Jake Carroll: Motherwell left back says Celtic were "ruthless" in 4-0 Fir Park win

Jake Carroll in action against Celtic on Wednesday night (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Jake Carroll in action against Celtic on Wednesday night (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Motherwell defender Jake Carroll praised Celtic's one touch passing football and ruthlessness after the champions won 4-0 at Fir Park on Wednesday night, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Motherwell - with Rolando Aarons looking impressive in his 56-minute debut - competed well in the first half and created chances but still went in behind to an Odsonne Edouard goal.

The second half was more one sided as the Hoops eased home thanks to strikes by Leigh Griffiths, Edouard and Callum McGregor.

"I think it was very positive first half," Carroll told the Times and Speaker.

"We were very disappointed to concede a goal. I think it was their only chance of the half and they punished us.

"But we were positive about how we threatened them. We had a couple of chances ourselves and Forster's pulled off a great save from Rolando.

"And then we've looked to impose ourselves on them second half but they're ruthless.

"The one touch football, you don't get that a lot in this league.

"And they just punished us at every opportunity.

"It can be tough just constantly tracking runners. They've got lads running from all type of positions and you've got to try and track your runners.

"The one touch football is hard to defend against because not a lot of teams have that quality to play one touch. Round the corner and into the box and the ball's in your net before you can even react. It was tough going."

Aaron's debut was praised by Carroll.

The left back added: "Rolando looked very good. He's played a couple of times for Newcastle.

"He's done really well. He's looked sharp since he's been in, our brightest player in the first half.

"Just because he hasn't played a lot recently he ran out of gas in the second half which is normal. He looks bright and we're all excited to see what else he brings."

A major positive for Motherwell was that they retained their three-point lead in third place in the Scottish Premiership as Aberdeen lost 1-0 at home to St Johnstone.

Further boosts came via fellow top six teams Livingston and Hibs also being defeated.

Carroll added: "We're lucky, we got away with one but we can't keep depending on other teams dropping points.

"It was tough, we did want to take points here. We went toe to toe with them first half but maybe just ran out of gas in the second half and their quality shone through in the end."

Carroll and his mates are in fifth round William Hill Scottish Cup action at St Mirren this Saturday.

He added: "The cup's massive for us. Some of the team got to the cup final a couple of years ago and Dunney (Charles Dunne) speaks about how good an experience it was to play at Hampden.

"The players will definitely be looking to get there and it would be great for the fans as well to get to the final and hopefully win it."