Scottish Premiership
CelticCeltic4MotherwellMotherwell1

Celtic 4-1 Motherwell: Hosts win bad-tempered game

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Celtic beat Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership after a bad-tempered second half as they made it nine domestic wins in a row.

The home side were 2-0 ahead through Scott Sinclair and Odsonne Edouard when the game descended into controversy.

Gboly Ariyibi scored with Celtic expecting the ball to be returned to them after a Ryan Christie injury.

That reignited the contest until Edouard and Oli Burke extinguished all doubt with two late, great finishes.

Celtic have now won 16 of their past 18 league games at home to Motherwell as they restored their eight-point lead at the top of the Premiership.

In turn, that ended Motherwell's own six-match winning streak in the Premiership.

There were injury concerns for both sides. Motherwell's Tom Aldred and Carl McHugh were both taken off with head injuries, while Christie limped off for Celtic with a hamstring concern.

Apoplectic fans and furious confrontations

Brendan Rodgers' side have once again dispatched a team that came to Celtic Park in super form and full of confidence.

It looked as though they would do so comfortably, but only after the departure of Aldred - who was forced off with a head gash following a clash with Edouard.

That unsettled Motherwell, who began the match in composed fashion, and they soon found themselves behind.

Christie swung in a cross from deep, Sinclair slipped the attentions of Charles Dunne and volleyed past Mark Gillespie from just six yards out.

You sensed Motherwell needed to see the half out without conceding again, but Celtic had other ideas, scoring a second goal full of quality.

Dedryck Boyata found the impressive teenager Ewan Henderson with the outside of his right boot, the youngster whipped an early cross in from the right and Edouard was in front of his marker to flash the header into the net.

James Forrest was denied a third before the break as it appeared Celtic would go on and blow the visitors away.

But then came the moment that sparked real controversy. Christie's game was over but with the game stopped to allow him treatment, Celtic expected Motherwell to give them back possession in keeping with the unwritten etiquette of the game.

Young James Scott, who led the line for Motherwell, either did not know or did not care for convention as he broke away to shoot and though Scott Bain saved, Ariyibi tucked in the rebound.

The home crowd and players were apoplectic and there were furious confrontations as a result.

The incident did seem to rattle Celtic somewhat but Motherwell, though back in the game, could not take advantage.

They lost substitute McHugh to a worrying-looking head injury before Celtic put an emphatic sheen on the scoreline.

Edouard curled a beautiful free kick over the wall and past Gillespie before Burke slotted beyond the keeper after great work from Forrest.

Scott Sinclair opens the scoring for Celtic
Scott Sinclair opens the scoring for Celtic

Celtic show their class - analysis

Had Motherwell gone on to take anything from the game, the controversy over the Ariyibi goal would have raged long and hard.

As it was, it was academic, Celtic's class coming to the fore with those late goals from their record signing Edouard, and with the most expensive Scottish player in Burke.

Celtic will feel aggrieved that their clean-sheet record was blemished with a goal that arguably should not have happened.

But they are once again in a position of some comfort at the top of the Premiership ahead of a tricky trip to Tynecastle.

Motherwell acquitted themselves well and will continue to earn plaudits for their rebranded style of play. Unfortunately for them it was not good enough to take anything from the home of the champions.

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 29Bain
  • 2ToljanBooked at 82mins
  • 20BoyataBooked at 53mins
  • 35AjerBooked at 55mins
  • 63TierneySubstituted forHayesat 68'minutes
  • 6BittonSubstituted forBurkeat 84'minutes
  • 52Henderson
  • 49Forrest
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forHendryat 54'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 22EdouardBooked at 21mins

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 4Hendry
  • 15Hayes
  • 23Lustig
  • 25Burke
  • 30Weah
  • 73Johnston

Motherwell

Formation 4-3-3

  • 20Gillespie
  • 14Grimshaw
  • 5AldredSubstituted forMcHughat 23'minutesSubstituted forDonnellyat 78'minutes
  • 18Dunne
  • 2TaitBooked at 53mins
  • 8CampbellBooked at 87mins
  • 23GorrinBooked at 53mins
  • 28Turnbull
  • 32HastieBooked at 90mins
  • 35ScottSubstituted forSammonat 65'minutes
  • 12Ariyibi

Substitutes

  • 4McHugh
  • 6Hartley
  • 11Frear
  • 13Ferguson
  • 19Sammon
  • 22Donnelly
  • 24Johnson
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
58,604

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home14
Away5
Shots on Target
Home8
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 4, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Motherwell 1.

  3. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

  6. Booking

    Jake Hastie (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Jonny Hayes (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jake Hastie (Motherwell).

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 4, Motherwell 1. Oliver Burke (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by James Forrest.

  10. Post update

    Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Alex Rodriguez (Motherwell).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jeremy Toljan (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Gboly Ariyibi (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 3, Motherwell 1. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  16. Booking

    Allan Campbell (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Allan Campbell (Motherwell).

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Oliver Burke replaces Nir Bitton.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27203464154963
2Rangers27167460204055
3Aberdeen27155745311450
4Kilmarnock27137737271046
5Hearts2713593332144
6Hibernian27108940301038
7St Johnstone27115112734-738
8Motherwell27113133039-936
9Livingston2797112828034
10Dundee2746172456-3218
11Hamilton2753191758-4118
12St Mirren2735192055-3514
View full Scottish Premiership table

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