Motherwell lost 2-1 to Celtic at Parkhead. Alan Campbell scored to offer hope but a goal-line clearance in added time prevented an unlikely draw.
The concession of goals at the start of both halves scuppered Motherwell’s game plan and ensured that the home side had command. Campbell’s second half strike offered some encouragement and with pressure in added time we came close to earning an undeserved point
There was an ominous start as Celtic had the ball in our net after two minutes. David Turnbull sent a corner in from our left and Stephen Welsh converted with a powerful header. The poor start almost became a disaster minutes later when Odsonne Edouard came close with a shot from the other side of the penalty area.
Liam Kelly kept us in the game with a variety of saves as his goal came under threat time after time. After half an hour of relentless pressure there were some (small) signs that Motherwell were finding some of the composure that was sadly lacking in the early stages.
Chris Long almost broke through two minutes from the break but he was fouled at the 18 yard line. The striker beat the wall but Scott Bain saved comfortably.
A second goal was lost five minutes into the second period. Edouard produced a turn and shot from 19 yards to beat Kelly. All seemed lost.
A rare 'Well attack arrived just after the hour and it heralded our best spell of the match. Devante Cole pushed up the right and powered into the box to fire on target from a wide angle. The resulting corner produced a chance for Bevis Mugabi but his headed effort was just wide.
With substitutes ready to join the fray we raised another attack. Alan Campbell let fly from 25 yards and his powerful dipping effort flew above the 'keeper and into the net.
The changes were made and some pressure remained on the Celtic goal. With 15 minutes remaining we had the ball flashing across the six yard box but neither Campbell nor Long could connect.
Celtic had more efforts but they could not restore their two goal advantage. As the game entered the final minutes the home side had its turn to defend. There were a few half chances and in the third added minute Harry Smith headed into the ground and watches as the ball headed to goal – only to see Diego Laxalt clear off the line.
There can be no complaints about the result and attention now turns to the game at Rugby Park on Wednesday.
Celtic 2 Motherwell 1
Team: Kelly, O'Donnell, Lamie, Mugabi, Carroll, Maguire (Smith 80), Crawford (O'Hara 67), Campbell, Long, Watt (Roberts 67), Cole
Saturday 6 February 2021