Celtic 4-1 Motherwell: Hosts win bad-tempered game
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.
- Reaction and how it happened
- ‘I’m fully concentrated on Celtic’ – Rodgers
- Well should have let us score – Rodgers
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.