Celtic continue defence of League Cup with 4-0 victory over Motherwell

Celtic are in the draw for the League Cup semi-finals following victory at Motherwell.

Celtic continue defence of League Cup with 4-0 victory over Motherwell at Fir Park SNS Group

Celtic have booked a place at Hampden as they continued their defence of the League Cup trophy with a 4-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park.

The Hoops will play in their 17th semi-final in the last decade as they set up a date with the national stadium early next year as they look to keep up their recent domination of the domestic cup competitions.

Liel Abada scored a double and assisted two others as they put on the style in North Lanarkshire on Wednesday night.

Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate scored the others as the cup holders ran out easy winners in the end.

Both teams came into the game knowing a place in the last four was on the line with the defending champions looking to make it seven League Cup trophies from the last 6.

The only one they never won in that time was in the 2020/21 season when the tournament was played behind closed doors and St Johnstone triumphed on their way to a cup double.

Motherwell on the other hand haven’t been to Hampden since the 2017/18 season when they lost the final to Celtic and Scottish Cup semi-final to Aberdeen, but also beat Rangers 2-0 in the League Cup last four.

Celtic had most of the ball in the early stages, with Motherwell having goalkeeper Liam Kelly and the woodwork to thank for keeping the game level, but the home side looked more than capable of creating their own chances.

The first real chance of the game fell to Kyogo, but his effort smashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the goal line and back out to Abada who was unable to get enough power on his header to get his past Kelly.

But Steven Hammell’s side had more than enough sights at Benjamin Seigrist’s goal to feel they had a chance of sneaking something up the other end.

They must have felt they should have taken the lead when the ball fell to Stuart McKinstry in the box following a lapse in concentration from Moritz Jenz, but the Motherwell winger blasted his shot over the bar.

Goss then forced a save from Siegrist but just as the home side were having their best spell of possession of the game Celtic got themselves in front when Abada scored following great work by Greg Taylor on the left-hand side.

The Scotland international burst up the park from left-back and found himself in the box before putting it on a plate for the Israeli to tap in the opener.

Motherwell had the first chance of the first half but Seigrist, who was brought in for his first start of the season, managed to make a finger tipped save from Penney’s shot to force the corner.

The second half was just ten minutes old when Abada got his second after a sustained period of pressure from Celtic and two good saves from Kelly from the young winger and then Haksabanovic before the lead was doubled.

And less than five minutes later Celtic’s place in the draw for the last four was all-but secured when Reo Hatate made it 3-0 with a lovely bit of footwork to take it round Kelly before slotting it home.

And it was Hatate’s countryman Kyogo who slotted home the fourth when he pounced on to the rebound when Abada’s shot came off the post.

Aberdeen host Partick Thistle and Rangers play Dundee at Ibrox in Wednesday’s other quarterfinals before the draw for the last four take place.

The two semi-finals will be played at Hampden on the weekend of January 14 and 15th.

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