Motherwell endured a 5-0 Betfred Cup second round hammering at Celtic Park on Wednesday night.
Celtic enjoyed almost complete domination of a first half which saw Moussa Dembele and James Forrest forcing early saves from ‘Well keeper Craig Samson.
Despite their dominance, the hosts didn’t create a clear scoring chance until the 22nd minute when Tom Rogic shot high into the net with his left foot to make it 1-0.
Motherwell’s first attacking foray ended with Craig Clay - who’d earlier in the day signed a two-year contract - volleying wide.
The Steelmen’s goal then had an incredible escape when Samson saved from Scott Sinclair before Dembele shot against the bar from the rebound. Samson then made a brilliant stop from Rogic.
The same player then forced another stop from Samson, but Celtic went two up from the penalty spot seconds later when Dembele netted after Richard Tait’s foul on the impressive Sinclair.
Dembele forced yet another save from Samson after a crazy scramble in the visitors’ box, before a rare Motherwell breakaway ended with Oxford United target Marvin Johnson shooting just wide of the left post and it remained 2-0 at half-time.
Motherwell threw on winger Lionel Ainsworth for left back Stevie Hammell at the interval, as Hammell had been struggling with a calf problem.
The visitors almost pulled one back when Ben Heneghan’s header from a Joe Chalmers corner went inches wide.
Samson saved a Sinclair shot at the other end following a 47th minute corner, before Dembele, Forrest and Scott Brown all had shots stopped by the outstanding Samson.
Johnson and Scott McDonald missed with rare goal attempts for the visitors, before Sinclair killed the game off with a fine solo goal on the hour.
Dembele shot home for 4-0, before Rogic tapped home a late fifth.
Forrest shot over with his left foot, before a late Motherwell raid saw Johnson’s shot parried by keeper Craig Gordon before McDonald put the rebound wide from an offside position.
So it was a resounding loss for the Fir Parkers which brought back painful memories for supporters just two months after their favourites were battered 7-0 at Celtic Park in the final league game of last season.
But let’s finish this report on a positive note from a Motherwell perspective by reminding readers that ’Well won 2-1 at Parkhead in a league game last December.