CELTIC showed in this match that they have an attack to strike fear into the heart of any opposition, and a defence to strike fear into the hearts of their supporters.

Ok, they won’t be coming up against a striker with the pace and power of West Ham’s Michail Antonio every week, but even still, the ease at which the English Premier League side cut open the Celtic backline during this friendly was alarming.

It was thought there may be something of a dilemma for Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou going into this game, sandwiched as it was between the first and second legs of his side’s Champions League qualifying tie against FC Midtjylland.

He had to balance the risk of injury to players who would start on Wednesday night in Denmark - particularly in defence, where John Kennedy is next in line to pull the boots on – and using the match to fine tune his preferred starting XI for that game.

In the end, the Celtic manager went all in on the second option, with only red card sinner Nir Bitton dropping out of the team from Tuesday night at Celtic Park, and his replacement Dane Murray coming in from the start.

The youngster had an afternoon to forget, as did his only slightly older partner Stephen Welsh, while both Anthony Ralston and Greg Taylor didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory either. There will be no option for Postecoglou but to go with the same back four on Wednesday night in Herning, but the arrival of Carl Starfelt – plus one or two others – can’t come soon enough.

Where he may have a choice is in goal, with Vasilis Barkas having another strange old afternoon. During the 45 minutes he was on the park, the Greek made two really good one-on-one saves from Antonio and Jared Bowen, giving a glimpse that there might just be a capable keeper somewhere in there after all.

He could do nothing about West Ham’s first goal, which had come after a beautiful bending strike from Callum McGregor had given Celtic an early lead. Young Murray gave the ball away deep in Celtic territory, it was quickly fed into Antonio, and he rounded the keeper to tap home.

Their second goal was another story entirely though.

Ralston was dispossessed in the West Ham box, and the ball was quickly fed to the other end of the pitch. A simple ball in behind Celtic’s high line saw Antonio completely outstrip Welsh for pace, Murray decided not to come across and cover, and the forward was in on Barkas once more.

The keeper’s positioning was awful. He couldn’t have invited the striker to score to his right more had he been waving him in with paddles in his hands like an air traffic controller, and Antonio duly accepted the open invitation.

Apart from the scorching heat, normality was creeping ever closer in the stadium, with 18,500 Celtic supporters giving their new manager and team a rapturous reception before the game. By the time the visitors added a third before the break though, they were a little deflated.

Antonio won a rather soft penalty for the visitors when Ismaila Soro – who had been playing well – bundled into the back of him in the area. Captain Mark Noble stroked it in, and suddenly the match was getting away from Celtic.

Barkas was taken off at the interval with Bain replacing him, and whether that was a sign of things to come for Wednesday night, remains to be seen.

Celtic got a goal to haul themselves back into it as some more good work from Liel Abada on the right saw him whip in a cross that Christie threw himself at to poke in off the post, though former Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph – who had come on at the interval – may feel he should have done better.

The next action summed Celtic’s current state up succinctly at this current time though, as they promptly went walkabout at the back to allow Said Benrahma the freedom of Glasgow to advance on Bain.

Murray tried desperately to get across and block his shot, but a simple dummy fooled both him and the keeper, and the attacker rolled into the net.

Postecoglou then changed all 10 outfield players, with Leigh Griffiths getting the sort of reception he is used to at opposition grounds upon his return to action following accusations he had sent inappropriate messages to schoolgirls.

He was then also roundly booed when he received the ball, and got a mixture of boos and applause when he went over to take a corner.

Back on the pitch, West Ham added a fifth, with Bowen flicking home a Benrahma cross in nonchalant fashion after some hesitation from Leo Hjelde, while Bain denied Benrahma after Celtic had been cut open once more.

There was still time for another low blow for the hosts, as recently released youngster Armstrong Oko-Flex came off the bench for West Ham to finish smartly for a sixth against his old club.

And that was that. Mercifully for the home side.

On a positive note, Odsonne Edouard looked razor sharp early on, while Abada and Christie were also lively, suggesting that Celtic have goals in them. With this defence, it is probably just as well.