Hibernian returned to the top of the Scottish Premiership but their perfect start was ended by a vibrant Motherwell display in an Easter Road stalemate.
The hosts were a shadow of the side whose three wins was their best opening to a top-flight campaign since 1974.
Motherwell had a first-half Jordan White strike disallowed for offside and couldn’t find the breakthrough their play merited.
They are in ninth place after a second successive point.
After starting with back-to-back defeats, this was a much-improved Motherwell performance as they showed signs of recapturing the form that secured a third-place finish last season.
- Reaction & as it happened
- How did the players rate?
The sides’ contrasting early-season fortunes were not evident as Stephen Robinson’s men started full of purpose and threat, with Callum Lang drawing a brilliant sprawling save from Ofir Marciano.
Scotland full-back Stephen O’Donnell has been brought in to bolster Motherwell’s defence, but almost had a telling impact at the other end, poking wide after being picked out by a wonderful long pass from David Turnbull.
This was more like the swashbuckling Motherwell of last season. And fit-again Turnbull was at the heart of it, with a touch and vision that sets the 21-year-old attacker apart.
White was denied a first Premiership goal when team-mate Sherwin Seedorf was ruled offside for blocking the goalkeeper’s line of sight as the ball deflected off Paul Hanlon on its way into the net.
Hibs showed flashes of the attacking menace that had powered their flawless start. Martin Boyle Boyle was foiled by goalkeeper Trevor Carson in a one-on-one and fluffed a second-half chance at the near post. Kevin Nisbet had a shot blocked by Declan Gallagher, and Christian Doidge headed wide from a corner.
But Motherwell continued to look the likelier. Lang’s head flick dropped a yard wide although the visitors – like Turnbull – ran out of steam as the game fizzled to a conclusion.
Match ends, Hibernian 0, Motherwell 0.
Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Motherwell 0.
Attempt saved. Tony Watt (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Offside, Motherwell. Liam Grimshaw tries a through ball, but Jermaine Hylton is caught offside.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Allan Campbell.
Foul by Mark O’Hara (Motherwell).
Scott Allan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Allan.
Attempt blocked. David Turnbull (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jermaine Hylton.
Substitution, Motherwell. Liam Grimshaw replaces Stephen O’Donnell because of an injury.
David Turnbull (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Melker Hallberg (Hibernian).
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.
Attempt blocked. Christian Doidge (Hibernian) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Martin Boyle with a cross.
Attempt missed. Christian Doidge (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Boyle with a cross.
Attempt missed. Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.
Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Paul McGinn.
Substitution, Hibernian. Lewis Stevenson replaces Josh Doig.
Foul by Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell).
Paul McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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