Celtic put four past Motherwell as they continue drive for ninth straight title

In-form Odsonne Edouard grabs two goals for Neil Lennon’s side at Fir Park

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths scores his side’s second goal  during the  Scottish Premiership match against Motherwell at Fir Park Stadium. Photograph:  Steve Welsh/PA Wire

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths scores his side’s second goal during the Scottish Premiership match against Motherwell at Fir Park Stadium. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA Wire

 

Motherwell 0 Celtic 4

Celtic’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park kept the champions on a steady course for their ninth successive Scottish Premiership title.

In-form striker Odsonne Edouard scored after nine minutes of a first half in which the battling home side had missed several chances.

However, it became too much when Leigh Griffiths prodded in number two in the 51st minute before Callum McGregor added a third with a thunderous volley.

Edouard then curled in a wonderful free-kick, his second set-piece goal in two matches, for his 24th goal of the season as Celtic secured a sixth victory in a row since they lost to chasing Rangers at the end of last year.

The Hoops remain seven points ahead of the Light Blues at the top of the table, albeit Steven Gerrard’s men have a game in hand, but if anything it is Neil Lennon’s men who are building a head of steam towards the run-in.

The visitors, with Croatian Jozo Simunovic back in defence, started with purpose and with the confidence of having Edouard and Griffiths in attack.

However, Motherwell were equally enterprising.

Debutant winger Rolando Aarons, signed on loan from Newcastle, had a left-footed shot from 25 yards easily saved by goalkeeper Fraser Forster before Well attacker Jermaine Hylton drove an unconvincing shot wide.

Moments later, the home side felt the full force of Celtic’s 22-year-old French forward when he combined with midfielder McGregor in a swift attack.

When Edouard got the break of the ball after his first attempt on goal was blocked, he calmly slipped it under Steelmen goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.

The Lanarkshire side rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in again.

Well midfielder Allan Campbell missed the target with a shot after the Celtic defence had been opened up once more before Griffiths scooped an Olivier Ntcham cut-back over the bar from eight yards.

In the 28th minute Aarons hit the outside of the post but was penalised for a foot up on Celtic defender Greg Taylor, before Forster saved a long-range drive from Hylton.

Aarons had a great chance just before the break after Simunovic had missed the ball but his angled-drive from 12 yards was brilliantly saved by Forster for a corner which came to nothing.

Six minutes after the break Celtic doubled their lead when McGregor ended a penetrating run into the Motherwell penalty area by cutting the ball back for the unmarked Griffiths to knock it past Gillespie without too much fuss for his fourth goal in six matches.

Well kept going but conviction seemed to seep slowly away.

Just after the hour mark, Griffiths saw his header from an Edouard cross rebound off the bar before Ntcham somehow lifted the ball over from close range after being set up by his fellow Frenchman.

Ryan Christie replaced Griffiths with 20 minutes remaining before McGregor took a pass from James Forrest and volleyed high past Gillespie from the edge of the box.

In the 80th minute Edouard capped another fine performance with a fourth from a 25-yard free-kick, after Christie had been hauled down by Well defender Declan Gallagher.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.