CELTIC 4-1 MOTHERWELL: Sunday 24/02/19
3PM kick off. Referee. Kevin Clancy
Celtic Park. SPFL.
League duty at Paradise and a game against the Aptly nicknamed The Steelmen. Have this team forever been known for hammer throwing their way through games? Games with Motherwell are often feisty and this one would play out the final stages with not an inch given in trying to play actual football. Brendan Rodgers made a swathe of changes from Thursdays impressive display in Valencia and it was much deserved. Also time to see who is up to speed and who can handle first team pressure. Out went Simunovic, Brown and McGregor with Oli Burke and Hayes dropping to the bench. It was a welcome return for today’s captain Tierney in his hot spot of Left Back. Bitton was starting his first game of the season after lengthy injury and starting was Sinclair and Edourd up top. The big test of the day would come for young Ewan Henderson making his debut.
Celtic in hoops set the game in motion with a few attacks and balls into the box by James Forrest. These early efforts easily dealt with by a strong looking Motherwell defence. On 11 mins. Big Edourd was sandwiched by the centre backs and received a free outside of the box. This came to nothing. The match began to lose any resemblance of the beautiful game with much of the action taking place in midfield. Each side had their moments on the ball with a few deft touches or passes. Most of the time wasting passes or scrappy fouls and out of play balls. Celtic were playing further forward but being crowded out in the final third. Hostility was present.
Wee Henderson on the 19th minute gave an insight into what could be ahead. He received the ball in the box, dragged back and shot but it deflected of a Motherwell chest for a corner. The corner was wasted as the Motherwell goalie didn’t have to step off his line to catch.
20 mins: 50/50 ball contested in the air by big Edourd and Tom Aldrid. Aldrid received a busted face and Edourd unfairly got Yellow. There was no malice or misconduct by either player it was just a clash of heads.
Unfortunately Tom Aldrid’s game was over and was replaced by Irishman Carl McHugh.
23-25 mins: Celtic going forward had two Christie shots in this time period and both blocked by the resilient Motherwell back line.
Most of the positive action for the Hoops was coming on the right side of the pitch. Toljan and Forrest looking highly active but no benefits until the half hour mark. The ball was timely intercepted by Nir Bitton and laid on nicely for KT who galloped toward the opposition at speed covering about 25 yards. He made a crisp pass to Ryan Christie whom wisely lifted the ball up and over the centre backs to find Sinclair to catch first time and volley the ball into the net. Gorgeous goal. 1-0.
32 mins: More Celtic pressure led to a handball at the edge of the D but Christie would waste another set piece. Celtic were really pushing forward now and more goals were inevitable.
34 mins: Ryan Christie seemed to be at the core of most of Celtic’s promising play and split the Motherwell defence with a pass for French Ed to run onto but the Well keeper made it his in a slide and smother.
36 mins: Goal. 2-0. Ewan Henderson showed composure and maturity to swing a floated ball into the French Hitman and Edourd stabbed the ball into the net with a marker hanging on his back. Now we were rockin.
Next play worth noting was just before half time when a cracking passage of play was started by a Pass to Henderson who took out his marker with a back heel to the on running Toljan. He neatly passed into Forrest who done a 1-2 with Henderson to receive in the box but hit the Keeper. The Steelmen were losing their mettle but still scrambled and panicked to get in two down at half time.
Second half started with this young Motherwell team hoping to pull one back to get into the game. After six consecutive wins they were entitled to hold onto hope and they looked the part because their strip made them look like Roma. Kevin Clancy was lending a hand by strangely judging our robust play to be greater than their robust play. Motherwell were very fortunate to not have picked up many bookings first half. An attack by our opponents saw Ryan Christie intercept and take an almighty swing to pass up the pitch. Didn’t end well as Ryan pulled up and had to be replaced by the much maligned Jack Hendry on 49 mins.
51 mins: Controversial to say the least. Very unsportsmanlike and absolutely rude in the goal scored by Motherwell. Celtic put the ball out of play due to injury and anybody who follows the game or plays it knows that fair play expects you to take the throw and return to the opposing defence but mainly the keeper. It isn’t in the rules but that would be the reason fans applaud the decent gesture. Motherwell took the throw and it fell for 18 year old starlet James Scott and instead of decency he chose the unreasonable route. As nearly every Celtic player was upfield and never imagining this passage of play and that left a one on one with Bain. James Scott tried to put the ball past Bain but the goalie stretched and palmed it out to an on running Ariyibi to stroke in from close range. Celtic park rose up in a loud chorus of Boo’s. The players derision and the shock on the refs face tells you what everyone thinks. But it stood. So be it. 2-1.
Celtic were a little shell shocked and confused as the hangover from the goal swept through the team. So with this apparent Motherwell went looking for the equaliser and not the decent thing to do in the situation which is to let their opponents score free of charge. Was never going to happen.
55 mins:Motherwell’s Grimshaw in a shot from distance succeeded only in going out near the corner flag. Deadly shooting. Stunning.
57 mins: Number 35 The Sinner, James Scott had his effort but he saw it blaze away over the bar and probably out of the stadium. Little rat boy.
58 mins: Celtic push on with good link up again with Forrest and Hendo and the latter taking a curling shot just over the bar.
Over the next 10 minutes played out in a wall of booing noise Celtic went looking the third and anytime the little rat got the ball it wasn’t pleasant. Also the ref called two bounce balls and in these 50/50’s maybe Kevin Clancy was giving Motherwell a chance to rectify James Scott’s rude play. They didn’t.
68 mins: Captain Tierney gives Wee Jamesy the armband and made way for the revitalised Johnny Hayes. So good these days the support love to see the Durty Dubliner enter play. Fresh legs and fresh impetus.
76 mins: This was a long stop in play as earlier sub Carl McHugh had to be stretchered off with a serious neck injury. We at Talk Celtic hope the lad makes a quick recovery and it isn’t serious.
79 mins: Hastie goes over in the box looking for a penalty. Clancy tells him to get up but no card. Celtic free kick.
81 mins: Toljan with another very soft yellow card. Refs don’t like this bhoys face or he is so unlucky anyway deemed to have pulled down Gboly Ariyibi. Slight tug on the jersey for me.
83 mins: Burke on and Bitton off and he can be happy with his contribution in this game. He showed the intelligent and combative side to his game and slotted in nicely in his first start of this season.
85 mins: Scott Sinclair got an earful in stereo as he was a little greedy when bearing down on goal. Four hooped shirts in attack and one each side free and in perfect position but Scott fluffed his lines. And his work mates let him know.
86 mins: A minute later and it was Edourd’s turn to attack by using his fancy dancing shoes to dazzle. Campbell of Motherwell didn’t like it and hacked our French artist down around 25 yard mark. Eddy insisted it was his kick and he didn’t disappoint. Clean and crisp his dancing shoe struck the ball wickedly and accurate into the back of the net. What a goal. 3-1.
89 mins: This wee nuisance Hastie was being fairly annoying the whole evening and was bugging me because he was being sleekit with it. And this proved to be the case when his team mate bundled Ajer over in our box for Hastie to body check Ajer with his shoulder. No reason, just sly and Ajer squared up to the pest.
90 mins: From the kick out and another Celtic attack James Forrest went on a mazy trademark run and while cruising past 3 players the ball got stuck under his feet. He chose to be wise and pass to Burke on edge of the box. First time and big hit into the roof of the net. Class shows. Goodnight 4-1.
We played out a further 9 minutes added by the ref due to the injury to McHugh. Some after match comments by our own Packie Bonner and Well boss Stephen Robinson have made comments on James Scott’s choice to ignore ethics. Apparently being 18 he is young and will learn. Did he not play junior football where we all learn the decency of the game and the respect you have for your opposition. This is learned before winning. Winning is usually secondary in most kids leagues. So if he has to learn at 18 what he should do in that situation then he will never learn. Brendan wasn’t pleased with it but was brimming with Joy at Ewan Henderson’s debut and man of the match award. Another 3 points to keep us 8 clear.
- 2ToljanBooked at 82mins
- 20BoyataBooked at 53mins
- 35AjerBooked at 55mins
- 63TierneySubstituted forHayesat 68'minutes
- 6BittonSubstituted forBurkeat 84'minutes
- 17ChristieSubstituted forHendryat 54'minutes
- 22EdouardBooked at 21mins
- 5AldredSubstituted forMcHughat 23'minutesSubstituted forDonnellyat 78'minutes
- 2TaitBooked at 53mins
- 8CampbellBooked at 87mins
- 23GorrinBooked at 53mins
- 32HastieBooked at 90mins
- 35ScottSubstituted forSammonat 65'minutes
Hail hail. YNWA
- Sinclair (31)
- Ariyibi (51)