Thom the tormentor

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The Independent Online
Motherwell 0

Celtic 2

Donnelly 57, Collins 90

Attendance: 12,077

THOSE who inflict torment on others are often the victims of cruelty themselves as Motherwell found to their pain yesterday. Celtic took the hurt they received from Paris St Germain in midweek and passed it squarely on to their opponents. But if Celtic's destruction in midweek was protracted, the punishment they chose for Motherwell was more one of ambush.

For an hour, both sides contributed an equal share of dross before Celtic exploded with Simon Donnelly's headed opener. The attack on Motherwell was total thereafter and lasted until the whistle, which arrived a minute after John Collins added a second.

Celtic were never likely to dwell on Europe. The opening play was determinedly uncontinental in style with the midfield playing aerial bagatelle and Tom Boyd throwing in an elbow aimed at Dougie Arnott. Naturally it was a European who found the only space, Andreas Thom cutting across the Motherwell box before dragging a low shot wide. Moments later the German flashed past Brian Martin on the right flank and crossed for Pierre van Hooijdonk, whose slapstick tumble was ignored by the referee.

Calm and canny, Martin looked one of the few measured players. Without Tommy Coyne Motherwell lacked someone with similar qualities in attack, though Paul Lambert missedfrom six yards.

After so much action with no shape the goal when it came was startlingly neat. Tosh McKinlay hit an outswinging corner to the six-yard box and Donnelly ran in on the angle to glance the ball home. Soon after van Hooijdonk had a free-kick tipped over by Scott Howie and Thom's header had the keeper stretching to save. Further punishment was spared only by the timber as van Hooijdonk hit a post and Thom landed a chip on the bar.

In the last minute Boyd played it long to Collins who burst to the edge of the box with his first touch and whipped a shot past Howie with his second.