Match ends, Celtic 3, Morton 0.
Celtic 3-0 Greenock Morton
Celtic cruised into the Scottish Cup semi-finals as striker Moussa Dembele scored twice against Championship side Morton.
The visitors were well-drilled and disciplined as they kept the Scottish Cup holders at bay in the first half.
Dembele opened the scoring with a header after the break, though, before adding a second from the penalty spot.
Substitute Odsonne Edouard wrapped up the scoring with a third from close range in the final minute.
The tie featured the two sides with the best defensive records in Scotland, and Celtic had to show patience as they worked to break down a visiting side that played with resilience and spirit.
The Morton chief executive Warren Hawke felt this match should have been postponed as a consideration for the safety of fans travelling to the match in the wake of the week's adverse weather, but the Greenock club's followers arrived in Glasgow in good numbers.
Marvin Compper, on his Celtic debut, almost made an immediate impact to forget when he gifted the Championship club an early opportunity. Gary Oliver latched on to the former RB Leipzig defender's misplaced pass - his first touch of the ball for his new club - but the Morton forward delayed in shooting and Kristoffer Ajer raced back to concede a corner.
Morton showed early promise, with manager Jim Duffy's tactics giving Celtic food for thought, particularly on the counter attack with midfielder Gary Harkins often prominent.
Celtic eventually found some rhythm just after quarter of an hour, when Dembele and James Forrest combined to create a good chance. The pair combined to release Forrest on a scampering run down the right, and his cross from the byline was met by the French striker, who's header was cleared off the goal line by the vigilant Morton captain Thomas O'Ware.
Tom Rogic had two efforts prior to the interval, but on both occasions he was denied by fine saves by Derek Gaston. The Morton goalkeeper's first intervention was outstanding as he reacted superbly to turn away the Celtic midfielder's strike after a sweeping move; the second he tipped round the post as Rogic fired in a left-foot volley.
Edouard replaced Scott Sinclair at the break and came close within two minutes of the restart. The ball broke his way 12 yards out, but his shot had no power and was easily saved by Gaston.
Morton, looking to reach the semi final for the first time since 1981, were not overwhelmed by the occasion and Andy Murdoch prompted a moment of alarm for Celtic goalkeeper Dorus de Vries. The midfielder showed neat skill on the edge of the box to flick the ball up before sending a right-foot volley inches wide.
But in the 63rd minute Celtic took the lead when Dembele claimed his 11th goal of the season with a fine header from a Rogic cross from the right. The striker's effort flew over Gaston and bounced in off the underside of the bar.
Seven minutes later, Celtic doubled their lead in controversial circumstances when they were awarded a penalty after Dembele was fouled by Michael Doyle just outside the box. However, the referee John Beaton judged the infringement to have taken place inside the area and Dembele scored with the spot kick.
That goal was a sucker punch to the visitors and Dembele came close to completing his hat-trick with another header from a Forrest cross, but Gaston reacted well to tip it over.
Edouard wrapped up the victory with Celtic's third goal, finishing well after another run and cross by Forrest, to ensure the holders progressed to the semi-finals for the seventh time in nine seasons.
- 24de Vries
- 33CompperSubstituted forMcGregorat 83'minutes
- 18RogicSubstituted forMusondaat 68'minutes
- 11SinclairSubstituted forEdouardat 45'minutes
- 4O'WareBooked at 72mins
- 25RossBooked at 82minsSubstituted forIredaleat 87'minutes
- 12TidserSubstituted forMcHughat 78'minutes
- 7OliverBooked at 58mins
- John Beaton
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Morton 0.
Goal! Celtic 3, Morton 0. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by James Forrest.
Attempt missed. Scott Tiffoney (Morton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Substitution, Morton. Jack Iredale replaces Frank Ross.
Attempt saved. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Derek Gaston.
Attempt saved. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, Celtic. Callum McGregor replaces Marvin Compper.
Frank Ross (Morton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Frank Ross (Morton).
Attempt blocked. Scott Tiffoney (Morton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.
Foul by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic).
Ricki Lamie (Morton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Morton. Bob McHugh replaces Michael Tidser.
Attempt missed. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Thomas O'Ware (Morton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Moussa Dembele (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Thomas O'Ware (Morton).
Goal! Celtic 2, Morton 0. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.
Penalty Celtic. Moussa Dembele draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Michael Doyle (Morton) after a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Celtic. Charly Musonda replaces Tomas Rogic.
Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Corner, Morton. Conceded by Jozo Simunovic.
Goal! Celtic 1, Morton 0. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) header from the left side of the six yard box to the top left corner. Assisted by Tomas Rogic.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Michael Doyle.
Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Harkins (Morton).
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Derek Gaston.
Attempt saved. Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Gary Oliver (Morton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Gary Oliver (Morton).
Moussa Dembele (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Michael Tidser (Morton).
Foul by Moussa Dembele (Celtic).
Ricki Lamie (Morton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.