Celtic extras: Solution to wing issue, celebration reason, 'there's no trouble', teenager to keep close eye on

We pick out three takeaways from Celtic’s 3-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park

Celtic closed the gap with Rangers to two points thanks to late goals at Motherwell. Mark Atkinson picks out three “extras” from the match:

Celtic’s wing problem

This match was another example of Celtic’s issues out wide. Daizen Maeda and Nicolas Kuhn were handed starting berths, but neither player covered himself in glory. Kuhn, in particular, never influenced the game from his wide right spot and is taking time to settle into Scottish football. It is clear he likes to cut inside but his end product lacked here. The same can be applied to Maeda, who will not want to watch replays of his diving header from close range that skittled wide of the post. Maeda played a bigger part in the match than Kuhn and the Japanese’s energy and workrate cannot be questioned. Their performances came on the back of an insipid wing showing from Luis Palma last weekend against Kilmarnock. The Honduran came off the bench to score late on here and did well in his cameo, but another substitute, Yang Hjun-jun, was the best wide man of the lot. He replaced Kuhn and added pace, directness and a decent delivery. The South Korean must be pushing for a start on Wednesday night against Dundee, especially as Kuhn looks like he needs more time to get to grips with his new surroundings.

Lennon Miller rises to meet a cross during Motherwell's 3-1 defeat by Celtic. The 17-year-old was an impressive performer.Lennon Miller rises to meet a cross during Motherwell's 3-1 defeat by Celtic. The 17-year-old was an impressive performer.
Lennon Miller rises to meet a cross during Motherwell's 3-1 defeat by Celtic. The 17-year-old was an impressive performer.

Palma’s message

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Palma’s celebration when making it 3-1 was a show of support for one of his countryman. Underneath his Celtic shirt, he sported a white undergarment with the message in Spanish “Fuerzas Elis”. This was directed at his Honduras team-mate Alberth Elis, who was placed in an induced coma and had surgery following a clash of heads during Bordeaux’s Ligue 2 match against Guingamp on Saturday.

Carter-Vickers immediately make a difference

Celtic brought on Cameron Carter-Vickers on 61 minutes to replace Maik Nawrocki and the American immediately made a difference. In his first appearance in five games, he quickly nullified Motherwell’s hitherto problematic strike duo of Theo Bair and Jack Vale. “You see when he comes into the game, there’s no trouble,” said his manager Brendan Rodgers. “The big guy up front gave us a problem in the first half with his strength and his size, and Cam comes in and just controls that side of it and allows us to play and get forward quicker, because he’s controlling that along with Scalesy. So, him coming back is huge for us.”

Miller shines again

Motherwell have a real gem in 17-year-old Lennon Miller. The teenager was always looking for the ball, set up Blair Spittal for the Steelmen’s goal and nearly scored himself, breaking into the box and forcing Joe Hart into a good save with a header. “I thought he was breath of fresh air,” said his manager Stuart Kettlewell. “If you look at is contribution at the goal, he has an opportunity in the second half, he ghosted into the box, he is good in the air as well. His all-round play doesn't surprise me, I kind of expect that from him. He is only 17. Live on telly against a top team, I think he acquitted himself really, really well.” Celtic, of course, have history in signing a rising midfield star from Motherwell – David Turnbull made the move to Celtic Park in 2020. Now, it’s far too presumptuous to be selling Miller off right now, but there are big clubs closely watching his development. He is set to make Motherwell a pretty penny when the time comes.

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