Celtic FC moved to the top of the table after a 4-0 victory over relegation-threatened Motherwell FC.
Celtic FC moved to the top of the Scottish Premier League after a 4-0 away victory over relegation-threatened Motherwell FC on Wednesday.
Martin O'Neill's UEFA Cup finalists climbed above leaders Rangers FC by virtue of the fact they have scored one more goal than their city rivals. With just three games of the 38-match campaign remaining, and both sides level on 88 points and separated by the narrowest of goal margins, the most exciting title race in five years is poised to go down to the wire.
Motherwell in trouble
The consequences of Wednesday's game for Motherwell are more serious, however. They remain anchored to the foot of the table, one point adrift of Dundee United FC. Should first division winners Falkirk FC succeed in convincing the SPL that their ground meets the criteria laid down in the league rules, then Motherwell are favourites to be relegated.
Celtic cruised to victory after Motherwell captain Derek Adams was sent off in the 31st minute for violent conduct towards Alan Thompson. David Cowan was then carried off on a stretcher for the Fir Park side with a suspected broken leg, before Stilian Petrov scored Celtic's opening goal after 36 minutes.
The Bulgarian midfield player doubled Celtic's advantage nine minutes after the interval, and captain Paul Lambert scored twice against his old club after 61 and 65 minutes to complete a memorable night for the title holders as they step up their bid to make it three league crowns in succession.