nielsen who tripped the striker.

A yellow card was shown to the Faroese keeper and from the spot Commons made no mistake, firing high down the middle for yet another goal to bring his tally for the season to 19.

In the second half Celtic began with more possession, but the first clear chance fell to Motherwell when Iain Vigurs' curling shot was well saved by Fraser Forster.

Immediately after Motherwell should have scored when a deflected effort from Sutton fell to the feet of McFadden who had space and time in the box but his weak shot was stopped by the legs of Forster.

Stokes glanced the crossbar with a curling shot from 20 yards as Celtic attempted to make the points safe, then a free-kick from Lionel Ainsworth was comfortably held by Forster.

At the other end Commons almost completed his hat-trick after a fine counter-attacking run, but his curled shot went just wide.

But it was soon all over, when a cross ball flashed across the box and was turned into his own net by former Celtic defender McManus in the 69th minute.

Stokes was shown a straight red card by referee Bobby Madden after a wild lunging - and completely unnecessary - tackle on Keith Lasley.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic21183048123657
2Aberdeen23142733201344
3Motherwell2214173228443
4Inverness CT21114629191037
5Dundee Utd2397739271234
6St Johnstone228593026429
7Hibernian237792123-228
8St Mirren2265112338-1523
9Kilmarnock2264122635-922
10Ross County2263132639-1321
11Partick Thistle2248102137-1620
12Hearts2335151842-24-1
View full Scottish Premiership table

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