Celtic triumph despite dismissal
Sat 18th Jan 3.00pm
Kris Commons struck twice and Anthony Stokes was sent-off as Celtic still accounted for third-placed Motherwell by a 3-0 scoreline at Parkhead.
Commons opened the scoring as early as five minutes and proceeded to add his second from the penalty spot six minutes before the break.
Motherwell defender Stephen McManus then turned the ball into his own net to extend the home lead midway through the second-half before Stokes was dismissed for a lunge on Keith Lasley with ten minutes remaining.
The Hoops wasted little time in search of a tenth successive league victory when Stokes' early shot was blocked by keeper Gunnar Nielsen and Commons converted the rebound.
Stokes was then narrowly wide and James Forrest also went close while Lionel Ainsworth only just missed the far post in reply.
Back came Celtic as Charlie Mulgrew headed straight at the keeper and Virgil van Dijk also threatened, until Commons added his second from the spot after Nielsen brought down Stokes.
Emilio Izaguirre went close to another as his effort drifted wide and Motherwell's Iain Vigurs forced a decent save from Fraser Forster after the break. The Englishman then blocked with his feet from James McFadden.
Home striker Stokes deserved greater reward when his shot from the edge of the area came back off the woodwork and Commons soon drove inches wide.
Moments later former Celtic skipper McManus could only help in Forrest's cross as the hosts increased their lead, and current captain Scott Brown almost added another before the end after Stokes had already received his marching orders.
Celtic: Forster, Fisher, Ambrose (Balde 87), van Dijk, Izaguirre, Brown, Ledley, Mulgrew, Commons (Pukki 81), Forrest, Stokes
subs (unused): Biton, O'Connell, Atajic, Henderson, Zaluska
Goals: Commons (5, 39), McManus OG (68)
Motherwell: Nielsen, Carswell, Hammell, Ainsworth (Kerr 73), Hutchinson, McManus, Francis-Angol, Lasley, Sutton (Anier 76), McFadden, Vigurs
subs (unused): Lawson, Stewart, Moore, Murray, Leitch
Ref: B. Madden
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