Matt O’Riley scored his sixth cinch Premiership goal of the season to send Celtic on their way to a comfortable 4-1 win over Hearts.
O’Riley volleyed home brilliantly early on and Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi added further goals as Celtic thoroughly dominated for the first hour at Tynecastle.
Lawrence Shankland pulled a goal back but substitute Tomoki Iwata hit his first goal for Celtic to finish the hosts off in the 81st minute.
Reo Hatate missed a penalty in what was otherwise an impressive performance from the Celtic midfielder.
Hearts were looking to build on two wins and a draw in their previous three games. But an unchanged Celtic side restored their seven-point lead at the top of the table 24 hours after Philippe Clement enjoyed a 4-0 win over Hibernian in his first match as Rangers manager.
Hearts had more than halved Celtic’s usual allocation to 576 fans, many of whom displayed Palestine flags before kick-off, to allow more home supporters to attend. However, the section nearest the visiting support in the Roseburn Stand was virtually empty and the 17,608 crowd was comfortably Hearts’ lowest in the league this season.
The atmosphere was punctured inside four minutes as O’Riley ran off marker Calem Nieuwenhof and watched Luis Palma’s lofted pass drop over his shoulder before volleying into the far corner.
Hearts rallied briefly. Joe Hart pushed a Kenneth Vargas strike past his near post and Alex Cochrane sent a dangerous ball across the face of the Celtic goal.
Celtic were largely in control and Zander Clark saved well from Maeda before the Japan attacker doubled the lead midway through the half. Nieuwenhof was again at fault, gifting possession to Celtic not long before Hatate played a one-two with O’Riley to get beyond the home defence and drill a cross which Maeda bundled home from close range.
Celtic remained well on top and Hatate hit the post from the spot in the first minute of the second half after Cochrane had been harshly penalised by Nick Walsh when Furuhashi got his body in front of the left-back and went down.
Hatate atoned for his miss in the 51st minute with a wonderful flick which sent Palma racing down the left flank. Celtic players were queuing up to meet the Honduran winger’s low cross and Furuhashi swept the ball high into the net.
Hatate soon came close himself but Hearts improved after Beni Baningime and Yutaro Oda replaced Nieuwenhof and Alex Lowry, who had both struggled.
Shankland forced a decent parry from Hart just before curling in off the post in the 64th minute after Maeda had gifted him possession 20 yards from goal.
Shankland and Alan Forrest threatened as Hearts continued to respond but Iwata sparked a mass exodus of Hearts fans when he fired in off the bar from 18 yards after Clark had denied another Hoops substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu.
Clark made an excellent stop from Oh to spare the home fans further pain and the Celtic support saluted manager Brendan Rodgers in song in stoppage time.