Celtic went 10 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with an emphatic 5-0 win over Hearts at Celtic Park.
Olivier Ntcham, Christopher Jullien, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Jozo Simunovic were the scorers for the Hoops, who played like champions, especially in the second half.
After a dominant start to the game without much cutting edge, Neil Lennon’s side opened the scoring at the half-hour mark when Ntcham drove his effort into the back of the net.
At the start of the second half, Jullien rose at the back post to head Leigh Griffiths’ corner into the net.
McGregor made it three in the 52nd minute after exchanging passes with Greg Taylor before placing his effort past the Hearts goalkeeper.
There was no respite for Hearts as the home side made it four in the 67th minute through Christie’s effort, Taylor with another assist.
Thereafter, with 10 minutes remaining and the opposition on the mat, Simunovic got his header in from Christie’s corner to make it five for the reigning Scottish champions.
All in all, a satisfying night for Celtic, who also saw rivals Rangers lose to Kilmarnock.
Here’s how we rated the Hoops after the game:
Fraser Forster - 6
Forster made a couple of good saves in an otherwise quiet night in goal. He did put his side in trouble once with a slack pass out from the back.
All in all, a deserved clean sheet.
Jozo Simunovic - 6
The defender didn’t have a good first half, where his passing wasn’t good and he looked shaky at the back.
Settled in well after the break and rounded the night off with a goal later on.
Kristoffer Ajer - 8
A solid performance from Ajer, who remained calm in a small period of Hearts’ dominance and made some vital defensive interventions.
His passing was good as usual and deserved to help the team keep a clean sheet.
Christopher Jullien - 8
Jullien was dominant at the back, dealt with the dangers well and passed the ball with precision from the back.
At the other end, he was a threat from set-pieces as usual and got his goal early on in the second half with a far post header.
James Forrest - 6
By his standards, this was a sub-par performance from Forrest, who had a couple of attempts on goal, however, he lacked conviction at times and his decision making could have been better in and around the final third.
Subbed off with 20 minutes left in the game.
Scott Brown - 6
The captain wasn’t at his best in the first half and lacked the cutting edge.
He came back well after break, controlled the midfield better and led the team to a comfortable win.
Callum McGregor - 8
McGregor was a bundle of positive energy in midfield throughout the game.
His drive on the ball, passing precision and the ability to work off the ball was top notch on most occasions.
The Scotland international linked up well with Taylor to score Celtic’s third goal.
Greg Taylor - 9
A marauding performance from the 22-year-old, who was always on the front foot from the left hand side, keeping Hearts on the back foot.
He assisted the third and fourth goals, worked his socks off and deserved great applause from the Parkhead faithful after the full-time whistle.
Olivier Ntcham - 6
The Frenchman had a strange game, where he was culpable of giving possession away in the first half, but still came up with an opening goal in that half after anticipating the parry from the keeper and driving his effort in.
The midfielder cruised along after the break with ease. Subbed off later on.
Odsonne Edouard - 7
Even though Edouard didn’t score, he was a part of some exquisite link-up play in the final third for the Hoops.
His combination play with Griffiths before taking a shot that led to Ntcham’s goal was fantastic, to say the least.
Leigh Griffiths - 6
Griffiths missed a sitter in the first half and had an effort flying over the bar. He made amends pretty early into the second half by assisting Jullien’s goal with a precise corner.
Subbed off few minutes after the hour mark.
(SUB) Ryan Christie - 8
Came on in the last 25 minutes and immediately got himself on the scoresheet with a good finish. Assisted the fifth Celtic goal later on to cap off a brilliant cameo from the bench.
(SUB) Mohamed Elyounoussi - 6
Came on in the final 20 minutes and showed some good touches to keep the team on the front foot.
(SUB) Tom Rogic - 6
Came on for the final 10 minutes and showed some nice touches.