CELTIC may well have been outclassed at the highest level in Europe last week, but the Parkhead club showed once again yesterday, not that they really required to, that in Scotland they are without equal.

There were suggestions that Motherwell, worthy victors over Aberdeen and Rangers, the second and third best teams in the country last season, in the previous two rounds, were capable of producing an upset in the build-up this encounter.

Their physical approach to games, which had resulted in Rangers centre half Fabio Cardoso of Rangers, suffering a broken nose in the semi-final, was expected by many to pose their feted adversaries problems.

Read more: Neil Cameron: Celtic are invincible and untouchable - but Motherwell are right to feel hard done by

Stephen Robinson’s team, though, failed to so much as lay a glove on Brendan Rodgers’ side. The defending champions won comfortably courtesy of a James Forrest goal and Moussa Dembele penalty in the second half.

Motherwell’s chances of pulling off a shock and winning this tournament for the first time since 1950 and for only the second time in their history were effectively ended by hugely contentious penalty and red card decisions on the hour mark.

But the statistics at the end of the 90 minutes told the story of what was a fairly one-sided final. Celtic enjoyed 69 per cent of the possession and had 21 shots at goal of which eight were on target. The margin of victory could and really should have been far greater.

The winners, thrashed 7-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in a Champions League group game in France four days earlier, showed no ill-affects from that humiliation.

They stretched their record-breaking unbeaten domestic run to 65 games with what was a routine triumph. It is very hard to see any team bringing that streak of form to an end or challenging them for a silverware in the foreseeable future such is their dominance.

Read more: Neil Cameron: Celtic are invincible and untouchable - but Motherwell are right to feel hard done by

Rodgers, who became the first Celtic manager to win his first four domestic competitions, was gracious in victory. But it is tantalising to speculate about what is next for his all-conquering side. A double treble? A treble treble even? Anything is possible such is their superiority.

The Northern Irishman had been forced to defend his unwillingness to send his players out to contain and counter attack in midweek. His countryman and counterpart had no qualms about doing so yesterday. It worked well for him for the first 45 minutes.

The Fir Park club, though, were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men after only 12 minutes. Cedric Kipre could easily have been ordered off for a reckless challenge on Dembele as he bore down on his goal. Players have been ordered off for far less.

When Dembele was yellow carded by Thomson after bringing down Carl McHugh just three minutes later the Celtic support was incensed at the injustice of it all. But the forward could have no complaints.

Motherwell had their moments. When the ball spun out to Richard Tait on the edge of the edge of the Celtic area in the 25th minute the right back had the opportunity to put his team ahead. His effort sailed over.

The holders took the lead four minutes after the start of the second half when Callum McGregor supplied Forrest in the penalty area. The winger showed fine composure to steady himself and curl a shot past Peter Hartley and Charles Dunne, beyond the outstretched Trevor Carson and into the bottom left corner.

Credit to Motherwell, whose players could, to a man, hold their heads high last night for the intelligence they played with and the effort they put in, for how they responded to that setback.

Read more: Neil Cameron: Celtic are invincible and untouchable - but Motherwell are right to feel hard done by

Just four minutes later Andy Rose squared the ball to Moult and the striker managed to thrust himself in front of Dedryck Boyata and get a glancing header on target. Only an exceptional one-handed save from Craig Gordon kept Celtic ahead.

They forged further in front in highly controversial circumstances on the hour mark. Demeble linked beautifully with Scott Sinclair and the winger went to ground as he edged ahead of Kipre following a tug on his arm by the defender.

The Motherwell players and fans were incensed when Thomson gave a penalty. They were apoplectic when the match official then produced a red card. Both decisions were harsh.

Dembele waited patiently for the protests to die down before drilling a shot straight down the middle, under the trailing leg of goalkeeper Carson, who had dived to his left, and into the net.

There was no way back for Motherwell after that and they actually did well to keep the scoreline respectable.