Celtic 2, Motherwell 0

Match Date: Saturday, January 22 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 58,438.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, Paterson (Fitzpatrick 69), Corrigan, McBride, Foran (Wright 84), Clarkson (Fagan 69), McDonald. 
Subs not used: Corr, Kinniburgh, Higgins, Keogh.

Booked: none.


Celtic  2     Motherwell  0 

DESPITE A VASTLY-IMPROVED PERFORMANCE DEFENSIVELY, Motherwell were unable to take anything from Parkhead. Two slips in the midfield allowed their hosts to break and score, though a lot of encouragement can be taken from this game. 

The home side were first to attack, Petrov running onto a Hartson ball and his cross broke off Craigan to Laursen who put the ball over. Sutton then crossed for McGeady to make an attempt but good defending from Paul Quinn saw a corner conceded, which was cleared. Motherwell then showed, Paterson and Hammel combining to find McDonald but his header was hooked away by Balde. McDonald then ran onto a ball from McBride and was hacked down by Varga though Referee Fyfe decided the tackle was somehow legal. Sutton, well offside, continued to play on despite the whistle and shot wide though there was no booking.  Motherwell were coming more into things, and after Laursen had conceded a corner, Quinn quickly found McDonald but his snapshot flew wide. Again the Fir Parkers attacked, Foran to Clarkson but his lay-off took McDonald by surprise and the chance was gone. McDonald then took an opportunity to find Paterson but the ball fell just beyond his teammate and McNamara blasted the ball away. A first-time shot from McBride then went wide from 25 yards and at this point the game was very even. Celtic gained a free kick when Sutton went down very easily under minimal Partridge pressure some 35 yards out. Petrov took the free kick but crashed it off the wall and away.  

The home fans were screaming for a booking when Clarkson caught McGeady high in an accidental clash. Hammel then had to knock the ball behind under McGeady pressure, though as the ball came to Laursen he crossed behind. Laursen then escaped when he brought Clarkson down near the box, no free kick even though the ball was well away. There was a foul given though when McBride was taken out by Lennon. Motherwell had to defend when Sutton threatened, Partridge tackling superbly on three quick occasions. Sutton took the throw to find Hartson, and he saw his shot blocked by Craigan and behind. The corner fell kindly for Sutton but Marshall saved superbly. David Clarkson required treatment when he was hauled down by Petrov. His teammate Blade then conceded a corner ahead of McDonald, though McBride possibly could have done better with the resultant header. Up field, Marshall did well to deny McGeady with a turn and shot. As Motherwell attacked, Corrigan was caught late by a nasty Thompson hack and even when play did stop there was no word from the Referee. Two minutes later all the good defensive work from Motherwell was undone. Motherwell had possession in midfield but a careless pass from Quinn allowed Celtic to break quickly.  Hartson and Sutton combined to send Petrov away and despite the attentions of Partridge he was able to score, Marshall unlucky despite getting a hand to the ball. Again Thompson was guilty of a late tackle, and once more McBride was the target, but like before, the Referee ignored the offence. Loose play from Corrigan allowed Petrov to break and find McGeady but his cross was blocked behind. Marshall, commanding as ever, gathered. Just before the break Craigan found McDonald but his angled drive flew wide of the far post. 

Half Time     Celtic  1     Motherwell  0 

Good chasing from Foran denied Blade getting in on McGeady's cross and an early conrer was conceded, though this was cleared. Quinn was then adjudged to have fouled Sutton and a free kick was given well outside the box, though Petrov moved the ball unchallenged by the Referee right onto the corner of the box.  The Motherwell defence dealt with the free kick and the danger was over. Richie Foran then won a conrer as he raced onto a McDonald forward ball. Cleared to Hammel he crossed in deep buy McNamara just cleared ahead of McBride. However, slacker midfield play cost Motherwell dear just moments afterwards. His loose midfield ball was pounced upon by Thompson, and he sent Sutton racing clear to beat Marshall from the edge of the box. It was cruel on Motherwell, but they refused to give up. They should have had a free kick near the box when Lennon clearly handled the ball but play continued. McNamara was then the culprit of a very bad challenge on Clarkson which left the young striker limping, and once more Referee Fyfe failed to take any action whatsoever against the defender.  The ball did break for Paterson but he saw his shot from 25 yards out held by Douglas in goal. Celtic were given a corner when Sutton drove an angled drive wide though Marshall was adjudged to have got a palm to the ball.  

Paul Quinn did well under severe pressure to hook the ball away. Motherwell made a double change; Clarkson limped off after some hefty tackles to be replaced by Fagan, with Paterson making way for Marc Fitzpatrick. The home side attacked and Sutton tried to chip Marshall from outside the box, the ball falling well over the net. The home side then made a couple of their own changes, Juninho replacing Hartson and McGeady making way for Camara. The Motherwell players were angered when, despite the Linesman giving a goal kick, Referee Fyfe declared Marshall had parried a Camara shot behind, though the conrer was cleared. Motherwell had a chance when Laursen found McBride though the free kick from 30 yards was cleared. The Fir Parkers passed up a chance to pull one back when Fagan saw his cross towards Foran missed by the striker, though he was under pressure. Not for the first time, Thompson was then very late on McBride but like before there was a distinct lack of cards shown. Foran then made way for Kenny Wright, and Motherwell continued to press for something.  Fitzpatrick made an impressive run into the box but he was crowded out by a desperate home defence. Terrific defending from Partridge then denied Juninho as he looked set to pounce on the six-yard line, and the game was soon brought to an end shortly afterwards. 

Full time     Celtic  2     Motherwell  0

Match Report by Ricky Mullen