Both teams took the view that the underfoot conditions would hinder the passing game and 4-3-3 was the agreed formation. Sutton was given a starting place and he joined Clarkson and O'Brien in attack.
The pattern of play was clear inside the first five minutes when the ball spent more time in the air than on the deck. Motherwell old boy McDonald had an early chance and it was a bit of a let off to see him miss high from close range to deliver the ball to his own fans in the Cooper Stand.
We had few opportunities in the first half. Sutton caused a stir or two when his aerial power was used in the Celtic penalty box but Boruc was untroubled. Smith in the Motherwell goal made a couple of good stops and he had to be helped by Hammell and Klimpl who produced vital clearances from the six yard box to keep the game goalless at the break.
Well done Coach
Despite Motherwell starting the second half brightly it was the visitors who looked the more likely to score. Inevitably it was McDonald who gave them the lead when a Craigan error (aided by a rogue bounce) let the wee striker sclaff a shot which seemed to confuse Smith. The ball trundled over the line on the hour.
It seemed that one goal would give the visitors all three points as we seemed unable to stage a comeback. It appeared that we had run out of ideas and energy and Celtic enjoyed long periods of possession. Our upfield punts were, in the main, cheerfully soaked up by defenders.
Clarkson won a free kick thirty yards out on the left and it was quickly taken, short to O'Brien who soon reached the dead ball line. We had caught the defence unprepared and the cross found Quinn at the far side. He stroked the ball to Boruc's left post and into the net. It was our first direct shot but it brought us back into the match.
That'll do nicely!