Celtic 3-0 Motherwell: The Hoops return to the top of the table
Celtic returned to the top of the Scottish Premiership table with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Motherwell, albeit a silver lining that saw Odsonne Edouard limp off in the first half.
Anthony Ralston scored in his first game of the season before Scott Sinclair doubled the home side’s lead from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark. Michael Johnston sealed the deal before the break in a superb 45 minutes from Celtic.
Celtic made just one change from the defeat to Hibernian at the weekend, with Ralston coming in for Kristoffer Ajer as Brendan Rodgers reverted his team’s shape to a flat back-four. And Ralston looked determined to make a mark in his first start of the season from the onset and he skipped past a Motherwell player in the opening moments to fire a ball across the face of the goal but none of his teammates could get close to the ball.
The Hoops gradually developed some momentum. Olivier Ntcham saw a shot get deflected narrowly wide of the post. Scott Sinclair was denied by Gillespie from close range after Edouard had picked up a loose pass from Liam Grimshaw and passed it to the winger.
And Motherwell failed to understand the warning as Celtic punished two more lapses ruthlessly within three minutes. Credits to Edouard for holding the ball up really well before releasing a perfect through ball to Ralston, who slotted the ball past Gillespie with aplomb to give Celtic the deserved lead.
Charles Dunne was the next culprit for Motherwell as he took James Forrest down inside the penalty area. The referee had absolutely no hesitation whatsoever to point to the spot and Sinclair stepped up to take it. Sinclair drilled the ball low beyond Gillespie’s right hand into the corner to double the Hoops’ money.
The mood at Celtic dampened a bit when Edouard hobbled off the pitch and had to be replaced by Johnston. And Johnstone didn’t take much longer to make an impact and in the final minute of stoppage time, he slammed the ball into the back of the net from the penalty area to make it 3-0.
The second half saw nothing from Motherwell in terms of a reaction. Celtic had a couple of chances through Ntcham but in the end, it was a very comfortable night for Rodgers and co.
Delighted with the 3-0 victory over Motherwell, here’s how some Celtic fans reacted on Twitter.
Good result , great to see few younger players getting a game, play them more often 👌🏻👌🏻🇮🇪💚💚
— Dún Geimhin csc ⭐️ (@DunGeimhincsc) December 19, 2018
— 🎄 SNOWTΔ 🏴 🎄 (@FrFintan_Stack) December 19, 2018
Wee Mikey deserves more game time.. Was great tonight
— Macky (@mackyy007) December 19, 2018
Champions again 😉
— CeltiCRa7⭐️-IAR🍀 (@CeltiCRab19671) December 19, 2018
Normal service resumed.
— CW (@ConWhe) December 19, 2018
Good maybe we can stop rangers after all
— Alex Anderson (@AlexAnd49937751) December 19, 2018
Very efficient performance against rough house tactics. Great young players in the squad.
— Captain Moonlight (@CaptainMoonlig1) December 19, 2018
A great bunch of lads.
— Lainey__D 🏴⚽️ (@Lainey__D) December 19, 2018