Five things we learned from Celtic 5 - 0 Motherwell

Craig Fowler gives his take on a thumping victory for Brendan Rodgers side who cruised into the quarter-finals of the BetFred Cup.

Tom Rogic, centre, and Scott Sinclair both had outstanding evenings. Picture: SNS
Tom Rogic, centre, and Scott Sinclair both had outstanding evenings. Picture: SNS

Tom Rogic is worth the contract extension

The Australian started the first game of the season and, along with the rest of his team-mates, endured a nightmarish evening against Lincoln Red Imps. Since then, Rogic hasn’t been seen in the starting XI in a competitive fixture under Brendan Rodgers, so it was somewhat of a surprise when he was granted a new deal on Tuesday. Negotiations had gone on for months, and having failed to come to agreement when he was playing consistently last season, it seem Rogic may be on his way out. Instead, his new manager showed the utmost faith in his midfielder and he’s already began to repay that faith. Rogic was superb against Motherwell. His quick feet bamboozled the opponents throughout and he scored a tremendous opening goal that put Celtic on their way to a comfortable victory.

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Scott Sinclair will rediscover his goalscoring form

The last time Sinclair played under Rodgers he was renowned as a terrific goalscoring midfielder. Then he went to Manchester City and his career stalled. Since leaving Swansea in 2012, where he netted 35 goals in two seasons, he’s found the back of the net only nine times. He’s already got two goals in one-and-a-bit games after joining the Scottish champions. The only disappointing aspect of his match against Motherwell was that he didn’t find the net more than once. He not only terrorised the Motherwell right back Richard Tait, he continually found space running at the heart of the opposing back-line and should be an absolute nightmare for centre backs, as well as full backs, this season.

Celtic have plenty of depth at the domestic level

Rodgers said he’s still looking to bring in a couple of players, and fans may be hoping for more if they’re to stay competitive in the Champions League group stages. However, from what we’ve witnessed in the first two games, there’s plenty of talent available in reserve for the club to reach their objective of dominating Scottish football. Leigh Griffiths was not available, and they had to stitch together a patchwork centre back pairing with Mikael Lustig joining youngster Eoghan O’Connell, but there only looked like being one winner from this contest. Motherwell should be viewed as one of the stronger opponents in the country and yet they were brushed aside by a weakened XI. Mark McGhee’s side were the only Scottish side to defeat them at Celtic Park last season. One must wonder if that feat will be matched by anyone this campaign.

There’s no set way of playing Celtic

Hearts attacked and pressed Celtic at Tynecastle on Sunday and were burned by a late counter attack. Motherwell were defensive for their trip to Celtic Park and got their backsides handed to them. The visitors switched between a 3-5-2, 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 in the first half without the desired effect. They had chances at the other end, but could equally have been hammered by a greater scoreline. Fans always believe there’s a better way of playing Celtic - usually to attack rather than defend - but the fact remains that when they are on their game, there’s not really much an opponent can do except try their best, pray for some luck or, failing that, a quick and merciful full-time whistle.

Craig Samson is doing everything to hold on to his position

The arrival of Dean Brill in the summer transfer window cast doubt over the future of Craig Samson. Having sat behind Connor Ripley for the majority of last season, it was expected the former St Mirren and Kilmarnock stopper would find himself playing the role of back up once again. However, he’s so far managed to hold off the challenge from Brill, and doesn’t look like losing his place any time soon after a great performance at Celtic Park. Yes, he did lose five goals, but none of those were his fault and, if it weren’t for some terrific saves - his one-handed reactionary top from Rogic in the first half was something special - Motherwell could have lost by ten last night.

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