Thompson's double delight as Celtic rally to sink 'Well
Published 14/04/2010 | 05:00
It is a sign of depressing times in the east end of Glasgow that the significance of this Celtic victory was not so much to delay Rangers' title celebrations -- which cannot now take place against Dundee United this evening -- as to keep the Tannadice side at bay in the hunt for second spot in the SPL table with the consequent bonus of a Champions League qualifying place.
The contest turned on three poorly defended set-pieces, with Josh Thompson the key figure in each case. Shortly after the interval, it was the break of the ball off the 18 year-old that allowed Mark Reynolds to put Motherwell ahead, but the defender redeemed himself by netting from a brace of corner kicks in a second half that, against the odds, provided a decent return of entertainment.
The first opening of the match was created by Jamie Murphy when he ambushed Darren O'Dea but he saw his drive beaten back into the box. Lukas Jutkiewicz snapped on to the rebound but was thwarted by Scott Brown's alertness. Lutkiewicz, who is nearing the end of his loan from Everton, did get the target in his sights with an angled drive from the right of the box but he found Lukasz Zaluska too big to beat.
Celtic, though, were an accident in waiting and the crash arrived six minutes after the break. It was an old story, a free-kick allowed to bounce inside the box. Tom Hateley's delivery came off Thompson and Reynolds rammed home.
By now, though, Celtic fans are too inured to such misfortunes to be riled into instant uproar and in this case they were rewarded by an immediate equaliser from a corner kick, taken by McGinn, nodded on by Brown and stabbed home by Thompson, who thus atoned for his recent error. The teenager did even better when he was allowed to repeat his feat from another corner, this time planted by Lee Naylor straight on to his skull. (© Daily Telegraph, London)