FROM NEIL DOHERTY AT FIR PARK: THERE were rumours all around Glasgow this morning that defeat for Celtic here against Motherwell today would have spelled the end of Neil Lennon’s time in charge of the Hoops.
The fans have been getting restless in recent weeks as Rangers, who have spent very little money, seem to be racing away with the title already.
Today Celtic came to Fir Park and, inspired by Derry supersub Paddy McCourt, went home with three points in the bag. And a great deal of relief for players and fans alike, especially the few dozen fans who travelled once again from County Donegal.
The result leaves Celtic 12 points behind Rangers with a game in hand.
Michael Higdon had headed Mothewell into an 11th-minute lead but Anthony Stokes replied from close range just three minutes later.
The turning point came 13 minutes from the end when Paddy McCourt replaced Samaras for the Hoops.
The finest dribbler in the Scottish game ran at the terrified Motherwell defence three minutes later, and as they backed off, McCourt fed Stokes to his left who fired a ball across the face of the goal for Gary Hooper to score with the easiest of tap-ins.
Motherwell’s hopes of a comeback were over soon afterwards when Tim Clancy was sent off for a foolish kick at Hooper.
And after Thursday’s 3-1 Europa League win over Rennes at Parkhead, Lennon said the result showed his side are up for the title fight.
He told ESPN TV: “On the back of what was a really physical game on Thursday to come here and win, it speaks volumes for the players.
“We know they’ve got it. They’ve got talent in abundance.”Tags: