Motherwell’s six-match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as their long wait for a win at Celtic Park continues.
’Well haven’t tasted victory at Parkhead since 2008 and it never seemed likely that the three points would be leaving the east end.
The away side were dealt a blow before kick-off as James McFadden failed a late fitness test on a hamstring injury.
Henri Anier proved his fitness after suffering a knee injury against Ross County, but with Stuart McCall going with just one up front, the Estonian found himself on the bench.
Iain Vigurs came back in to bolster the midfield, while Lionel Ainsworth was given his first league start to provide balance on the right.
Keith Lasley was to hear boos most of the game after ending Adam Matthews’s afternoon early with a fierce, if unmalicious, challenge that saw him carried off with a suspected broken clavicle.
His replacement James Forrest then send Scott Brown one-on- one with Lee Holis, but instead of shooting the Celtic captain inexplicably checked back.
On 20 minutes the home side took the lead as Hollis failed to hold Mikael Lustig’s cross and ANTHONY STOKES rounded him before smashing in from an acute angle..
Right on half-time ’Well mustered their first chance of the half, but Ainsworth could only blaze over from the edge of the box.
Four minutes after the break it was 2-0 as KRIS COMMONS nutmegged Stephen McManus and ran on to clip the ball over Hollis.
Stevie Hammell blocked Virgil Van Dijk and Hollis denied Forrest as a comfrotable win threatened to turn intoa rout.
Anier was sent on for Vugurs just shy of the hour mark and ’Well would finally show a little ambition in the fianl third.
Anier was given an almost immediate change as Efe Ambrose’s over head clearance landed at his feet, but the Nigerian recoverd to block,.
Then Van Dijk was called on to block Anier as the Dutchman might actually have been required to break a sweat.
Six minutes from time only a world class save by Fraser Forster prevented John Sutton heading in Zaine Francis-Angol’s cross.
Celtic: Forster, Matthews (Forrest 13), Izaguirre (Balde 86), Ambrose, Van Dijk, Brown, Stokes, Commons, Pukki (Biton 75), Mulgrew, Lustig. Subs not used: Zaluska, Kayal, Atajic, Henderson.
Motherwell: Hollis, Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, Sutton, Vigurs (Anier 58). Lasley (Lawson 87), Francis-Angol , Carswell, Ainsworth (Kerr 63). Subs not used: Nielson, Cummins, McHugh, Moore.
Referee: Iain Brines.