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Celtic grab five-star win at Motherwell

06 Dec 2013 22:46:55

Celtic grab five-star win at Motherwell

Kris Commons grabbed a double as Celtic extended their unbeaten start to the Scottish Premiership season to 14 matches with a 5-0 win over Motherwell on Friday.

The Hoops had lost their on their last two visits to Fir Park but Stuart McCall's side never looked like making it three in a row as Celtic dominated proceedings.

The Parkhead club had missed a host of chances before they grabbed a 43rd-minute lead through a clever back-heel from Commons.

John Sutton sent a header on to the roof of the net as Motherwell had a chance to draw level just after the restart before a second-half goal blitz from Celtic.

The Hoops extended their lead in the 54th minute when Efe Ambrose bulleted a header past Gunnar Nielsen, Commons tapped in a third in the 76th minute and Stokes added a fourth two minutes later before substitute Bahrudin Atajic sealed the win in the 90th minute.

The win sends the Hoops eight points clear of Inverness -- who face St Mirren on Saturday -- at the top of the table and means they have scored 12 without reply in their last two matches.

"The quality of football was a really high level and some of the players are really hitting top form," Celtic manager Neil Lennon said.

"We changed the system towards the latter end of the first half and the goals seemed to come from us. We are playing very well at the moment."

McCall was disappointed at the manner of the defeat.

"They were terrific but I think with five minutes to go until half time, for all they played us off the park, I don't think they had any outstanding chances," McCall said.

"The second goal was a set piece which was disappointing and then they just picked us off at will and showed what a confident vein of form they are in at the moment."

Celtic had started brightly with Nielsen producing a fine save early on to keep out a Mikael Lustig effort after Teemu Pukki had set him up in the box.

Stokes was next to test the 'keeper with a 20-yard free-kick that Nielsen spilled but gathered at the second attempt.

Celtic then appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty as Scott Brown's cross was blocked by the arm of Stevie Hammell but referee Steven McLean signalled a corner for the visitors despite their protests.

A goal looked to be coming and Celtic made the breakthrough in the 43rd minute through Commons. Pukki's ball was fired towards goal by Stokes and Commons diverted it into the net with a clever back-heel kick.

Motherwell had rarely threatened but could have been level in the 47th minute when Sutton rose well to meet Iain Vigurs' free-kick only for his header to land on the roof of the net.

However, they were left to rue that miss when Ambrose made it 2-0 in the 54th minute to spark a double celebration.

The Nigerian international, whose daughter had been born earlier in the day, got on the end of Charlie Mulgrew's corner to bullet a header past Nielsen that sparked a colourful celebration.

Pukki, who hasn't scored since September, was suffering another frustrating night in front of goal and the striker missed a golden opportunity to end his drought when he sent a shot high over from six yards out.

The Finnish international's miserable night was then compounded when referee McLean booked him for simulation moments later although Adam Cummins looked to have stood on his foot.

Commons grabbed his second in the 76th minute. Nielsen couldn't hold Izaguirre's curling shot from just inside the box and Commons was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Barely two minutes later Stokes added a fourth. Pukki picked out the Irish striker lingering in the box and he fired a superb strike into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Substitute Atajic, the Swedish-born youngster, then rounded off the scoring when he collected a Stokes pass before sending a delightful chip over Nielsen.


AFP

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