Scottish Premiership
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Motherwell 0-0 Hibernian: Stubborn visitors hold Stephen Robinson's side to draw

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Highlights: Motherwell 0-0 Hibernian

Motherwell opened a five-point gap over fourth-placed Aberdeen despite being held to a frustrating home draw by Hibernian.

Substitute Christy Manzinga hit the woodwork for the hosts - his effort palmed on to the bar by Ofir Marciano.

Motherwell dominated for long spells but were unable to create more clear chances.

Hibs striker Florian Kamberi also came close to breaking the deadlock, his header striking the post.

The draw means sixth-placed Hibs fall two points behind Livingston, while Aberdeen can narrow the margin on Motherwell when they face St Mirren on Sunday.

Tame effort from both sides

This was largely underwhelming, certainly in the first 45 minutes. Perhaps there was overly optimistic expectations; high-flying, third-placed Motherwell were fresh from a great win at Pittodrie, and Hibs looked revitalised under Jack Ross on the back of a fine second-half comeback against Hamilton Accies in midweek.

The result? A stalemate, despite the promising attacking options open to both managers.

Sure enough, Kamberi, Martin Boyle and Darryl Horgan began brightly enough for Hibs but it was Motherwell who grew into the game and subdued their visitors. Allan Campbell, Liam Polworth and Liam Donnelly bossed things in midfield - not for the first time this season - while James Scott looked very good down the left, and was at the heart of much of the home side's good early work.

He cut inside in the first few minutes and fired a curling effort narrowly past Marciano's left post, whetting the appetite for the feast of football we thought was coming.

Famine would be overstating it but what followed was, in the main, disappointing. A well-struck free-kick from Jake Carroll was seen all the way, and well parried out, by Marciano. Campbell volleyed just wide when Hibs failed to clear their lines before a couple of long-range efforts from Polworth flashed inches over the bar.

Home keeper Mark Gillespie barely had a single thing of note to do in the opening half, with the exception of flopping easily down on Boyle's early effort, which had all the sting taken out of it by a defender's block.

Surely things would improve after the break?

That was certainly the case from Hibs' perspective, as they finally woke up. Within minutes of the restart, Horgan took advantage of a slack pass out of the Motherwell defence to stride forward and fire in a powerful shot, to finally give Gillespie in goal something to do. He could only parry the ball away, and when it was played back in, a diving header from Kamberi came back off the keeper's left post.

As if shocked by the unexpected nature of that threat, given how tame Hibs had been up to that point, Motherwell then upped the ante, with Scott drawing a decent save from Marciano, who had to get down well to smother his low drive.

Manzinga, just on the field as a second half substitute, must surely have been about to start his goal celebration as he watched his effort arrow towards the top corner, only to see the Israeli keeper get his fingertips to it to divert the ball on to the crossbar.

There was almost a late goal when home substitute Mikael Ndjoli was played in and from an acute angle, his cross-shot was blocked by the impressive Marciano, who was determined to leave Lanarkshire with something.

So both sides hit the woodwork, both sides huffed and puffed, and both sides left with a point. Probably fair enough. But one thing is certain: both can play an awful lot better.

Stat

Man of the match - Ofir Marciano

Several players can be very happy with their efforts. The entire home midfield of Polworth, Donnelly and Campbell were impressive, and Declan Gallagher at the back strolled through the match.

However, the best, and certainly most memorable thing in the whole 90 minutes was the second-half save from Hibs keeper Marciano from late substitute Manzinga.

For that, and a couple of other key saves to keep a clean sheet, I'm going to give my man of the match award to the Israeli keeper.

'We should have had three points' - Reaction

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I think we should have had three points. Some of our build-up play was brilliant today. If we had a 20-goal striker, we would have won the game today.

"I have to credit their goalkeeper - the save he makes to stop Christy Manzinga is brilliant. It was a fantastic save. Sometimes you can't do any more than that."

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: "It was a hard-fought match against a good team in very good form. We came here to win - we started with two strikers - but there wasn't a huge amount of opportunities for either side.

"Given where we were not so long ago and the progress we've made in the past 10-12 games, it's another point to our total."

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 20Gillespie
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 31Gallagher
  • 5Hartley
  • 3Carroll
  • 22DonnellyBooked at 34mins
  • 6Campbell
  • 19Polworth
  • 16IlicSubstituted forSeedorfat 62'minutes
  • 37MacIverSubstituted forManzingaat 74'minutes
  • 17ScottSubstituted forNdjoliat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Carson
  • 2Tait
  • 11Seedorf
  • 12Manzinga
  • 24Mugabi
  • 44Ndjoli
  • 52O'Hara

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 17JamesBooked at 89mins
  • 18Jackson
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 7HorganSubstituted forGullanat 78'minutes
  • 40OmeongaBooked at 24mins
  • 11NewellBooked at 49mins
  • 22KamberiSubstituted forAllanat 65'minutes
  • 9DoidgeBooked at 37mins
  • 10BoyleBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Whittaker
  • 20Hallberg
  • 23Allan
  • 24McGregor
  • 27Bogdan
  • 33Murray
  • 47Gullan
Referee:
Colin Steven
Attendance:
5,767

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home11
Away4
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 0, Hibernian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Hibernian 0.

Booking

Martin Boyle (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Tom James (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Liam Polworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tom James (Hibernian).

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Allan Campbell.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Stephane Omeonga.

Attempt blocked. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Mikael Ndjoli replaces James Scott.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ofir Marciano.

Attempt saved. Christy Manzinga (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. James Gullan replaces Daryl Horgan.

Foul by Peter Hartley (Motherwell).

Daryl Horgan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. James Scott (Motherwell) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Christy Manzinga replaces Ross MacIver.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Daryl Horgan.

Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Attempt saved. Daryl Horgan (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by James Scott (Motherwell).

Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Scott Allan replaces Florian Kamberi.

Foul by Sherwin Seedorf (Motherwell).

Tom James (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Sherwin Seedorf replaces Christian Ilic.

Foul by Ross MacIver (Motherwell).

(Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Daryl Horgan.

Attempt blocked. Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. James Scott (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top left corner.

Liam Polworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tom James (Hibernian).

Christian Ilic (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Tom James.

Peter Hartley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Hanlon (Hibernian).

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Peter Hartley.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22191261144758
2Rangers20172154114353
3Motherwell2313283427741
4Aberdeen2210663027336
5Livingston238783531431
6Hibernian237883137-629
7Kilmarnock2365121929-1023
8St Johnstone215881836-1823
9Ross County2257102245-2322
10St Mirren2254131730-1319
11Hamilton2346132340-1718
12Hearts2228121835-1714
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