Motherwell 6–6 Hibernian
|Event||2009–10 Scottish Premier League|
|Date||5 May 2010|
|Venue||Fir Park, Motherwell|
The Scottish Premier League match between Motherwell and Hibernian on 5 May 2010 set a record as the highest scoring match in the league's history. The match was played at Fir Park in Motherwell on 5 May 2010. Twelve goals were scored in the match, leaving a final scoreline of a 6–6 draw. Hibernian had led the match 4–1 and 6–2 at different points; Hibs goalkeeper Graeme Smith also saved a penalty kick from Ross Forbes when the score was 6–5.
The match was the 37th and penultimate game of the 2009–10 league season for both Motherwell and Hibs, with both clubs chasing fourth place in the Scottish Premier League and with it qualification for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League competition. Going into the match, Motherwell were one point ahead of Hibs, but were faced with a more difficult fixture in their final game, being due to play Rangers at Ibrox. Therefore a win for Motherwell would clinch fourth place, a win for Hibs would make them strong favourites for the position, while a draw would leave Motherwell with a one point advantage, but with a slightly worse goal difference.
As the match was being televised by Sky Sports and was being played in midweek, Motherwell specially reduced the admission prices to ensure a good attendance. Due to that television coverage, the match had been originally scheduled for the evening of 6 May, the same day as the 2010 general election. Motherwell complained to the league about this scheduling, citing the proximity of a polling station to their home ground of Fir Park. The league upheld this complaint and moved the match forward 24 hours to Wednesday, 5 May.
Hibs raced into a 4–1 lead in the first half, largely thanks to a hat-trick by Colin Nish. Giles Coke had equalised for Motherwell after Nish opened the scoring, but had then gifted Hibs their third goal, scored by Derek Riordan. Motherwell did pull a goal back before half-time through John Sutton, but two goals by Anthony Stokes after the restart seemingly put the game beyond doubt at 6–2. Within 15 minutes, however, Motherwell had reduced the deficit to 6–5, thanks to a simple tap-in by Coke, a Tom Hateley free kick and a Sutton header from close range. Substitute Ross Forbes then had the chance to equalise from a penalty kick with three minutes left, but it was saved by Graeme Smith, who had conceded the penalty in the first place. Forbes had taken the penalty despite the fact that Lukas Jutkiewicz was the nominated penalty taker; Jutkiewicz had deferred to Forbes as he was fresher, having only come on less than 10 minutes previously. In the third minute of injury time, Jutkiewicz produced a remarkable effort to score the equaliser, a goal that his manager Craig Brown compared to Marco van Basten's goal in the 1988 European Championship Final.
5 May 2010
|Motherwell||6 – 6||Hibernian|
|Coke 16', 67'
Sutton 39', 76'
|BBC Sport report||Nish 11', 20', 36'
Stokes 56', 65'
"I was quite calm throughout. I was very pleased with the response from the players when they went behind. I said to them that the worst thing in any sport is a losing lead. We were behind at half time, and I said if we pull Hibs back they would have a fit of the jitters, and that's how it transpired."
"I think it is self-explanatory, everyone will say we cannot defend. I felt my strikers stopped working. And that is where you start defending from. They stopped looking after the ball and it brought Motherwell on top of us. We sat too deep."
The result left Motherwell one point ahead of Hibs with just one game to play. In their final game, Motherwell produced another remarkable comeback to salvage a 3–3 draw against Rangers, despite having been 3–1 behind entering injury time. This comeback was insufficient to hold onto fourth place, however, as Hibs won their game 2–0 against Dundee United. Colin Nish scored both goals, giving him five goals in the final two games of the season. This win allowed Hibs to leapfrog Motherwell by a point and to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. There was a general feeling of embarrassment throughout Scotland as the quality of football was so abysmal and had been broadcast live on Sky. Thankfully, Hibs were relegated a few seasons later so Scottish football will, hopefully, never again have to endure such an abject display of woefulness.
The result of the 2010 Scottish Cup Final, with the already-qualified Dundee United beating First Division club Ross County, meant that Motherwell also qualified for Europe, however. The cup final result also benefitted Hibs, as they entered the competition one round later than if Ross County had won.
- Conaghan, Martin (5 May 2010). "Motherwell 6–6 Hibernian". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- MacDonald, Hugh (5 May 2010). "Cheaper by the dozen: history made as Jutkiewicz volley keeps Motherwell in the European driving seat". The Herald. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- "Motherwell’s clash with Hibernian rescheduled due to general election". STV Group. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Motherwell manager Craig Brown amazed with 12-goal draw". BBC Sport. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- "Rangers 3-3 Motherwell: Thrilling comeback secures draw for Motherwell". www.scotsman.com. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Hardie, David (9 May 2010). "Hibs 2-0 Dundee United: Nish double secures Euro spot". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Johnson, Phil (16 May 2010). "Motherwell qualify for Europe". The Scotsman. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Marshall, Alan (19 May 2010). "Hibs ace John Rankin relishing thought of facing Liverpool or Juventus in Europa League". Daily Record. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Martin, Robert (16 June 2010). "I watched as Hibees let in 6 and knew this was the team for me". The Scottish Sun (News International). Retrieved 16 June 2010.