Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers blasts Motherwell players for "going against ethics of game"

Players from both sides argue after Gboly Ariyibi's controversial strike for Motherwell at Celtic Park on Sunday (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Players from both sides argue after Gboly Ariyibi's controversial strike for Motherwell at Celtic Park on Sunday (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers blasted Motherwell players for "going against the ethics of the game" by controversially playing on to score their goal in Celtic's 4-1 Scottish Premiership win at Celtic Park on Sunday, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Celtic had put the ball out of play so Ryan Christie could receive treatment, but instead of returning the ball from Liam Grimshaw's throw-in, youngster James Scott sprinted on and hit a shot which keeper Scott Bain parried to Gboly Ariyibi who scored to pull it back to 2-1 after 51 minutes.
Rodgers said: "The controversy around their goal was obviously very disappointing.
"But after that the players showed their guts determination and spirit as well as their quality. We refocused and ended up scoring two top class goals after that.
"So it's a huge credit to the players for the victory.
"It's a goal that's against the ethics of the game and that is the disappointment. Motherwell had a chance to do something but chose not to.
"It's a difficult one for the referee because it's not the referee's job.
"The young striker's taken it and then attacked the goal.
"And you had virtually seen everyone had sort of stopped.
"I think Motherwell had an opportunity to do something in the spirit of the game but chose not to. They went on and were pressing for the equaliser.
"It was a real injustice in the game and I'm obviously disappointed with the action."
Rodgers said he didn't ask Motherwell counterpart Stephen Robinson to let his team score a goal.
He added: "That's Stephen's job as the leader, to initiate that. It looked like the goalkeeper ran over to ask what was going to happen.
"But they were happy enough to push on with that and give themselves a chance in the game.
"I think referees get criticised a lot up here. But I think you have to shine a light into the players today of Motherwell. Because that was a real disappointing act on a sporting field, which you don't see so much now."
Rodgers said that Scott "should know better", adding: "If he's old enough to play and start, he knows exactly what he's doing. He's played in football games, he'll learn from that. There's no excuse."
Motherwell gaffer Robinson defended Scott by saying: “I think he just got caught up in it. He is a young boy, living his dream, playing football and on £200 a week. Jesus. He's an excellent prospect for us but he has made a mistake. We'll forgive him for that.
“He didn’t know what to say, he is dumbfounded and he has taken a lot of stick for it. He made a mistake and we will forgive him for that.
“The problem is that is going to deflect from that really good performance.
"It's not often teams come here and dominate. For the first 20 minutes I thought we had a lot of the ball and didn't create much in the way of chances. Tom Aldred went off and it threw us a bit because he's one of our leaders.
"Second half, the way we passed the ball about, we maintained what we're trying to do, what we're trying to build on.
"Our play rattled a brilliant Celtic team, not necessarily that goal.
"Keep the ball on the ground with really exciting players like Gboly Ariyibi and young Jake Hastie really came into the game.
"We took the game to Celtic. When the goal went in and it was 2-1, we dominated the game for large periods. In my time that doesn't really happen against Celtic. So we can be pleased with that.
"The third goal was outstanding and that kills the game."
On Motherwell injury victims Aldred and Carl McHugh, Robbo added: "Tom has seven or eight stitches in his head. Carl was knocked out cold so he'll obviously be concussed.
"It was a lively Sunday afternoon."