Scott Brown’s post-match comments on Saturday hit the mark: “I thought Lasley’s tackle on Loovens was disgusting”, “If Motherwell want to go above the ball and that is the way their manager wants them to play then so be it”. Referee Calum Murray failed to award a straight red card for Lasley’s challenge on Loovens, or a second yellow soon thereafter, which set the tone for a bitter contest, but bully-boy tactics at Fir Park and Inverness cost Celtic dearly earlier this year.
Celtic met Motherwell head on in this department on Saturday. Ki Sung-Yueng and Brown ensured that no one in the Motherwell team had the psychological edge.
Life in the SPL is as much about winning the battle as finding your man.