Moritz Jenz and Giorgos Giakoumakis both produced acrobatic performances as Celtic drove to a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
Jenz, Kyogo Furuhashi and Jota – with another stunning strike – all scored their second goals of the season as the champions clinched three points before half-time.
Substitute Carl Starfelt added a fourth to put Celtic ahead of Rangers on goal difference at the top of the Cinch Premiership and Giakoumakis completed the defeat with an overhead kick.
An unchanged Celtic side took less than seven minutes to beat their hosts, with former Killie left-back Greg Taylor playing a crucial role.
Taylor’s pass into Fraser Murray sent Daizen Maeda down the left channel and he met Furuhashi to finish the post.
The visitors maintained control but Killie had a couple of half-chances just before a water break. Kyle Lafferty sent a feeble shot from 25 yards straight at Joe Hart after Oli Shaw beat Celtic centre-backs before Murray curled just over the far post.
The second goal came out of nowhere in the 35th minute. Jota collected a pass from Maeda and unleashed a powerful punch from at least 30 yards that flew into the top corner.
The goalscorer immediately ran towards photographers to show off his sweatband tribute to Fernando Chalana, the former Benfica winger who had died aged 63 days.
Jota soon had a chance to field Madea but chose to shoot and was turned down by Sam Walker. Killie left-back Jeriel Dorsett injured himself trying to get back into him after Furuhashi’s pass and was replaced by Calum Waters.
David Turnbull had blocked two attempts before Celtic extended their lead from an injury-time corner.
A deflected shot from Callum McGregor broke for centre-back Jenz, who displayed a striker’s instinct to hit the ball on the turn.
Oli Shaw forced Hart to a dive save after clinging to a high ball from the restart, but that was Kilmarnock’s last notable effort.
Furuhashi headed off the bar from Turnbull’s free-kick early in the second half.
Starfelt made his first appearance of the season after Jenz left after treatment and was soon involved in a flash when Lafferty went under in the pits. The former Rangers forward claimed a penalty but was instead penalized for withdrawing and was cautioned moments later after a dogfight with Taylor.
Ange Postecoglou made a treble mid-half as Giakoumakis, Aaron Mooy and Liel Abada injected more energy into Celtic’s attacking game.
Starfelt struck on his second close-range try in the 76th minute after Sam Walker saved Cameron Carter-Vickers’ corner.
And Giakoumakis finished brilliantly six minutes later after throwing himself in the air to head the ball.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/celtic-kilmarnock-joe-hart-kyle-lafferty-benfica-b2144832.html Celtic beat Kilmarnock 5-0 to top the SPL table on goal difference