It was Roy of the Rovers stuff at Fir Park today at 18-year-old Tony Watt made his Celtic debut and scored the first two goals of the game within five minutes of getting onto the field.
Celtic have been notoriously slow to start games this season but were on the front foot from the off today as Pawel Brozek looked lively on his first start for the club. They should have earned a penalty kick on 4 minutes when Victor Wanyama was dragged to the ground as he latched onto the end of a Ki free kick.
Thereafter Celtic’s experimental line-up laboured for much of the game. Passing from midfield was profligate and the front pairing of Gary Hooper and Brozek was never a partnership.
After Wanyama’s penalty claim Motherwell enjoyed the bulk of the first half chances. Craig Highton headed on for Chris Humphrey who had an excellent volley saved by an equally spectacular save from Lukas Zaluska to keep the scores level. Humphrey then had a shot blocked by Thomas Rogne before the rebound was fired goal-ward by Steve Jennings to bring another fine save from Zaluska.
Wanyama started the game in an unaccustomed right back role but got forward on 34 minutes as he carried the ball 30 yards before threading a pass through to Brozek. The Polish striker spun inside the box and prodded a shot but he missed the target.
The final minute of the first half brought two chances for Celtic. Charlie Mulgrew did well to rescue a ball on the by-line before flighting a cross in which was knocked out to Kris Commons. Commons shot from 18 yards went narrowly wide. Seconds later Commons and Brozek combined before the Pole’s shot clipped Randolph on the ankle and trickled behind.
Motherwell were first to show in the second half when Nicky Law’s shot from the edge of the area was saved by Zaluska, who had a good afternoon. Joe Ledley then pinched the ball from the toe of Humphrey after the Motherwell winger cut inside Izaguirre on the wing and set himself up for a shot inside the box.
Paddy McCourt, who replaced injured Ki, split the Motherwell defence open with a fabulous pass for Cha but the right wing-back’s cross went straight to Randolph.
Celtic then brought on Tony Watt for the ineffective Brozek and the teenager made an immediate impact. Cha knocked-on a long ball for Victor Wanyama to run onto before crossing deep beyond the far post. Watt had an incredibly tight angle but somehow managed to steer his touch between the posts, leaving Randolph helpless.
Two minutes later Joe Ledley exploited space in front of the Motherwell defence before passing to Watt just inside the box. Tony steadied himself before firing low and hard into the far corner of the net.
Paddy McCourt was quiet on his return to the team after a lengthy lay-off but on 83 minutes he used the abundant space afforded to him outside the Motherwell box to hang a back-post cross for Cha, who headed high into the net to complete the scoring.
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