Today, Celtic had to show a level of character we haven’t seen from the players in a long time.
The Hoops overcame Motherwell 4-1 at Celtic Park. But if everyone is being honest with themselves it should’ve been 4-0 for the Hoops.
That’s because Motherwell scored what can only be described as an absolutely disgraceful goal. The Steelmen had a throw-in after Celtic had kicked the ball out for Ryan Christie to receive treatment.
But, instead of sportingly giving the ball back, James Scott ran through on goal with the ball and forced Scott Bain into a stop. Gboly Ariyibi was there to slot home the rebound to make it 2-1.
To say a wave of anger swept over Parkhead would be an understatement. Instead, it was a tidal wave of sheer fury. Fans couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed, and the Motherwell players revelled in it.
It transmitted on to the Celtic players. Kristoffer Ajer in particular was incensed. He was constantly seen arguing in the face of Motherwell players, who incredibly acted as though they hadn’t done anything wrong.
Initially rocked, but regained their composure
As you would expect, the goal rocked the shape of the team and the composure on the ball. Motherwell profited on the uncertainty to pile on some pressure. Through the dark arts, they had found a way back into the contest. Perhaps it was just a case of playing the evil genius approach, but it just came across as desperate and poor.
Yet, Celtic dusted themselves down, showed their quality on the ball, and immense strength of character to keep creating in the final third.
This resulted in Odsonne Edouard firing home a stunning free-kick before Oliver Burke sealed the points for good with a fine finish.
Celtic suddenly had the game wrapped up, and Motherwell were left embarrassed by their desperate attempts to make a game of this.
This was a challenge Celtic hadn’t yet faced. A team so desperate that they resort to glorified cheating. There was absolutely nothing referee Kevin Clancy could do about it, and the Hoops had been suckered.
But Rodgers’ boys dug deep and grabbed the points their play fully deserves. A massive three points against a Motherwell side who should hang their heads in shame.