Match report and reaction: Motherwell 1, Celtic 4
“I think the scoreline is harsh on us,” he told Sky Sports after the lunchtime game.
“We had a lot of chances, but the quality they’ve got, if you give them chances, they take them, and we didn’t.”
In an interview on the club’s website, he added: “The scoreline suggests it was an absolute doing. It certainly wasn’t.
“The frustrating part of it was that we had so many opportunities and didn’t take them.
“That’s probably the most chances we’ve had against a Celtic side, and when we went to 2-1, I thought we were in total control of the game, but the second and third goals were really poor defending. You can set teams up as best you want but if individuals don’t mark their man and deal with crosses, then it kills you. It’s disappointing from that aspect and they have to be better with that.
“It’s frustrating it’s a 4-1 scoreline because I thought there were a lot of good performances.”
Mohamed Elyounoussi was the ’Well’s chief tormentor, notching up a hat-trick at Fir Park, but the hosts did threaten a comeback on 71 minutes, though that brief glimmer of hope was snuffed out just three minutes later.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon was looking for a response from his team after their 4-1 Europa League defeat by Sparta Prague at Parkhead on Thursday night, leaving them with just one win in their last six matches in all competitions, and he got it as the Glaswegians ended up on the other side of an identical scoreline today.
Hoops attacker Elyounoussi put Celtic in control of the game with two first-half goals, but a header from home defender Declan Gallagher halved that deficit with 20 minutes to go.
Elyounoussi got his hat-trick three minutes later, though, also with a header, and substitute Olivier Ntcham added a fourth goal ahead of the final whistle.
Lennon rung the changes after Thursday’s defeat, with Shane Duffy being replaced by Kristoffer Ajer and Albian Ajeti replacing French striker Odsonne Edouard.
Robinson kept the same starting XI responsible for back-to-back wins ahead of today’s game.
Celtic’s opener came in the eighth minute. An attempted back pass by midfielder Liam Polworth was intercepted by Ajeti, and he shot for goal, hitting the far post, and Elyounoussi was on hand to tap in the rebound from three yards for his fifth goal in six games.
A penalty claim by the hosts followed after Callum Lang went to ground inside the box after tussling with Hoops captain Scott Brown, but referee Andrew Dallas was unimpressed.
Ajer then blocked a goal-bound shot from Tony Watt.
Elyounoussi’s second goal came in the 27th minute after midfielder Tom Rogic ran to the byeline then cut the ball back to the Norwegian international to guide it into the net.
The hosts refused to give in, though, and Watt dispossessed full-back Jeremie Frimpong and put the ball into the six-yard box but there was no one there to seize that opportunity.
Frimpong and Ryan Christie then both went close with shots at the other end.
Come the second half, ’Well went at their visitors again, with a header by Gallagher from a Polworth corner being cleared off the line by left-back Diego Laxalt.
Another intervention by Laxalt just before the hour mark stopped Lang getting a shot away close to goal.
The goal Motherwell’s performance merited, despite having only 36% of possession, came soon after a flurry of substitutions.
Edouard and Hatem Elhamed replaced Ajeti and Frimpong for Celtic and the Steelmen’s Robbie Crawford and Chris Long came on for Devante Cole and Barry McGuire.
Polworth sent a free-kick goalwards, and Gallagher outjumped Nir Bitton at the back post to head the ball beyond visiting goalkeeper Scott Bain.
Any fleeting hope of a comeback disappeared very shortlt afterwards, though, when Elyounoussi jumped high to head in a cross from Elhamed.
Adding insult to injury, midfielder Ntcham had no sooner come off the bench to replace Rogic than Edouard set him up in the 86th minute to score from 14 yards out.