On a dreary March evening, Celtic went looking for the three points that would set them up nicely for the title decider...

Celtic played like true champions at Fir Park last night to set themselves up for the title decider. With Bobo Balde and Neil Lennon calling off just before kick off it looked like Celtic's task would be all the harder against Motherwell, but the rest of the players responded magnificently to give Martin O'Neill one of the best performances of the season.

In the end the 4-0 scoreline flattered the Steelmen and there was a realisitic chance of reaching double figures had the finishing from the bhoys been a bit sharper.

In the first ten minutes we could have been two up but John Hartson contrived to miss a couple of good chances.

Paul Lambert reversed that trend though with a truly wonderful goal after 10 mintes when he played a one two with Hartson and then the same with Larsson before slotting home from close range. A fantastic goal from the best palyer on the night.

Celtic powered forward at every opportunity with Agathe in outstanding form and the only effort from Motherwell came in 40 minutes when Strong tested Douglas from close range. That was to be Motherwell's only on target effort in the entire ninety minutes

The biggest mystery of all at half time was that it was only 1-0 to Celtic such had been their first half dominance.


HT MOTHERWELL 0 CELTIC 1

The second half continued in much the same vein and it was no surprise when Celtic put the game beyond Motherwell with a Larsson goal on 53 minutes. The Swede nodded home a Moravcik corner despite the presence of several static Motherwell defenders.

Shortly after this Pearson received a straight red card for what can only be described as an assault on Agathe. The tackle was shocking in its ferocity and it was surprising that Agathe was able to continue.

The goals continued to arrive and Larsson grabbed his second from the spot after Hartson had been upended in the box by the keeper following a good run.
Henrik slotted home confidently despite several misses from the spot this season.

Mjallby completed the scoring with a great volleyed strike from the edge of the box that gave the keeper no chance.

Petrov almost scored the goal of the century with a volley from a Moravcik cross and Hartson could easily had a hat trick on another night.

In the end though the large travelling support headed home with the thought that another title was well within grasp. It now looks as though Celtic will have a home game to celebrate winning the title and the 60,000 fans who pack Celtic Park at every home game will certainly relish that.