Scottish Premiership

Motherwell 0-2 Celtic: Postecoglou hails visitors' game management in convincing win

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland
David Turnbull goal v Motherwell
David Turnbull doubled Celtic's advantage against his ex-club with a sensational strike

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hailed his side's game management as they made it back-to-back Scottish Premiership wins away to Motherwell.

Jota's near-post finish and David Turnbull's stunning strike earned the victory as the visitors kept a first clean sheet on the road this term.

The win moves Celtic up to fourth, four points behind leaders Rangers, who dropped points at home to Hearts.

"Right from the start, we controlled the game well," Postecoglou said.

"It was a good, solid performance. It's not easy to control a game away from home, especially here. Joe [Hart] didn't have a save to make in the end - defensively we were strong."

The loss ends the Fir Park side's run of three straight home wins and leaves them without a victory over Celtic in 21 games.

Motherwell were aiming for a first Premiership win over their visitors since 2016 and Graham Alexander's side looked keen to halt that trend in an aggressive start.

It made for a frantic opening as both sets of players were afforded space, with Callum McGregor and Turnbull shooting off target on the break either side of a dangerous Tony Watt cross that had to be turned behind.

The space the visitors had would be the hosts' undoing on 17 minutes, as Tom Rogic's inch-perfect pass set winger Jota free to slam in at Liam Kelly's near post.

The Motherwell players were unhappy as they believed Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi fouled Callum Slattery in the build-up.

After a pulsating opening, Postecoglou's side took the sting out of the game with long spells of possession but failed to add to their tally in the first half.

Turnbull ended the contest shortly after the break with a sensational bending effort that left goalkeeper Kelly with no chance.

The hosts attempted to rally and were unfortunate not be awarded a penalty when Celtic left-back Boli Bolingoli appeared to handle in the area with Kevin van Veen in possession.

Substitute Van Veen then guided a late close-range header off target, but Postecoglou's side were well worth their win for a dominant and controlled second-half showing that probably merited more goals.

Man of the match - Jota

Kyogo Furuhashi & Jota
Turnbull could have claimed the award for his goal alone, but Jota again was Celtic's dangerman and that option to buy at the end of this season is looking more attractive each week

What did we learn?

Motherwell manager Alexander spoke of his side's expectancy to succeed against the Old Firm and their start to the game highlighted that.

But Celtic's opener deflated the home side and they struggled to gain any momentum.

Celtic's wins at Fir Park and Pittodrie a fortnight ago have shown a different side to the team Postecoglou is assembling.

The defence is far from perfect, but more control has been demonstrated across the 90 minutes and the clean sheet in Lanarkshire is their first on the road this campaign.

What did they say?

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: "We were undone by a little bit of quality with the goals. But generally, I thought our shape was good and our discipline was excellent.

"We just couldn't find that killer touch when we had a couple of balls flash across goal before they scored. But my boys kept going."

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: "Both goals were great . The first one was a fantastic ball by Tom Rogic and Dave [Turnbull] has got that in his locker, he can put one in top corner.

"I hope we are more settled now. We were able to put on three players that can make an impact."

What's next?

Celtic are in Europa League action this Tuesday as they welcome Ferencvaros at the unusual time of 15:30 BST, due to COP 26 arrangements, while Motherwell go to Dundee United in the Premiership next Saturday (15:00).

Player of the match


with an average of 7.90


  1. Squad number32Player nameWatt
    Average rating


  2. Squad number2Player nameO'Donnell
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  3. Squad number5Player nameMugabi
    Average rating


  4. Squad number14Player nameOjala
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  5. Squad number1Player nameKelly
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  6. Squad number7Player nameWoolery
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  7. Squad number16Player nameSlattery
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  8. Squad number19Player nameMcGinley
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  9. Squad number27Player nameGoss
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  10. Squad number28Player nameRoberts
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  11. Squad number23Player nameGrimshaw
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  12. Squad number9Player namevan Veen
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  13. Squad number17Player nameAmaluzor
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  1. Squad number17Player nameJota
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  2. Squad number18Player nameRogic
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  3. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi
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  4. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
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  5. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
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  6. Squad number19Player nameJohnston
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  7. Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis
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  8. Squad number56Player nameRalston
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  9. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers
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  10. Squad number11Player nameAbada
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  11. Squad number15Player nameHart
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  12. Squad number6Player nameBitton
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  13. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt
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  14. Squad number23Player nameBolingoli-Mbombo
    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Kelly
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5MugabiBooked at 90mins
  • 14Ojala
  • 19McGinley
  • 23GrimshawSubstituted forAmaluzorat 77'minutes
  • 16Slattery
  • 27Goss
  • 28RobertsSubstituted forvan Veenat 63'minutes
  • 32Watt
  • 7Woolery


  • 3Carroll
  • 8O'Hara
  • 9van Veen
  • 12Fox
  • 17Amaluzor
  • 21Solholm Johansen
  • 22Donnelly


Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Hart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-VickersBooked at 80mins
  • 4Starfelt
  • 23Bolingoli-Mbombo
  • 42McGregor
  • 18RogicSubstituted forBittonat 73'minutes
  • 14Turnbull
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 73'minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forJohnstonat 82'minutes
  • 17Neves Filipe


  • 5Scales
  • 6Bitton
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 10Ajeti
  • 19Johnston
  • 29Bain
  • 57Welsh
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamCeltic
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 2.

  3. Booking

    Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell).

  6. Post update

    Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kevin van Veen (Motherwell).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Johnston (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Callum McGregor.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Nathan McGinley.

  10. Post update

    Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Justin Amaluzor (Motherwell).

  12. Post update

    Anthony Ralston (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Kaiyne Woolery (Motherwell).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kevin van Veen (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Nathan McGinley with a cross.

  15. Post update

    David Turnbull (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Sean Goss (Motherwell).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Michael Johnston replaces Kyogo Furuhashi.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

  19. Post update

    Callum Slattery (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Booking

    Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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