Gary Hooper broke Motherwell's resistance to stretch Celtic's lead over Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League to 23 points.
Kelvin Wilson squandered Celtic's best chance of a first half they totally dominated, heading straight at goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
Randolph's saves kept Celtic at bay until the 59th-minute, when Hooper fired home from close range.
Well had one shot on target as their six-game unbeaten run came to an end.
For Celtic, it was a 14th straight win in all competitions and their 17th in the SPL.
Home manager Neil Lennon again rang the changes as he looked to keep his players fresh with the title all but won after reigning champions Rangers were docked 10 points for going into administration.
Adam Matthews, Thomas Rogne, Victor Wanyama, James Forrest and Georgios Samaras came in for Cha Du-ri, Emilio Izaguirre, Kris Commons, Anthony Stokes and captain Scott Brown, who has a groin injury.
Motherwell, looking for their third win in eight days, made only one change, with captain Keith Lasley returning from suspension to replace Omar Daley in midfield as manager Stuart McCall vowed to attack the leaders.
But it was Celtic who started where they left off against Dunfermline in midweek, dominating possession and Tom Hateley, goalkeeper Darren Randolph and Stevie Hammell were all forced into making important early interceptions for the visitors.
Charlie Mulgrew was full of confidence in a week when he followed his inclusion in the Scotland squad by being named Celtic captain for the day.
He loped forward and set up Samaras before firing wide after the striker's own effort rebounded back into the defender's path off Hateley.
The pair combined again moments later and the Greek's shot was cleared at the second attempt by Randolph as the goalkeeper juggled the striker's effort.
Another Hateley block denied Samaras at the back post after Matthew's cross found the head of the striker, whose effort on the rebound was also deflected for a corner.
Motherwell survived the pressure but were finding it impossible to create chances of their own and Ki Sung-Yueng came close with a drive that flew just wide of the visitors' goal.
A Ki free-kick gave Kelvin Wilson a great chance to open the scoring from eight yards, but the defender headed straight at Randolph.
Stokes came on for Wanyama after the break and the change appeared to disrupt Motherwell's concentration as they poorly defended a long throw chested down by Samaras into the path of Hooper, who scored with clinical precision.
Randolph saved well to deny Hooper as he looked for a quickfire double after again being set up by Samaras.
The Motherwell goalkeeper did well again to save from close range after Forrest threatened on the break.
Motherwell's in-form striker, Henrik Ojamaa, at last had a sniff at goal and perhaps would should have done better than fire straight at Fraser Forster as the visitors at last tested the goalkeeper.
Steve Jennings also fired disappointingly wide as Motherwell missed a chance to move level on points with Rangers, who face Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday.
- 01 Forster
- 06 Wilson Booked
- 21 Mulgrew
- 25 Rogne
- 02 Matthews
- 16 Ledley
- 18 Ki Sung-Yeung
- 67 Wanyama (Stokes - 58' )
- 09 Samaras
- 49 Forrest (Commons - 88' )
- 88 Hooper (Cha Du-Ri - 76' )
- 24 Zaluska
- 03 Izaguirre
- 05 Majstorovic
- 11 Cha Du-Ri
- 10 Stokes
- 15 Commons
- 17 Brozek
- 01 Randolph
- 03 Hammell Booked
- 15 Hutchinson Booked
- 22 Clancy
- 04 Law
- 06 Hateley Booked
- 08 Jennings
- 14 Lasley
- 09 Higdon
- 11 Murphy (Humphrey - 64' )
- 24 Ojamaa Booked (Daley - 79' )
- 31 Bradley
- 05 Craigan
- 20 Page
- 07 Humphrey
- 17 Daley
- 26 Carswell
- 18 Forbes
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +2:09
Steve Jennings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.90:00 +1:31
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Stevie Hammell.88:45
The referee blows for offside against Anthony Stokes. Indirect free kick taken by Darren Randolph.87:07 Substitution
Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Kris Commons coming on for James Forrest.87:07
Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Ledley. Sung-Yeung Ki takes the free kick.86:28
Charlie Mulgrew takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.85:59
Short corner worked by Sung-Yeung Ki.85:01
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Higdon by Thomas Rogne. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.84:22
Effort from the edge of the box by Georgios Samaras goes wide of the right-hand upright.83:39
Free kick awarded for a foul by Omar Daley on Du-Ri Cha. James Forrest restarts play with the free kick.82:24
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sung-Yeung Ki on Steve Jennings. Tim Clancy takes the free kick.82:11
Nicky Law crosses the ball, Du-Ri Cha manages to make a clearance.80:27
Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew, save by Darren Randolph.79:36
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Tom Hateley, clearance by Charlie Mulgrew.79:29
Chris Humphrey delivers the ball, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance.78:43 Substitution
Substitution Omar Daley joins the action as a substitute, replacing Henrik Ojamaa.77:41
Shot from just outside the area by Steve Jennings misses to the left of the target.77:11
The ball is sent over by Du-Ri Cha.74:48
Shot from 18 yards from Henrik Ojamaa. Fraser Forster makes a save.
Substitution Du-Ri Cha replaces Gary Hooper.74:48
Chris Humphrey is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Sung-Yeung Ki takes the direct free kick.74:00
Corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki from the left by-line, clearance made by Tim Clancy.73:35 Booking
Booking Caution for Kelvin Wilson.73:01
James Forrest has an effort at goal. Darren Randolph makes a save.72:29
Sung-Yeung Ki takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.70:23
Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick. Foul by Georgios Samaras on Keith Lasley, free kick awarded. Nicky Law takes the free kick.70:23 Booking
Booking Henrik Ojamaa is cautioned by the ref for time wasting.67:16
Foul by Henrik Ojamaa on Kelvin Wilson, free kick awarded. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.66:02
Charlie Mulgrew produces a cross, Tom Hateley makes a clearance.65:25
Short corner taken by Georgios Samaras.64:54
The ball is crossed by Chris Humphrey, save by Fraser Forster.63:09
Clearance made by Steve Jennings.63:09 Substitution
Substitution Chris Humphrey replaces Jamie Murphy.63:09
Gary Hooper takes a shot. Clearance by Darren Randolph. Corner from the left by-line taken by Sung-Yeung Ki,61:39 Booking
Booking The referee books Stevie Hammell for unsporting behaviour.61:11
Foul by Stevie Hammell on James Forrest, free kick awarded. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.58:34
Georgios Samaras provided the assist for the goal.58:34 Goal scored
Goal! - Gary Hooper - Celtic 1 - 0 Motherwell Gary Hooper fires in a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 1-0 Motherwell.57:49 Substitution
Substitution Anthony Stokes is brought on as a substitute for Victor Wanyama.57:41
The ball is sent over by Adam Matthews, Shaun Hutchinson manages to make a clearance.57:23
Adam Matthews sends in a cross, Steve Jennings manages to make a clearance.55:54
The ball is delivered by Henrik Ojamaa, Thomas Rogne makes a clearance.55:16
A cross is delivered by Tom Hateley, Joe Ledley makes a clearance.54:37
The assistant referee flags for offside against Gary Hooper. Darren Randolph takes the indirect free kick.54:07
Michael Higdon concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Wanyama. Direct free kick taken by Kelvin Wilson.53:37
Free kick awarded for a foul by Keith Lasley on Georgios Samaras. Joe Ledley takes the free kick.52:25
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicky Law by Kelvin Wilson. Stevie Hammell takes the free kick.51:50
The ball is delivered by James Forrest, save made by Darren Randolph.50:13
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stevie Hammell on Georgios Samaras. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.49:40
Unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama by Henrik Ojamaa results in a free kick. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.48:56
Georgios Samaras has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide right of the goal.48:26
Steve Jennings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charlie Mulgrew. Sung-Yeung Ki restarts play with the free kick.47:23
Gary Hooper produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.46:41
Shaun Hutchinson challenges Georgios Samaras unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Ledley.45:52
The ball is swung over by Jamie Murphy, clearance made by Victor Wanyama.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +0:26 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.44:10 Booking
Booking The referee shows Tom Hateley a yellow card.43:57
Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Hateley on James Forrest. Free kick taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.42:47
Kelvin Wilson takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.42:24
Keith Lasley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras. Sung-Yeung Ki takes the free kick.41:29
Unfair challenge on Kelvin Wilson by Henrik Ojamaa results in a free kick. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.40:47
Unfair challenge on Tom Hateley by Joe Ledley results in a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.38:10
The ball is swung over by Adam Matthews.36:07
Corner from the left by-line taken by Sung-Yeung Ki, clearance by Tim Clancy.36:07 Booking
Booking Booking for Shaun Hutchinson for unsporting behaviour.35:37
Nicky Law delivers the ball, clearance made by Kelvin Wilson. Shaun Hutchinson challenges Joe Ledley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Adam Matthews.33:30
Shot from just outside the area by Charlie Mulgrew goes over the bar.32:59
The ball is swung over by Stevie Hammell, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.32:00
Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by Kelvin Wilson results in a free kick. Tom Hateley restarts play with the free kick.29:58
The referee blows for offside against Michael Higdon. Indirect free kick taken by Fraser Forster.29:26
Unfair challenge on Nicky Law by Charlie Mulgrew results in a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.26:11
Corner taken right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki, clearance made by Tom Hateley. The ball is crossed by Kelvin Wilson, Stevie Hammell makes a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, clearance by Tim Clancy.26:02
Adam Matthews produces a cross, Tom Hateley gets a block in.20:58
Charlie Mulgrew produces a cross, clearance by Tom Hateley.18:34
Joe Ledley delivers the ball, clearance made by Nicky Law.17:30
Gary Hooper concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Hutchinson. Free kick taken by Steve Jennings. Unfair challenge on Thomas Rogne by Michael Higdon results in a free kick. Adam Matthews takes the direct free kick.16:41
The ball is crossed by Adam Matthews, Tom Hateley manages to make a clearance.15:50
Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.14:36
Nicky Law concedes a free kick for a foul on James Forrest. Adam Matthews takes the free kick.13:56
Effort on goal by Charlie Mulgrew from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.11:34
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Charlie Mulgrew, clearance by Tom Hateley.10:28
A cross is delivered by Tom Hateley.9:42
Sung-Yeung Ki gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley. Keith Lasley restarts play with the free kick.4:47
Tom Hateley takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Thomas Rogne.3:41
Foul by Kelvin Wilson on Henrik Ojamaa, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.2:34
Unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama by Michael Higdon results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.1:44
Georgios Samaras is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.1:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Jennings on Victor Wanyama. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.0:24
Unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Steve Jennings results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Fraser Forster.0:00
The referee starts the match.
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