IT isn’t just in the transfer market that Celtic are racking up record numbers. At the end of a week in which they recouped a record £25m for the services of Kieran Tierney, this 4-1 romp against Motherwell means they have now scored 12 goals in their first two Ladbrokes Premiership matches. If they maintain this rate for the remainder of the season they will notch 228 goals. And to think Peter Lawwell and Neil Lennon also have £25m burning a hole in their pockets to add to their squad.

With Brendan Rodgers’ side drawing the corresponding fixture here last season, this was actually Celtic’s first league win at this venue since December 2016. They even trailed this match to Liam Donnelly’s 13th minute opener, the same man grabbing a second consolation goal late on. But by the end the Parkhead side’s dominance was such that one makeshift full back Kris Ajer was in the six yard box, chasing his second goal of his day, while the much maligned Boli Bolingoli on the other flank had had a hand – literally, in the case of Odsonne Edouard’s strike- in two goals.

With Edouard, Ryan Christie and Scott Sinclair arriving as a show of strength from the bench, the ball was being moved about so quickly at times that it must have seemed like there were two balls on the park. That was literally the case in the lead-up to Ryan Christie’s 86th minute penalty, when home goalkeeper Mark Gillespie argued that the match should have been stopped because the away fans threw an extra ball on the pitch.

This was a tight turnaround for Neil Lennon and his squad, who only returned to Romania in the small hours of Thursday morning, and have the return match with CFR Cluj on Tuesday night. The Northern Irishman freshened things up with starts for Leigh Griffiths, Olivier Ntcham and Christopher Jullien, but his options are curtailed in the two full back spots, one reason why he is keen to sign both a right and left back before the window closes. With Hatem Abd Elhamed ruled out due to injury, that meant press ganging Ajer into action on the right flank, while Boli Bolingoli continues to struggle with filling the shoes of the departed Kieran Tierney o the left.

Having coasted through their BetFred Cup group, yet failed to impress in their league opener away to Livingston, it is too early to say what kind of team Motherwell will be this season. The absence of David Turnbull, deprived a summer move to yesterday’s opponents due to injury, will sting for a bit. But with Stephen Robinson at the helm, there was the usual honesty about how they went about their business here, combined with no little quality.

Seemingly taking a page out of the narrow 4-3-3 which Steven Gerrard used to good effect against the champions last year, they pressed Celtic with ferocity, even giving Scott Bain no time on the ball. Central defender Declan Gallagher had already sneaked into an advanced position once before he played a role in what was a sweet opening goal for the hosts inside the opening 13 minutes .

Jermain Hylton started out, dancing out of difficulty and noticing Gallagher’s run before spearing over a great crossfield pass. The former Livingston player cushioned the ball into Donnelly’s path and his strike was true, a little bounce just in front of Bain enough for it to elude the Celtic goalkeeper.

Celtic were reeling at this point, but within a minute they had come up with the reaction which has been their hallmark. Ajer embarked on a lung-busting run from right back, James Forrest rolled him in, and the Norwegian had the calmness to slip the ball under the advancing Gillespie.

You might have thought the goal would have sucked the wind out of the home side but they stuck to their task. They might have had a penalty for a Kris Ajer nudge on Chris Long then a Sherwin Seedorf cross just out of reach at the far post. It was only as half time approached that you sensed that their energy was starting to hit a lull.

Bolingoli nearly made all his detractors eat their words when he was just off target from a masterful Olivier Ntcham pass then Gallagher conceded a needless free-kick for a foul on Leigh Griffiths. Taking advantage of a gap at the side of the wall, the little striker banged his first league goal since last November into the bottom corner from 22 yards.

Stephen Robinson turned to his bench at half time, introducing the hulking Christian Ilic in an attempt to get after Bolingoli a bit more. Chris Long almost surprised Bain with a snap shot from 25 yards but it was Celtic who were looking the likelier to add to their tally.

And that was how things transpired shortly after Odsonne Edouard had replaced Griffiths up front. The Frenchman had only a minor role in the move, however, with Bolingoli showing his attacking prowess to hit the bye-line and deliver a centre which James Forrest tucked into the bottom corner.

Conceding the third on the hour mark made things fraught for the Lanarkshire side for the remainder. Home fans bayed for a handball against Bolingoli on the touchline in the lead-up to the fourth goal but under the new rules it seemed fair and before long Lewis Morgan was finding Edouard, who tucked it into the corner.

Ryan Christie steered in No 5 from the penalty spot, high to Gillespie’s left. Most Motherwell fans had long since left Fir Park Donnelly steered in his second of the day from close range.

Motherwell 2

Donnelly 13, 90

Celtic 5

Ajer 14, Griffiths 41, Forrest 66, Edouard 76, Christie 86 pen