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  • Frustration at Fir Park as late goal sees Celts held to a draw

    Frustration at Fir Park as late goal sees Celts held to a draw

    By: Tony Connelly on 05 Dec, 2018 21:54

  • Scottish Premiership
    Wednesday, December 5, 2018
    Fir Park, Motherwell

    MOTHERWELL…1
    (Johnson 85)

    CELTIC…1
    (Christie 13)

    CELTIC were left disappointed at Fir Park as a late equaliser from the home side denied the Hoops the victory they deserved after dominating the match for most of the 90 minutes. Ryan Christie continued his fine form with his second goal inside three days to fire Celtic ahead early on, but Danny Johnson equalised with minutes remaining.

    It was a physical opening to the game as both sides fought to establish an early footing. However, it wasn’t long before Celtic settled into their rhythm and began dominating possession. Jonny Hayes initiated the first chance for Celtic after he cut the ball back for Leigh Griffiths inside the Motherwell box. The striker teed-up Callum McGregor, whose shot from the edge of the area was comfortably saved by Mark Gillespie.

    But the Motherwell keeper could do little to deny the on-form Ryan Christie in Celtic’s next attack. The League Cup final goal hero struck again with an excellent finish to put the Hoops in the lead in the 13th minute. Kieran Tierney threaded a pass into Christie's path, and he darted through the middle of the Motherwell defence before steering the ball past Gillespie into the far corner.

    Benkovic found the back of the net from a corner midway through the first half with a lovely scissor-kick from a tight angle but referee, Kevin Clancy, disallowed the goal, harshly penalising the Croatian defender for an alleged infringement on his opponent. 

    Celtic continued to push for a second goal and were awarded a penalty when Andy Rose bundled into the back of Christie inside the box. Griffiths took the spot-kick but the goalkeeper saved the initial shot before punching the ball clear.

    McGregor came close to doubling the lead after Olivier Ntcham burst forward and cut a pass back but McGregor’s side-footed effort was deflected away from goal.

    The tempo from the first-half carried over into the second and a scramble inside the Motherwell penalty area saw Scott Sinclair, who had replaced Ntcham at the start of the second half, try to squeeze a shot off before Jonny Hayes' effort was cleared off the line.

    Despite Celtic’s dominance, Motherwell managed to stay in the game and seemed to grow in confidence as they pressed further up the pitch. It never amounted to much more than a few corners at that point, though, and the Hoops dealt with them well.

    As Brendan Rodgers' side continued their search for a second goal, Hayes showed good pace and strength to win the ball on the halfway line and quickly played through McGregor. He darted towards goal but Carl McHugh’s last-ditch tackle prevented him from getting a shot away.

    Late in the game, a stray pass from Odsonne Edouard resulted in Motherwell breaking away and Gordon pulled off a good save to prevent Connor Sammon from grabbing an equaliser.

    But the home side did find an equaliser late on through Danny Johnson, the midfielder's left-footed shot from the left side of the box flashing past Craig Gordon and into the net. 

    CELTIC: Gordon; Gamboa, Simunovic, Benkovic, Tierney; Brown, McGregor, Christie; Hayes (Rogic 80), Ntcham (Sinclair 45); Griffiths (Edouard 66)
    Subs: Bain, Hendry, Izaguirre, Forrest

    MOTHERWELL: Gillespie, Tait, McHugh, Aldred, Hartley (Rose 5), Campbell, Grimshaw, Sammon, Donnelly (Livingstone 13- Main 72), Johnson, Turnbull
    Subs: Ferguson, Bowman, Bigirimana, Rodriguez Gorrin

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