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By ESPN Staff

Brown hits out at Maloney over Celtic penalty

Motherwell manager Craig Brown felt Shaun Maloney went down ''very, very easily'' to win Celtic the penalty that edged them to a 1-0 victory at Fir Park.

Motherwell's Craig Brown

Celtic had the better of the SPL clash but were struggling to make the breakthrough until Maloney fell inside the box under pursuit from Steven Saunders to allow Daryl Murphy to net a 73rd-minute winner.

Dougie McDonald sent off the Motherwell right-back and, although Brown felt the teenager should have held off from making the challenge, he thought both Maloney and referee were quick to act.

He said: ''I think it was easy to give. It's a through ball, two players are running for possession. There is a challenge from Steven Saunders on Shaun Maloney but his legs quickly left the ground, when you see it on TV.

''Dougie McDonald is not in the best position, there are a couple of players in between him and the incident, but he was very quick to give it so we have got to accept that. There is bodily contact there, I saw that, but Maloney went down very, very easily.

''He went down very softly but I'm not wanting to talk about a player from another team. I'm faulting our own player for giving the referee an opportunity to give the penalty.''

Brown added: ''When a player, especially an Old Firm player, is going into the box, he is going away from goal and is on his weaker side, you don't need to make a challenge. Just run alongside him and let him make the keeper make a save.

''It would have been difficult to score from where Shaun Maloney was. But Saunders is an outstanding player, he will be top class, in fact he is already. He is in the Scotland Under-21 squad when he's still eligible for the Under-19s. He will learn from it but we lost a couple of points that we might have had.''

However, Brown admitted his side had been second best after their exertions on Thursday night when they did everything but score in a 1-0 Europa League defeat by Odense.

Brown, who lost Stevie Hammell to a hamstring injury and Steve Jennings to illness during the game, said: ''Celtic were marginally the better team and deserved to win the game, although we could have shared the points. But it was the poorest we have been this season and I attribute that to nine games we have had with the same group of players.''


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