Match Report: All ends well for Celtic after Gary Hooper swoops in
Celtic 1 Motherwell 0
Wednesday 02 January 2013
Gary Hooper's late strike gave Celtic victory over Motherwell to send the Hoops nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League going into the winter break.
The Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster made a brilliant save from Tom Hateley's penalty, awarded for Kelvin Wilson's challenge on Jamie Murphy, just before Hooper converted a Georgios Samaras cross from close range with 11 minutes remaining.
The Celtic coach, Garry Parker, praised fellow Englishmen Forster and Hooper. He said: "It was obviously a penalty but it was a great save from Fraser and that is why he is in the England squad. He is a great keeper and he has proved that and Gary Hooper scores goals and his general play is good.
"They are good, very special players who are important to us."
Not for the first time this season, Celtic struggled to secure three points from a match that should have been over by the interval. The visiting goalkeeper Darren Randolph kept Celtic at bay with a series of saves, although there were some glaring misses, too.
However, the Motherwell manager, Stuart McCall, who is set to lose forward Murphy to Sheffield United this week, will wonder how different it might have been had Hateley scored from the spot.
Forster's 76th-minute penalty save energised Celtic and they were soon in the lead when Hooper played the ball to Samaras and ran into the box to collect the return pass and slip the ball under Randolph from six yards, setting up a nervy last few minutes.
Celtic Forster, Matthews, Ambrose (Rogne, 84), Wilson, Izaguirre, Commons (McGeouch, 82), Kayal (Watt, 72), Wanyama, Mulgrew, Samaras, Hooper. Substitutes not used Zaluska, Nouioui, McCourt, Chalmers.
Motherwell Randolph, Hateley, Kerr, Ramsden, Hammell, Humphrey, Law, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Daley, 86), Ojamaa (McHugh, 86), Murphy. Substitutes not used Hollis, Higdon, Carswell, Hetherington, Cummins.
Referee S McLean (Scotland).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Manchester United have two days to seal the transfer of the summer, Arsenal need to panic, Jose Mourinho right to blast Chelsea reluctance
Celtic supporters mock Fenerbahce fans' threatening 'knife' pictures with their own versions - featuring spoons and bananas
Swansea 2 Manchester United 1 player ratings: Was Andre Ayew the Swans' star man or did Bafetimbi Gomis steal the show?
Anthony Martial to Manchester United: United 'open talks' with £36m Monaco striker as Javier Hernandez joins Bayer Leverkusen
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms