By Riley Finch (@FinchieRiley)
Good afternoon and welcome to our early morning kick-off game between Scottish giants Celtic and fellow side Motherwell on an exciting fixture on remembrance Sunday.
I will be bringing you all the action as it unfolds live from Fir Park.
Celtic will be desperate to make amends for a calamitous night in the Europa League on Thursday and look to re-mount a title challenge from the runaway Rangers.
Here is the home side’s starting XI with an unchanged side and Tony Watt looking once again to provide the goals leading the line for Motherwell.
It’s a sumptuous lineup from The Hoops, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Albian Ajeti will certainly be the main threats in attack that Motherwell will be wary of. Defender Kristoffer Ajer also returns to the starting lineup.
The player are just finishing their warm-ups and we are minutes away from the first half.
00′ The referee blows his whistle and this exciting contest is underway
08′ GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL (Celtic)
Its that man again Elyounoussi. Ajeti is alive to a sloppy pass from Liam Polworth, what was he doing? The Celtic striker fires a shot off the post and Elyounoussi pounces on the rebound to score the first goal in front of an empty net.
What a relief for Celtic!
11′ Almost an instant reply from Motherwell. Celtic copy Motherwell and switch off at the back, Ajer eventually clears just inches wide of the post with two home players waiting to pounce. Good response from Motherwell.
16′ Tom Rogic almost scores an absolute beauty there. He cuts in from the midfield and tries to curl one towards the top corner with a side-footed shot but it’s just over from the Australian. Lovely end to end stuff here at Fir Park.
21′ Lovely flowing football from Celtic, they certainly look back to their best. If a second goal is coming its looking like its going to go their way.
24′ The Motherwell players are furious. They are claiming a penalty but the referee is having none of it. It looks as if Callum Lang just tripped over his own feet as he wriggles his way into the box. No penalty.
27′ GOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLL (Celtic) IT’S HIS SECOND! BEAUTIFULLY WORKED
Brilliant play from Celtic. The ball is feed to Rogic who twists and turns near the Motherwell ball cutting the ball back to the man in form Elyounoussi and he isn’t going to miss from there.
Could a hattrick be on the cards for the star striker?
29′ It seems every time Celtic score Motherwell get some fired in their bellies. Bombing down the field Lang slides a ball across the Celtic goalmouth and if Watt was just a bit quicker then Motherwell would have back in the game.
They must score the next goal.
34′ Celtic are in absolute cruise control here. Motherwell just have no answers to Celtic’s free-flowing footy. The Well do look fairly dangerous on the counter though.
37′ VERY CLOSE
Jeremie Frimpong dances on the edge of the penalty area and steadies himself to fire a curled shot towards the far top corner but its inches wide of the Motherwell post.
41′ They are forging some half chances, Motherwell, the ball ping-pongs itself inside the box and finds itself at the feet of Watt who just can’t sort his feet out and Celtic clear.
43′ IT SHOULD BE THREE
Everything is flowing through Rogic, he skips and dances his way through a sea of Motherwell players from their corner and slides the ball into Ryan Christie who cant keep a cool head and blazes over the bar.
We see no added time from the referee and the first half comes to an end with Celtic leading 2-0.
The game has been largely controlled by Celtic as you would have expected, they have produced some lovely flowing football and its resulted in two well worked goal.
You have to think, what on earth was Motherwell doing here? From a Celtic point of view though they look sharp to the ball and Ajeti was unlucky to score but with Elyounoussi following up the rebound he wont care.
His second of the game was a lot more stylish, everything is flowing throw Rogic as he looks to orchestrate the Celtic attacks. He is crucial to their success in this game. Could we see a hattrick from Elyounoussi here?
Motherwell have looked dangerous on the counter but they are simply being outclassed by The Hoops and I expect to see more of the same in the second half.
Can Motherwell get back into this game?
The second half is almost underway.
The referee blows his whistle once again and we are back in action
48′ HOW DID THEY NOT SCORE?
It’s a bright start for Motherwell but they really should have their first goal. It’s a total goal-mouth scramble from a dangerous corner and two Motherwell players fail to fire in the loose ball after two heroic goal-line blocks from Diego Laxalt.
A good start but they really should have scored.
52′ Polworth can’t seem to find any passes open so opts to lash the ball just wide of the post. A positive start from Motherwell.
54′ DEVANTE COLE IS LUCKY TO BE ON THE PITCH HERE
Cole with a disgustingly high challenge on Frimpong and the referee only deals out a yellow.
If VAR was on the scene I reckon it’s given as a red.
58′ Motherwell have come into this second half arguably the better side, they are working the ball much better than in the fist-half. Can they draw one back?Embed from Getty Images
60′ Its a goal-saving challenge from Laxalt who just manages to intercept the ball destined to be prodded home by Watt.
64′ Motherwell must keep this momentum now as they are playing some super football. They are playing well, they just need a goal. They also cant afford to concede, a Celtic goal would kill the game off.
70′ Its a double change for the Hoops, Ajeti looks frustrated not to get his goal today.
71′ Motherwell follow suit and make some changes of their own.
73′ GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL (Motherwell) GAME ON
Its a sweeping cross from a free-kick taken by Polworth which finds Declan Gallagher who heads the ball back across goal to bring Motherwell very much with a chance of drawing things level here.
They have been the better team in the second-half, its been coming.
76′ GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL (Celtic) IT’S HIS THIRD
Breath Celtic fans. Just when you think Motherwell may get back level Elyounoussi rises into the air with incredible height and thumps home a header from a sumptuous cross from substitute Hatem Elhamed.
Its hattrick for Elyounoussi and panic stations are abandoned for Celtic.
78′ Its a third change from the Hoops as they look to see out this victory.
81′ Motherwell on the other hand will hope their substitutes can have a goal scoring impact on the game as they look to stage a late comeback.
84′ A final Celtic change sees the magical Rogic make way for Olivier Ntcham.
86′ GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL (Celtic) GAME OVER
Two substitutes combine as Odsonne Eduoard finds himself latching onto a loose ball in the box. He calmly passes the ball to Ntcham who slots home from five-yards out to ensure a Celtic victory here.
90′ The man of the match debate will surely be a short one, Elyounoussi has been excellent in front of goal today.Embed from Getty Images
90′ Just two added minutes of misery for Motherwell on the board here before they can indulge in their heavy defeat.
The referee blows for full-time as Neil Lennon sighs a sigh of relief for all three points at Fir Park.
Problems are still there for Celtic after a brief scare from Motherwell’s goal but a resounding 4-1 victory will leave Lennon relatively happy after a tough few weeks.
Elyounoussi came into this game with fine form and it more than continued after he scored almost the perfect hattrick today, the first from a Celtic player at Fir Park since the legendary John Hartson.
As for Motherwell you have to commend them for how they played, very poor in the first-half but looked to stage a comeback mid-way through the second half. All their work was undone however after conceding just minutes after their goal and after that they just looked so deflated there was no way of them getting back into the game.
This result means Celtic are just three points way from Rangers who play later today and Motherwell remain mid-table.
Thats all from me, hope you enjoyed the game.Embed from Getty Images