Celtic’s Commons plays through illness in Motherwell win

Top scorer Kris Commons admits to lifting himself from his sickbed to score twice in Celtic’s 5-0 dismantling of Motherwell at Fir Park.

Kris Commons (Celtic midfielder on Sky Sports at Tannadice - 8th March 2015)
Sparkling form: Commons continued his scoring spree against Motherwell at Fir Park (Picture from Sky Sports)

TOP scorer Kris Commons has revealed he played through illness to star in Celtic’s clinical 5-0 victory over Motherwell at Fir Park.

The midfielder followed up his hat-trick in the 7-0 Scottish Cup triumph over Hearts last weekend by scoring twice as the Scottish Premiership leaders, still reeling from last week’s European exit, moved eight points clear at the top.

The Scottish international, who took his tally to 13 goals this season in all competitions, told BBC Scotland: “I’ve been laid up in bed all day. I’ve not been too well. I think at the minute we are in a very ruthless mode.”

Commons opened the scoring against the third-placed Steelmen late in the first half before Efe Ambrose doubled the lead in the 54th minute with a header from Charlie Mulgrew’s corner.

Anthony Stokes netted his first goal in two months after Commons bagged the third before substitute Bahrudin Atajic replaced him to open his Celtic account in the closing stages and round off the comprehensive win.

And 31-year-old Commons said: “I’ve been a bit flued up so I was happy to come off as I was looking up at the clock after 70 minutes ready for another oxygen tank.

“So it was nice for Bahrudin to have that kind of impact, get on the field, play with the big boys and get his goal.”

Manager Neil Lennon was also full of praise for Commons, who has scored seven goals in his last four domestic games.

“Sometimes I take him for granted but he’s a special player. For the money we paid for him, he’s been a real steal. He’s getting better all the time,” he said.

“I think there is more to come from him in terms of his general play but as a goalscorer and value for money, he’s been one of my best signings and one of the best we have had at the club for a long time. He is a sensational player and long may it continue.”

Neil Lennon as Celtic manager in pre-season (20th July 2013)
Impressive: Celtic boss Neil Lennon was pleased with Kris Commons’ display in the 5-0 victory over Motherwell

Celtic are already confirmed to finish bottom of Champions League Group H ahead of their final match against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night, with Commons admitting: “If we were playing at this level consistently in the Champions League, you never know where it might take us.

“But that is done and dusted now and we must concentrate on next year and the only way we get in that environment next year is winning the league and we’re trying to do that convincingly this year.”

The Hoops lost twice at Fir Park last season in February and April but former Derby playmaker Commons was pleased with the impressive goalscoring display from his team-mates in the wintry north Lanarkshire conditions on Friday night.

“I was looking at a few clips of previous games here and we do sometimes struggle but we carried our form on from the Hearts game. We’re not happy at winning by two or three, we want to go on and get five or six,” he added.

The defending champions are unbeaten in the league after 14 games, winning 11 and drawing three.

And when being asked if Celtic can continue undefeated until the end of the season, Commons replied: “There’s a lot of talk about it but it’s extremely difficult.

“There are a lot of places away from home where you’ve got to play well but at the minute we are going to the difficult places like Motherwell and Hearts and putting on performances.”

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