Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell0CelticCeltic0

Motherwell 0-0 Celtic

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Fir Park

Battling Motherwell secured a fine draw with Premiership leaders Celtic despite having defender Cedric Kipre sent off in the first half.

The home side had the better of the early chances, with Curtis Main twice forcing good saves from Scott Bain.

But Kipre was sent off four minutes before the break for reacting to a push from Celtic captain Scott Brown.

Celtic dominated thereafter, but excellent defending and good saves from goalkeeper Trevor Carson denied them.

The draw was enough to extend Celtic's lead over Rangers at the top of the table to 10 points - and their unbeaten run at Fir Park to nine visits.

Kilmarnock, though, are the biggest beneficiaries of Motherwell's failure to secure a first win in 10 meetings with the Glasgow side since December 2015.

It means Steve Clarke's fifth-placed side have secured a spot in the top six before the Premiership splits into two for the final rounds of fixtures.

Celtic started brightly without seriously stretching Well, but the home side became increasingly influential as the first half wore on.

Chris Cadden tested Bain from long distance, but the shot was comfortably held.

Elliot Frear produced a searching cross that Main nodded towards goal, but Bain saved again when more power in the header might have broken the deadlock.

Ryan Bowman was next with a drilled effort, but again the shot lacked the direction to trouble Bain. It was increasingly encouraging for Motherwell.

Tom Rogic was at the heart of most of Celtic's best moments; the Australia midfielder showed tremendous poise and balance to create space on the edge of the box but curled his shot narrowly off target.

Celtic's Scott Sinclair has a shot saved by Motherwell's Trevor Carson
Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson (right) produced a couple of fine saves

Dedryck Boyata looked uncertain at times again in the opening half and, when the Belgian defender conceded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, Main drilled it towards goal, but the composed Bain had his angles correct and tipped it wide.

Rogic sent James Forrest on his way, but the winger's angled shot was blocked by Carson, his first direct shot to deal with.

Motherwell seemed to have Celtic's measure, but the game changed completely after a clash between Brown and Kipre, who was also sent off against Celtic in November's League Cup final.

The Celtic captain won the ball but shoved the centre-half as he rose from the ground. Kipre's response was naive and, after he kicked out, he was duly ordered off to the fury of the Motherwell bench.

From there, it seemed all about the visitors finding a route to the crucial opening goal.

Carson did well to save a Rogic drive, Moussa Dembele sent a header narrowly over and substitute Patrick Roberts cut inside and fired a shot off the top of the crossbar.

Stuart Armstrong's curling effort towards the far post had Carson beaten but the ball crept inches wide.

The was still time for more drama. Main claimed penalty, appeals that were ignored.

Celtic broke at speed, with Scott Sinclair in on Carson, but the goalkeeper saved superbly, with the frustrated Dembele waiting in the centre for a pass from the winger.

The goalkeeper - a January transfer target for Celtic, who has been called into the Northern Ireland squad - again reacted in the last seconds to tip over Dembele's downward header.

Motherwell resembled a boxer hanging out for a decision on points, but they stood firm to frustrate the league leaders and earn a valuable point.

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Carson
  • 21KipreBooked at 41mins
  • 19Aldred
  • 18Dunne
  • 2Tait
  • 7Cadden
  • 8McHughBooked at 13mins
  • 22Campbell
  • 11FrearSubstituted forHendrieat 69'minutes
  • 9Main
  • 12Bowman

Substitutes

  • 3Hendrie
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 13Griffiths
  • 20Petravicius
  • 24Newell
  • 31Turnbull
  • 34Maguire

Celtic

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 29Bain
  • 4Hendry
  • 20Boyata
  • 35Ajer
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forRobertsat 69'minutes
  • 8Brown
  • 21NtchamBooked at 11minsSubstituted forArmstrongat 60'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 18Rogic
  • 10Dembele
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forSinclairat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Roberts
  • 11Sinclair
  • 14Armstrong
  • 23Lustig
  • 24de Vries
  • 33Compper
  • 67Musonda
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
8,717

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home12
Away22
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home4
Away11
Fouls
Home8
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Trevor Carson.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

  7. Post update

    Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  9. Post update

    Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

  11. Post update

    Foul by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic).

  12. Post update

    Curtis Main (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jack Hendry (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Carl McHugh (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Richard Tait.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

  17. Post update

    Patrick Roberts (Celtic) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Carl McHugh (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic30208259203968
2Rangers31184961362558
3Aberdeen30175844331156
4Hibernian301410643331052
5Kilmarnock30121084038246
6Hearts31101293229342
7Motherwell30106143439-536
8St Johnstone3097143043-1334
9Hamilton2886144050-1030
10Dundee3084183048-1828
11Partick Thistle3067172650-2425
12Ross County3057183353-2022
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