By Euan Wood

Celtic have extended their three-game unbeaten league run with a commanding 0-2 victory over Motherwell at Fir Park this afternoon, leaving Ange Postecoglou’s side fourth in the Scottish Premiership and four points behind league leaders Rangers.

Motherwell FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jota would fire the visitors in front early on before former Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull added a spectacular second minutes into the second half. With Celtic controlling a comfortable two-goal cushion, Graham Alexander’s side were unable to mount a response in the second half.

It was a lively opening period of the game with both sides creating several chances on goal whilst playing an attractive brand of football. The hosts would come close to the opener in the early stages with Joe Hart looking unconvincing at the back. Tony Watt’s quick counter-attack released Jordan Roberts on the right, before Boli Bolingoli’s interception allowed Hart to clear, but in a moment of hesitation, the goalkeeper mis-controlled the ball yards from goal and was fortunate to recover in time before Roberts could tap in the opener.

Minutes later, Celtic would come close to a quick response. Clever link up play between former Motherwell man Turnbull and Callum McGregor left McGregor in acres of space at the edge of the box, but the Celtic captain’s powerful effort sailed over the crossbar.

The visitors would open the scoring after 16 minutes. Tom Rogic’s interception appeared to have impeded Callum Slattery deep into the Motherwell half, yet referee Willie Collum waved play on, and Rogic’s clever through ball sliced through the Motherwell defence allowing Jota to coolly slot his strike past Liam Kelly into the bottom left corner.

Referee Willie Collum was forced into a change midway through the first half after pulling up and seeking medical help from the side. Fourth official Chris Fordyce would be called into action in what was a bizarre moment of the game.

Celtic would double their advantage minutes into the second half. Former Motherwell Academy graduate Turnbull found space at the edge of the box and unleashed a spectacular curling effort into the top right corner, leaving Kelly with no chance in the Motherwell goal.

With ‘the Steelmen’ chasing the game in the second half, Graham Alexander’s side were denied a penalty after Kevin Van Veen’s effort ricocheted off the hand of Bolingoli. However, replacement referee Chris Fordyce looked disinterested despite adamant pleas from the Motherwell players.

Here are the three things we learned as Celtic edge out Motherwell in Lanarkshire:

Delightful return for Turnbull
The young Celtic and Scotland international fired home an exquisite second to strike a damaging blow to his former side. The Fir Park youth academy graduate fired home his fourth league goal this season and his 11th goal in green and white.

Positives to take
Graham Alexander’s Motherwell side will have plenty of positives to take from today’s game. Motherwell looked threatening in the first half and created several opportunities on goal. A possible foul in the build-up to the opening goal and the denial of the penalty were key moments that went against ‘the Steelmen’ today.

Celtic back to winning ways
Ange Postecoglou will be delighted with his sides performance as they follow up their late 2-1 victory over Aberdeen with another hard-earned three points over Motherwell. Celtic looked aggressive going forward and posed a real threat to Motherwell throughout. Defensively, Celtic still need to improve in areas, but improvements from recent games were clearly visible.

Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Mugabi, Ojala, McGinley, Slattery, Goss, Grimshaw, Roberts, Watt, Woolery.
Substitutes: Fox, Carroll, O’Hara, Van Veen, Amaluzor, Solholm, Donnelly.

Celtic: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Bolingoli, McGregor, Turnbull, Rogic, Abada, Jota, Kyogo.
Substitutes: Bain, Scales, Bitton, Giakoumakis, Ajeti, Johnston, Welsh.

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