Motherwell lose to Celtic's late show

Last updated : 25 February 2024 By John Wilson

Motherwell failed to hold on in stoppage time and conceded twice to lose 3-1 to Celtic at Fir Park.

In the words of the old cliché this was a game of two halves.  Motherwell made plenty chances and led at the break thanks to a brilliant Blair Spittal strike but the visitors controlled the second period.  An early equaliser added to their momentum and the home defence eventually succumbed to lose two goals in added time.  There was no reward for a huge home effort.


Blair Spittal returned from injury and took the place vacated by Harry Paton as the visitors kicked off in the late February sunshine.  Theo Bair had the ball in the net after three minutes but his excellent work was for nought as he was offside when he collected near the halfway line.

Motherwell looked good and created several decent opportunities.  Bair and Jack Vale were always available to chase long balls from defence and the Celtic rearguard did not look comfortable.  After half an hour a fine combination with Vale, Bair and Spittal set up Georgie Gent on the left of the penalty box but the defender’s effort was wild.

There was no mistake when Lennon Miller made a fine turn at the angle of the box and found Spittal just inside the ‘D’.  The midfielder struck first time and placed a curler to Joe Hart’s right.  It was a magnificent goal and offered a deserved lead at the interval.

Celtic swapped Kyogo for Adam Idah at the restart and it proved to be decisive.  Within five minutes he headed Taylor’s cross beyond Liam Kelly to spark the revival.

Motherwell had one further opportunity to regain the lead when Davor Zdravkovski chipped to allow Miller the chance of a header.  Hart had to use his full stretch to tip the ball over for a corner.

After that there was one way traffic.  Motherwell were pinned back but with the help of a few stops from Kelly and stout defending the threats were rebuffed.  By the end of normal time both managers had used their complement of substitutes but the fourth official had indicated that an ominous six minutes remained.

Half of that had gone when Idah scored his second with a glancing touch into Kelly’s left corner.  It was a cruel blow for the ‘Well players who had given so much in the game.  Luis Palma added a third in the closing seconds to give the visitors a flattering scoreline.

There will be little time for reflection before Motherwell take to the road on Wednesday for a huge game in Livingston.

Motherwell 1 Celtic 3

Attendance 8,693

Team: Kelly, Devine (O’Donnell 83), McGinn, Mugabi, Casey (Butcher 72), Gent (Blaney 89), Miller (Shaw 83), Zdravkovski, Paton, Bair, Vale (Nicholson 72)

Sunday 25 February 2024

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