Celtic 5-0 Motherwell: Hoops through to Betfred Cup quarter-finals
By Andy Swales
Last Updated: 10/08/16 10:48pm
Tom Rogic and Moussa Dembele each scored a brace as Celtic eased into the last eight of the Betfred Cup with a 5-0 victory over a lacklustre Motherwell side.
The Hoops dominated on home turf on Wednesday night, with visiting keeper Craig Sampson making a handful of decent saves to prevent the margin being even wider.
He was first called into action on 16 minutes, when forced to push away a low curling shot by recent signing Scott Sinclair.
And it was only a matter of time before Celtic broke the deadlock. With 20 minutes on the clock, Callum McGregor neatly chipped the ball to an unmarked Rogic who calmly controlled it before turning and lashing a shot high into the net from 10 yards - giving Sampson no chance.
Craig Clay volleyed a rare Motherwell chance wide midway through the first half but there was little cheer for Mark McGhee's team before the interval.
Celtic continued to hold sway with Rogic testing Sampson, before Dembele crashed the rebound against a post when he probably should have scored.
Sampson was constantly kept busy, saving well again from Rogic shortly before the hosts were awarded a 34th-minute penalty.
Richard Tait pushed Sinclair and there was nothing Sampson could do to prevent Dembele from making it 2-0.
There were more Sampson heroics before the interval, leaving Motherwell relieved to be just two goals adrift.
However, the Steelmen came mighty close to reducing the deficit in the opening minute of the second half when, from a Joe Chalmers corner, Ben Heneghan missed the target from three yards - heading inches wide of the left post.
At the other end, Dembele curled over from inside the area while Sampson saved from James Forrest.
The ever-busy Sampson did well to deny Scott Brown who rampaged into the box before unleashing a fierce shot and, just after the hour mark, it was game over as Celtic added a third.
Rogic laid the ball into the path of Sinclair who created space for himself before clinically curling it beyond the diving Sampson from 15 yards.
Three minutes later, it was the turn of Dembele to score his second of the match, when his low shot from six yards took a hefty deflection to wrong foot Sampson before sneaking inside the near post.
Rogic had the simple task of tapping home the fifth, 15 minutes from time, with the Australian in the right place to latch on to a loose ball after Samson had failed to hold on to Forrest's shot.
Sampson saved well again, this time from substitute Liam Henderson, while Scott McDonald missed a great chance to net a consolation for Motherwell - but by then it was far too late to make any difference.