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Hoops hit the summit

05 Oct 2013 19:31:59

Hoops hit the summit

Celtic moved to the top of the Scottish Premiership with a comfortable 2-0 win over Motherwell at Parkhead.

Anthony Stokes gave the Hoops the lead with an instinctive strike in the 20th minute when Well keeper Lee Hollis failed to collect the ball after charging from his line.

Neil Lennon's side had clearly shrugged off their midweek Champions League defeat to Barcelona and although Kris Commons missed two good chances before the break to extend their lead, he redeemed himself with a wonderful goal four minutes after the break.

Motherwell, unbeaten in their previous seven games, offered little in attack until late in the game when the points were already lost.

Lennon's men leapfrogged Inverness to lead the Highlanders by three points and the only downside was the first-half injury to Adam Matthews, who was carried off on a stretcher nursing what looked like a shoulder or arm injury after a hefty challenge by Well skipper Keith Lasley.

After the adrenaline-fuelled visit of the Catalan giants in midweek, there was an understandably low-key start to the game.

Hollis had looked dodgy as early as the third minute when he flapped at an Emilio Izaguirre cross, causing some panic in the visiting defence before he gratefully fell on Hoops' skipper Scott Brown's close-range strike.

Five minutes later, Lasley's crunching tackle on Celtic wide-man Matthews inside the Motherwell box at the expense of an ultimately fruitless corner left the Wales international in a heap and the home fans enraged.

Matthews was carried away on a stretcher minutes later to be replaced by James Forrest in a straight swap.

Celtic kept control of the game and with John Sutton playing a lone striker's role for the Steelmen, it looked like being a long afternoon for Stuart McCall's side.


PA

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