Celtic 2-1 Motherwell: Hoops secure hard-earned win to go top of Scottish Premiership

Sean Walsh
Kyogo Furuhashi was on target
Kyogo Furuhashi was on target / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Celtic responded perfectly in the face of adversity to beat Motherwell 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Rivals Rangers moved to the top of the Scottish Premiership earlier in the day after thrashing Hearts, but Ange Postecoglou's men regained their position at the summit with three points of their own.

Kyogo Furuhashi gave the Hoops a 15th-minute lead after Matt O'Riley's header was spilled by Liam Kelly, and the Japan international was on hand to blast home from close range.

Celtic twice rattled the woodwork - firstly through Reo Hatate and then Josip Juranovic - as the champions applied further pressure.

But the hosts were pegged back after a mix-up between Juranovic and Joe Hart, with the in-demand Croatian turning a searching Motherwell ball over the top into an own goal.

The visitors began the second half fairly brightly, but were made to pay when Hatate thumped Celtic back in front with a thunderous strike from 20 yards.

However, Hatate nearly turned from hero to villain when he gifted Ross Tierney possession in the final minutes of the game, forcing McGregor to make a last-man challenge, resulting in a straight red card.

Celtic clung on to claim victory and move back to the top of the table. They next travel to RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.