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  • Sinclair is spot-on as Celts continue unbeaten run

    Sinclair is spot-on as Celts continue unbeaten run

    By: Tony Connelly on 29 Nov, 2017 21:57

  • Scottish Premiership
    Fir Park, Motherwell
    Wednesday November 29, 2017

    (Lustig OG 78)

    (Sinclair 88)

    SCOTT Sinclair was the Celtic goal hero at Fir Park, scoring the equaliser in a thrilling 1-1 draw against Motherwell. The champions dominated the game and were unfortunate to not have come away with all three points as they extended their unbeaten domestic run to 66 games.

    Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side which defeated Motherwell in Sunday’s League Cup final at Hampden, with Leigh Griffiths replacing the injured Moussa Dembele up front and Scott Sinclair making way for Patrick Roberts who started out on the right, with James Forrest switching to the left wing.

    Motherwell started the game in a similar fashion to Sunday’s match as they pressed Celtic high up the pitch and tried to pressure Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic in defence. Celtic remained composed in possession, however, and began to create openings down the flanks early, with Kieran Tierney and James Forrest linking up well.

    Out on the opposite wing Roberts picked up an injury just 10 minutes in and had to be replaced by Tom Rogic.

    Griffiths initiated Celtic’s first chance with a shot from the edge of the area which was deflected out for a corner. Callum McGregor was causing the home side problems with well-timed runs and quick footwork. Midway through the first half he received the ball on the edge of the box and created enough space to get a shot off. Trevor Carson was equal to it and McGregor fizzed the rebound just wide of the far post.

    Rogic tested Carson next when he got on the end of Forrest’s cut back on the edge of the penalty area, only to send his effort over the crossbar. Forrest then had a chance of his own when he burst into the area from the left and created a yard of space allowing him to shot, but Richard Tait slid in to block the effort.

    Tierney was inches away from breaking the deadlock just before the break but Carson pulled off a wonder save to deny him just a couple of yards from the goal-line.

    Celtic immediately stepped things up a gear with the start of the second half as they went in search of a goal. A burst of pace from Tierney resulted in a wonderful cross along the six-yard box. Griffiths’ collected the ball but his shot was blocked as was Forrest’s follow-up.

    Motherwell maintained their energetic pressing but Celtic remained composed in possession and were take advantage of the home side’s high line by catching them on the counter-attack.

    Rogic initiated one such attack early in the second half when he darted away with the ball alongside Forrest and McGregor in support. Forrest cut inside and fed the ball to McGregor whose low shot was heading for the back of the net if not for a brilliant save from Carson.

    Moments later McGregor skipped past two Motherwell defenders inside the box and flashed a low shot inches wide of the far post.

    However, the home side struck lucky with 12 minutes remaining when Mikael Lustig deflected a Craig Tanner free-kick into the back of the Celtic net.

    Fortune continued to favour Motherwell when Rogic’s strike from outside the area rebounded off the inside of the post and into the arms of a grateful Carson. However, Motherwell’s luck ran out with two minutes remaining. McGregor’s effort was saved by Carson but the Hoops midfielder was brought down by Andy Rose in the box.

    Substitute Scott Sinclair stepped up to take the spot-kick amidst a chorus of booing from the home support and coolly tucked the ball into the top corner.

    CELTIC: (4-1-2-3) Gordon; Lustig (Edouard 80), Simunovic, Boyata, Tierney; Brown; McGregor, Armstrong (Sinclair 73); Roberts, Forrest; Griffiths
    Not Used: De Vries, Ajer, Sviatchenko, Ntcham, Rogic,

    MOTHERWELL: (5-4-1) Carson; Cadden, Kipre, Hartley, Dunne, Tait; McHugh (Bowman 76), Campbell, Petravicius (Rose 45), Frear (Tanner 66); Moult
    Not Used: Griffiths, Grimshaw, Bigirimana, Plummer

    Website Man of the Match: Callum McGregor


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