Scottish Premiership: Kilmarnock go top as Celtic, Rangers slip up

McAuley urges Rangers to show character and bounce back quickly

That said, Christie was creating turbulence nearly at will and, five minutes before the break, was brought down by Rose inside the box for a penalty kick which Griffiths commandeered.

The champions were heading back to the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership until Danny Johnson struck from a hard angle in the 88th minute to earn Motherwell a 1-1 draw. But having seen Leigh Griffiths miss a penalty and Danny Johnson cancel out Ryan Christie's opener with three minutes left to prevent the champions going back to the top of the table, he conceded his players brought the late drama on themselves.

Rodgers made seven changes, with the likes of Cristian Gamboa coming in and the manager praised Jonny Hayes for his performance, but Olivier Ntcham was hauled off at half-time. A game that we didn't play well in - in particular the first-half.

There is mystery surrounding Celtic's transfer dealings with the Celtic boss admitting he met with an unnamed player and his representatives on Monday, under 24 hours after Celtic had won the League Cup.

"We scored a good goal and then didn't take the chance with the penalty and also had a good goal ruled out from Filip Benkovic". In the second half our positioning was better but we were still too loose.

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The Hoops trail Kilmarnock by a point, but have two games in hand, while Motherwell stay ninth.

Speaking to BBC Scotland after the game, Rodgers claimed it was the sweetest success of them all: "This is the most satisfying because it wasn't an easy start to the season for us".

"But from our perspective it's a poor goal to lose". We're always hungry for more. "The players deserve a huge amount of credit because they've been unbelievable since I've come in".

"We are very hungry to sustain this period of our game and what we are trying to win".

Livingstone soon became the third Motherwell defender to succumb to injury and Stephen Robinson chose to go for broke by putting on striker Curtis Main.

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