CELTIC responded to the x-certificate Champions League exit against Ferencvaros with three much-needed points at Parkhead this afternoon.
The Hoops upped the tempo after the interval and cemented a victory over a Fir Park side who are still without a league win this season.
Goals from James Forrest, Albian Ajeti and Christopher Jullien gave the title kings a welcome response following their shocker against the Hungarians.
Despite suggesting some of his players’ focus lay elsewhere after the midweek flop, Neil Lennon picked the same side to face Stephen Robinson’s visitors.
NUMBER ONE…James Forrest turns away after firing in the breakthrough goal.
NUMBER TWO…Albian Ajeti is all smiles after his well-struck effort.
NUMBER THREE…Christopher Jullien rifles the ball beyond Trevor Carson.
PARADISE REGAINED…Christopher Jullien looks heavenwards after his strike.
That meant Ryan Christie continuing in the main striking role in the absence of the injured Odsonne Edouard, with two more natural strikers in Ajeti and Patryk Klimala on the bench.
It looked like backfiring as the Hoops failed to register a single shot on target until the 39th minute, when Forrest arrowed the ball beyond Trevor Carson after Callum McGregor’s superb run from his own half.
Klimala was introduced for Mohamed Elyounoussi at half-time and had a great chance to double the advantage, but he completely missed a low cross from Greg Taylor smack in front of goal.
The Polish striker later passed up another opportunity to make it 3-0 as he was denied by Carson when he was sent clean through and allowed the keeper to deny him by thrusting out his left foot.
Ajeti, despite having less time to make an impact, finished ruthlessly when presented with space in the box when he controlled Kristoffer Ajer’s pass before firing into the corner.
The third duly arrived when centre-back Jullien raced half the length of the pitch to slide a third beyond the stranded Carson.
Boss Lennon commented: “First-half was a little bit lukewarm. I didn’t think we had the tempo I like the team to play at, but it was a great first goal.
“We wanted a little bit more zest in the second-half and we got that.”
TEAM: Barkas; Elhamed, Jullien, Ajer, Taylor (sub: Frimpong 62); Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Ntcham (sub: Ajeti 71), Elyounoussi (sub: Klimala 46); Christie.