Motherwell’s hopes of lifting the gloom following their Scottish Cup shock exit were dashed as Celtic ran rampant at Fir Park.
Memories were still fresh of ’Well winning 3-1 the last time they hosted the champions in April, but ended up suffering their heaviest defeat of the season.
Simon Ramsden returned to the line-up after an injury lay-off, but rather than slot in at right-back he found himself as one of three centre backs.
However, he would not remain there for long as ’Well’s plans were thrown into disarray as Fraser Kerr went off injured after just ten minutes.
By that stage arguably ’Well could already have been behind as seconds into the match Teemu Pukki laid off to Mikael Lustig but his fierce shot was parried by Gunnar Nielsen.
Celtic had a penalty claim turned down as Scott Brown’s cross appeared to hit Stevie Hammell’s arm, but referee Steven McLean said no.
Two minutes from the break the away side’s dominance paid off as Anthony Stokes shot hit a wayward shot, but PUKKI was able to backheel it into the net.
An incensed ’Well captain Keith Lasley claimed he had been fouled in the build up, but the goal stood.
After the break the hosts finally mustered an effort in the direction of Fraser Forster’s goal, but John Sutton couldn’t keep his header from an Iain Vigur’s free-kick down.
On 54 minutes it was 2-0 as EFE AMBROSE was unmarked at the back post to head in a Charlie Mulgrew corner.
A long ball almost gave Craig Moore a sight of goal, but he delayed too long allowing Ambrose to do his job at the other end and block.
The chances kept falling for celtic and on 75 minutes it was 3-0 as Nielsen got weak wrists to a Emilio Izaguirrie curler and KRIS COMMONS tapped in a volley.
Two minutes later they scored again as a low cross from Pukki allowed STOKES to steal in at the back post.
In response all ’Well could manage was an off target Vigurs effort.
Substitute Cerk Boerrigter hit the woodwork for Celts before fellow sub BAHRUDIN ATAJIC wrapped up the scoring in the final minute by lobbing over Nielsen.
Motherwell: Nielsen, Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, Sutton, Vigurs, lasley, Carswell, Kerr (Cummins 10), Moore (Anier 60). Subs not used: Stewart, McFadden, Lawson, Murray, Ainsworth.
Celtic: Forster, Izaguirre, Ambrose, van Dijk, Brown (Henderson 84), Stokes, Commons (Atajic 79), Ledley, Pukki (Boerrigter 79), Mulgrew, Lustig. Subs not used: Zaluska, Balde, Johnston, Fisher.
Referee: Steven McLean.