Incisive Celtic swept aside Motherwell with an impressive performance full of power and pace at Fir Park, with in-form Kris Commons scoring twice.

Only some gritty defending prevented the Glasgow side taking the lead before Commons' nonchalant back-heel opened the scoring after 44 minutes.

Efe Ambrose rose unchallenged to head the second at a 54th-minute corner.

Commons pounced again, Anthony Stokes fired Celtic's fourth and Bahrudin Atajic chipped in a late fifth.

It not only stretched the reigning champions' Scottish Premiership lead to eight points but took their tally to 12 goals in two games as they appear determined to prove their worth after the disappointment of their Champions League exit.

Yet third-top Motherwell had gone into the game looking for a third straight win over Celtic at Fir Park, the scene of the visitors' last domestic defeat in April.

Bahrudin Atajic celebrates

Atajic came on as a late substitute to score his first goal for Celtic

Home manager Stuart McCall had reacted to the shock Scottish Cup exit at the hands of League Two part-timers Albion Rovers by making five changes.

Misfiring former Everton forward James McFadden was dumped to the bench along with Paul Lawson and Henri Anier, while Zaine Francis-Angol and Bob McHugh missed out through injury.

Back came captain Keith Lasley and John Sutton along with Simon Ramsden, Iain Vigurs and Craig Moore.

Motherwell needed all the experience they could muster as Celtic hit them with wave after wave of attack in a determination to emulate the goal-happy form that destroyed Hearts in the Cup.

Charlie Mulgrew joined Ambrose and Virgil van Dijk in a three-man defence, allowing full-backs Emilio Izaguirre and Mikael Lustig to rampage down the flanks.

The latter could have put the visitors ahead after only 20 seconds, but goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen pushed away the Swede's 16-yard drive after being set up by Teemu Pukki, who had started instead of virus-hit Nir Biton.

McCall had to re-arrange his side after only nine minutes when Fraser Kerr limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury to be replaced with Adam Cummins.

However, luck was on their side when a Scott Brown cross deflected off Stevie Hammell's hand and referee Steven McLean pointed to the corner rather than the penalty spot.

Celtic's attacking was relentless and Lustig climbed above his marker to send a header a couple of feet over.

Just when Motherwell started to take a foothold in the game, Celtic took the lead seconds before the break.

Pukki's low cross failed to find a taker in front of goal, but it was collected by Stokes and, although the striker's shot was heading wide of the far post, Commons cleverly deflected the ball past Neilson.

Motherwell captain Lasley was incensed, claiming a foul on a team-mate in the lead-up to the goal, and his anger would have intensified had a Joe Ledley header across the face of goal crept inside the far post in the opening exchange of the second half.

The home side briefly threatened with a Sutton header that looped on to the top of the Celtic net, but that simply stung the ruthless visitors to strike at the other end as Ambrose rose to meet a Mulgrew corner in their next attack.

Brown blasted straight at Neilson from close range, the goalkeeper ungainly scrambled clear a Strokes drive and Pukki was booked for diving when he should have been given a penalty for a late Cummins challenge.

Ledley had a shot pushed wide at near post, but the pressure eventually led to a third goal when Nielson could only parry a Izaguirre shot and Commons eased the ball over the line.

A fine Mulgrew pass put Pukki clear out wide and his cross was swept home by Stokes.

There was still time for substitute Atajic to loft over the stranded Nielson to score the Swedish striker's first goal for Celtic as last season's runners-up, who have now conceded nine goals in their last two home games, were humbled for a second time in a week.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Motherwell

  • 12 Nielsen
  • 20 Kerr (Cummins - 10' )
  • 03 Hammell
  • 06 McManus
  • 04 Ramsden
  • 05 Hutchinson Booked
  • 18 Carswell
  • 14 Lasley Booked
  • 22 Moore (Anier - 60' )
  • 09 Sutton
  • 11 Vigurs

Substitutes

  • 07 McFadden
  • 08 Lawson
  • 15 Cummins
  • 21 Stewart
  • 23 Murray
  • 24 Anier
  • 25 Ainsworth

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 23 Lustig
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 08 Brown (Henderson - 84' )
  • 04 Ambrose
  • 05 van Dijk
  • 15 Commons (Atajic - 79' )
  • 16 Ledley
  • 20 Pukki Booked (Boerrigter - 79' )
  • 10 Stokes
  • 21 Mulgrew

Substitutes

  • 11 Boerrigter
  • 17 Baldé
  • 24 Zaluska
  • 37 Atajic
  • 39 Johnstone
  • 41 Fisher
  • 53 Henderson
Ref: Steven McLean
Att: 9,117

Match Stats

Shots

3 21

On target

0 14

Corners

2 7

Fouls

13 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 5.

90:00 +2:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 5.

90:00 +0:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 0, Celtic 5. Bahrudin Atajic (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

88:30

Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:30

Foul by Stuart Carswell (Motherwell).

87:29

Attempt saved. Derk Boerrigter (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

83:13 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces Scott Brown.

83:04

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the right.

82:32

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

80:12

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Simon Ramsden.

79:42

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Adam Cummins.

78:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. Bahrudin Atajic replaces Kris Commons.

78:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. Derk Boerrigter replaces Teemu Pukki.

77:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 0, Celtic 4. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Teemu Pukki.

75:12 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 0, Celtic 3. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emilio Izaguirre.

74:58

Attempt saved. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

73:13

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

72:56

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Shaun Hutchinson.

70:41

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

70:41

Efe Ambrose (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:21

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

70:21

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

68:04

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Gunnar Nielsen.

67:50

Attempt saved. Joe Ledley (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

66:39 Booking

Booking Teemu Pukki (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

65:24

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

65:24

Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

64:47

Attempt missed. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

64:04

Foul by Kris Commons (Celtic).

64:04

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:31

Attempt missed. Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

60:28

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:28

Foul by Stuart Carswell (Motherwell).

59:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Henri Anier replaces Craig Moore.

56:21

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:21

Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).

56:05

Attempt saved. Scott Brown (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

55:03

Foul by Efe Ambrose (Celtic).

55:03

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 0, Celtic 2. Efe Ambrose (Celtic) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Charlie Mulgrew with a cross.

53:33

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

53:00

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

53:00

Efe Ambrose (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

51:18

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

51:18

Teemu Pukki (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:36

Attempt missed. John Sutton (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

47:04

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic).

47:04

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:00

Attempt missed. Joe Ledley (Celtic) header from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

45:00

Second Half begins Motherwell 0, Celtic 1.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 1.

43:37 Booking

Booking Keith Lasley (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

43:09 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 0, Celtic 1. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Anthony Stokes.

41:00

Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:54

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

38:37

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

37:55

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

35:48

John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

35:48

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Celtic).

34:23

Attempt saved. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

28:36

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

28:36

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:20

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

24:29

Attempt missed. Mikael Lustig (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

22:51

Attempt saved. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

22:28

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Shaun Hutchinson.

22:12

Attempt blocked. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

20:11

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Steven Hammell.

19:19

Foul by Craig Moore (Motherwell).

19:19

Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:30

Adam Cummins (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:30

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

17:24

Attempt blocked. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

15:29 Booking

Booking Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

15:23

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

15:23

Teemu Pukki (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

9:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Adam Cummins replaces Fraser Kerr because of an injury.

8:44

Joe Ledley (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:44

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

7:31

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

7:31

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:53

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Emilio Izaguirre.

4:50

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

4:12

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:12

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

1:30

Foul by Teemu Pukki (Celtic).

1:30

Simon Ramsden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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