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Kilmarnock hosted league leaders Celtic at Rugby Park looking to secure vital points in their battle to beat the drop after relegation rivals Dundee United picked up a win at Motherwell 24 hours earlier, plunging the Ayrshire side into the bottom two.

Ange Postecoglou meanwhile knew a 17th consecutive victory would be another step forward towards a title party in the coming months.

Its took only six minutes for the league leaders to take control of the game, as Kyogo netted his 23rd league goal. The cinch Premiership top marksman cut back in the box before sliding a composed finish beyond Sam Walker.

Before Kilmarnock could catch their breath they found themselves two goals behind on twelve minutes. Daizen Maeda got on the end of an Alistair Johnston ball across the box and his reverse header dropped into the far corner as the visitors moved into cruise control before the quarter hour mark.

Celtic appeared to be ruthless mood and added a third with only 18 minutes on the clock. Yuki Kobayashi and Greg Taylor provided two incisive passes to rip the hosts open before Matt O’Riley delivered a composed finish, as Derek McInnes’ men looked stunned by the ferocious start.

Kyogo passed up the opportunity to make it four after 21 minutes when the Japanese forward saw his penalty come back off the post. It wasn’t long before Postecoglou’s men did get their fourth however, as Matt O’Riley netted his second of the afternoon with a powerful strike from inside the area.

McInnes showed his intent by making a double substitution bringing Fraser Murray’s torrid afternoon to an end alongside Christian Doidge, introducing Jeriel Dorsett and Alan Power to add some semblance of solidity after half an hour.

Liam Donnelly pulled one back for the hosts on the stroke of half time to restore some pride but Celtic remain in cruise control in Ayrshire this afternoon.