Sloppy Hoops held

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Celtic surrendered their lead at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to Old Firm rivals Rangers after failing to break down Motherwell in a goalless draw at Fir Park.

Rangers' win at St Johnstone earlier in the day had taken the Ibrox side two points clear but the Hoops failed to respond.

Niall McGinn headed wide just before the break in an afternoon of squandered chances.

In the 10th minute Hoops midfielder Aiden McGeady easily skipped past Well right-back Yassin Moutaouakil inside the Motherwell box before firing his angled shot wide of the far post, moments before Georgios Samaras drove over from the edge of the box.

Meanwhile, Motherwell clocked up the corner count albeit with little threat to Artur Boruc's goal although in the 20th minute the Celtic keeper had to move smartly down to his right to save Chris Humphrey's shot from distance which had been deflected by Fir Park striker Lucas Jutkiewicz.

With the game having nudged past the half-hour mark, McGinn finished off a driving run with a right-footed shot from just inside the box but that was saved with ease by Motherwell keeper John Ruddy.

Two minutes from the break McGinn missed a great chance, heading wide of the target from Samaras' pin-point cross.

Celtic stepped up the pace at the start of the second half but to no real effect. Barry Robson fired over from 30 yards to end one Celtic move while moments later McGinn drew a decent save from Ruddy with a low drive from 25 yards.

Motherwell were camped in their own half but in their first effort of the second period, Boruc had to concede a corner from Jutkiewicz's 20-yard shot which may have sneaked in at the post.

The Parkhead side swarmed around the Motherwell goal, but continued to squander decent chances, Scott McDonald heading over from close range in injury time and McGeady then heading wide from a similar position to cap a frustrating afternoon.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Lucas Jutkiewicz
Chris Humphrey
Yassin Moutaouakil
Premier League
Scott McDonald
Queens Park Rangers
John Ruddy
Barry Robson

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