Ruthless Celtic raced into a surprising four-goal lead inside 27 minutes in opposition to hapless Kilmarnock, finally operating out 4-1 winners to revive their 12-point hole on the prime of the Scottish Premiership.
Some calamitous defending compounded the house facet’s woe, gifting the league leaders an extra of probabilities, which have been wolfed up by Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda and Matt O’Riley throughout a rampant first interval.
Fraser Murray’s ill-fated again go was pounced on by Kyogo to open the scoring (7), earlier than Maeda doubled the guests’ benefit with a well-timed header 5 minutes later.
O’Riley’s very good double, sandwiched between a missed penalty from Kyogo, added gloss to the scoreline earlier than the break, however the contest had run away from Derek McInnes’ struggling facet far earlier than the midfielder struck, regardless of registering a comfort objective of their very own when Liam Donnelly confirmed spectacular composure to spherical Joe Hart (45).
Celtic at the moment are unbeaten in 24 league matches, notching their thirtieth victory of the marketing campaign in file time.
Because of this, Ange Postecoglou’s facet are sauntering in the direction of back-to-back league titles, with nearest rivals Rangers 12 shy of their mammoth 91 factors whole. “The boys have been courageous with their soccer…It was excellent,” Postecoglou eulogised post-match.
Celtic solely want seven factors from their remaining six matches to retain their crown.
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota have been absent for Celtic, who introduced in Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata and Sead Haksabanovic. Kilmarnock additionally made three modifications as fit-again Kyle Vassell returned together with Ash Taylor and Fraser Murray.
How Celtic moved step nearer to retaining title
An all-action first 45 minutes noticed Celtic rating 4 occasions, miss a penalty and concede a objective on their approach to a sweeping title assertion at Rugby Park.
Murray, making his first begin in 5 months, handed Kyogo a seventh-minute opener with a poorly executed back-pass, which was swiftly intercepted and dispatched by the Japan striker for his twenty third objective of the season.
Celtic have been two forward 5 minutes later when Alistair Johnston dinked a cross in the direction of Maeda to move house on the far publish.
With Killie in disarray, the guests dealt the killer blow when O’Riley profited from Joe Wright’s mistake, tucking a neat strike contained in the publish, earlier than being discovered by a pinpoint Greg Taylor go and rifling into the far nook.
Kyogo additionally missed a fantastic likelihood so as to add to his mounting objective tally when hitting the publish from the penalty spot after Christian Doidge caught Taylor with a sloppy problem.
A double change from McInnes halfway by way of a crippling first interval stemmed the circulate of probabilities, whereas Donnelly dispossessed Celtic captain Callum McGregor and beat Joe Hart to scale back arrears on the stroke of half-time, however the harm was performed.
Carl Starfelt missed Celtic’s finest likelihood of a a lot slower, extra tepid second 45 minutes when powering a free header aimlessly over from six yards.
Postecoglou praises ‘excellent’ show
Celtic supervisor Ange Postecoglou:
“A gentle first half. The boys have been courageous with their soccer. Their angle, their intent – it was a giant recreation final week so you might want to make sure the boys stay focussed.
“It was excellent. The second half was a bit sloppy, very stop-start, however total a fantastic job. The entire group got here out with an actual intent, there’s at all times a hazard that after such a giant win final week you are not at it.
“They [Kilmarnock] obtained a bit extra aggressive [in the second half] and we obtained sloppy with our passing and motion. We weren’t wherever close to as fluent. However the boys who got here in did an excellent job.”
McInnes: ‘Fragile’ Killie precipitated personal issues
Kilmarnock supervisor Derek McInnes:
“The fragility got here after we misplaced the primary objective. It is such an terrible objective to lose, it is unfavorable and passive. We precipitated our personal issues. It was nearly as if there was a concern issue there and I hate seeing my gamers like that. The group suffered.
“The response from us going behind was terrible. We misplaced all confidence and each sense of what we have been attempting to do.
“Going with two strikers in opposition to Celtic was at all times going to be a danger – we have performed it earlier than and seen the profit, however we wanted an additional midfielder in there.
“I am decided to create a Kilmarnock group finally that may tackle Celtic and beat them. We did not give ourselves an opportunity of that right this moment.”
Celtic’s subsequent Scottish Premiership match is at house to Motherwell on April 22 and Kilmarnock are away to St Mirren on the identical day. Each video games kick off at 3pm.
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