Neil Lennon played down the significance of Celtic’s 5-0 win over Hearts which took the Hoops 10 points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Olivier Ntcham opened the scoring for the home side on the half-hour mark with a drive, with second-half goals from Christopher Jullien, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Jozo Simunovic completing the trouncing.
Jambos substitute Marcel Langer was shown a straight red by Willie Collum late on for a challenge on Hoops skipper Scott Brown.
With Rangers losing 2-1 at Kilmarnock – a result cheered to the rafters by the home fans – the Hoops went further clear of their Old Firm rivals.
Although Steven Gerrard’s side have a game in hand, the momentum is clearly with the champions who have won all eight matches this year and are on course for their ninth successive title.
“It might give them a bit of confidence but that’s about it,” said Celtic boss Lennon, who described Langer’s lunge at Brown as “horrendous and could have done serious damage to Scott.”
“We have a tough game on Sunday at Pittodrie. We are taking absolutely nothing for granted.
“The players know there is a long way to go and there will be twist and turns as we go along.
“We just need to concentrate on every individual game as it comes along. They were magnificent tonight.
“Their desire, hunger to play, score goals, run; everything you want from a team I got tonight. It was an empathetic victory.”
The comprehensive defeat kept Hearts bottom of the table and boss Daniel Stendel claimed his players were like “rabbits in the headlights.”
He said: “I wanted to try and give the players the feeling we have a chance. Our plan was good but our game wasn’t like our plan.
“We played like rabbits in the headlights. From the first moment you could see the look.
“We tried to change our confidence on the pitch with the substitution of Conor Washington then we conceded two minutes later.
“After this we played a little bit better and we wanted to keep it in the second half but five minutes into the second half the game was decided.”
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