Defending champions Celtic reached the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup after Liel Abada’s brace helped past Motherwell.
Abada found a Greg Taylor cross just before half-time and then flicked a side foot volley past goalkeeper Liam Kelly just before the hour.
The Israel winger then became an assist for Reo Hatate before his shot fell off a post to Kyogo Furuhashi to score Celtic’s fourth as they join Kilmarnock in the last four.
Ange Postecoglou’s side will find out their opponent later on Wednesday as they seek their seventh League Cup success in nine seasons, with the semi-final draw taking place after the evening’s other two ties.
There was rarely a moment at Fir Park when it felt like shock, as Celtic created a barrage of chances in the first half before finally finding the breakthrough.
Kyogo could have had a hat-trick before the break when he cracked a shot off the bar, missed a gold-rimmed chance from six yards out and then parried another close-range shot from Kelly.
But when Abada invaded the Motherwell box to find Taylor’s cross after a clean exchange with Sead Haksabanovic, what followed after the break was inevitable.
The 21-year-old added his eighth goal of the season when Josip Juranovic’s shot was saved and he reacted instinctively to plant the ball in the corner.
And then his cross was picked up by Hatate, who showed fantastic skill at rolling his right foot over the ball to move it out of Kelly’s reach before pinning it into the empty net.
Abada was then slipped through and had a chance to grab a hat-trick from Daizen Maeda, but his low shot hit a post and Kyogo waited to turn the ball home.
Motherwell ultimately couldn’t withstand Celtic’s movement in the final third but Steven Hammell’s side still had some magic just to avoid taking the chances that presented themselves.
Stuart McKinstry had the best of them when the game was goalless but the striker sliced his shot terribly wide from 10 yards when he had enough time to make a touch after a weak Moritz Jenz defense.
Those are the opportunities that are easy to capitalize on against this Celtic side given the sheer volume of chances they create on the other end.
After a period of relative waste, that’s now 10 goals in two games and a first clean sheet in nine.
Player of the Match – Reo Hatate
what they said
Motherwell boss Steven Hammell: “It’s a difficult question. I felt like we just met a good team at a good moment. When you lose the goal before half-time, you don’t need to be an expert to know things are changing . Unfortunately we did it again.” conceded some really weak goals.”
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “I thought the way Motherwell was set up really tried to be aggressive in terms of putting pressure on us when we tried to play from behind.
“I just thought we handled it really well and after playing through their pressing we had good chances and could have ended the game a bit earlier. But overall very satisfied.”
Motherwell host Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday (15:00CET), while Celtic travel to Edinburgh to meet Hearts in the lunchtime (12:30) kick-off.
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- Don Robertson
Game ends, Motherwell 0, Celtic 4.
End of the second half, Motherwell 0, Celtic 4.
Offside Celtic. Moritz Jenz tries a through ball, but Liel Abada is caught offside.
Benjamin Siegrist (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ross Tierney (Motherwell).
attempt saved. Matt Penney (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Barry Maguire.
Corner, Motherwell. Cashed in by Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Substitution, Motherwell. Barry Maguire replaces Sean Goss.
Substitution, Motherwell. Josh Morris replaces Connor Shields.
Substitution, Celtic. Giorgos Giakoumakis replaces Sead Haksabanovic.
Dean Cornelius (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Sead Haksabanovic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dean Cornelius (Motherwell).
Goal! Motherwell 0, Celtic 4 Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) right footed shot from very close range to the center of the goal.
Liel Abada (Celtic) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the center of the box. Assisted by Daizen Maeda.
Greg Taylor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Paul McGinn (Motherwell).
Substitution, Celtic. Daizen Maeda replaces Reo Hatate.
Substitution, Celtic. James McCarthy replaces Aaron Mooy.
attempt failed. Stuart McKinstry (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ricki Lamie with a header from a set piece situation.
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