GLASGOW (AFP) - Rampant Celtic crushed Hearts 5-0 in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday to stay on the tails of Old Firm rivals Rangers.
The champions took the lead through an own goal from Hearts captain Christophe Berra before goals from Italian Massimo Donati, Scott Brown, Dutch international Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura completed the emphatic win.
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was gushing with praise for his team's performance.
He said: "That was terrific and everyone watching it would have enjoyed it apart from the Hearts fans.
"We know how hard Hearts have made it for us recently but after today and last week's win at Aberdeen we've now scored eight goals in two games against teams that finished in the top four last season.
"You just want to win games but you have to enjoy days like this."
Earlier Rangers had maintained their 100 per cent record with a 2-1 win at Kilmarnock to stay top of the table on 12 points - two ahead of Celtic.
American winger Damarcus Beasley had put them ahead in the second half and although Killie's Australian Danny Invincibile had levelled, French forward Jean-Claude Darcheville secured all three points for the Gers.
At Celtic Park the home side were ahead in the ninth minute.
Australian international Scott McDonald picked out Nakamura with a chip across the face of goal and the Japanese playmaker's shot deflected off Hearts captain Berra to wrong-foot goalkeeper Steve Banks.
Celtic were in complete control of the contest and were playing some fantastic attacking football.
It was no surprise when they went two up in the 22nd minute with a fantastic individual goal by Donati.
Picking the ball up in the middle of the park the Italian drove forward, rounded Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart, evaded the challenge from Berra and shot across Banks into the opposite corner of the net.
Celtic made it 3-0 in the 61st minute when Aiden McGeady's cross was headed back across goal by Dutch international Vennegoor of Hesselink and former Hibs midfielder Scott Brown was on hand to volley home his first goal for Celtic.
Two minutes later Nakamura skinned Berra in the penalty box and the frustrated Hearts defender promptly brought him to the ground.
Referee Iain Brines pointed to the spot and Vennegoor of Hesselink smashed the ball home from 12-yards.
And in the 79th minute man-of-the-match Brown made a powerful drive through the centre of the Hearts defence before knocking the ball to Nakamura who sent it past Banks with a cool flick of his left foot to make it 5-0.
A bleak day for Hearts got worse when Neil McCann was stretchered off with a suspected fractured ankle late on.
Hearts' despondent first team coach Stephen Frail said: "I have no complaints. We were outfought, outclassed and outplayed.
"There is no team spirit and we will have to work hard to build one."
In the other SPL games St Mirren won 1-0 at Falkirk with Billy Mehmet scoring late on.
Motherwell were 2-1 winners in an away match against Gretna.
Well's Keith Lasley put them ahead and Abdul Osman levelled for Gretna. Chris Porter then restored Motherwell's lead after Gretna's Craig Barr was sent-off early in the second half.
In a six goal thriller at Easter Road Hibernian drew 3-3 with Aberdeen.
Moroccan Merouane Zemmama put Hibs ahead before a double from Craig Brewster and one from Jamie Smith put the Dons 3-1 ahead.
However, Steven Fletcher pulled one back for Hibs and Dean Shiels levelled.
Dundee United won 3-0 at Inverness Caledonian Thistle with a Sean Dillon goal and two penalties from Barry Robson.
|Kasperczak committed to attacking approach as Tunisia reach AFCON quarters|
|Slimani wants Algeria youngsters to learn from AFCON humiliation|
|Senegal 2 Algeria 2: Slimani at the double as Desert Warriors bow out|
|Zimbabwe 2 Tunisia 4: First-half glut seals progression|
|Adrian: I always wanted to return to Villarreal|
|Togo v DR Congo: Agassa could miss crucial game after vandals hit home|
|Extended Southampton stay on the cards for Sims|
|Bayern hoping for speedy Vidal return|
|Hull sign Markovic on loan from Liverpool|
|Wenger charged with misconduct by FA|
|Deulofeu joins AC Milan - and this time the deal is definitely done!|
|Henderson still playing through pain, reveals Klopp|
|Record-breaking Rooney reveals secret to longevity|
|No ulterior motive behind Van Dijk captaincy call - Puel|
|Carroll ignoring want-away Payet|
|Gerrard´s managerial ambitions ´wonderful news for Liverpool´ - Klopp|
|PSG interested in Guedes, confirms Emery|
|Barca lose Busquets to sprained ankle|
|Pulisic commits to Dortmund until 2020|
|Mason speaking after suffering fractured skull|
|Aubameyang blames poor preparation for Gabon AFCON exit|
|David Beckham returns to PSG|
|Morocco v Ivory Coast: Holders must beat old boss Renard as group reaches thrilling conclusion|
|Djilobodji charged over Fletcher incident|
|Cahill and Terry visit Mason in hospital|
|Allardyce onto second-choice transfer targets|
|Dortmund sign teenager Isak|
|Madrid confirm Modric and Marcelo injury blows|
|Vidal fears longer lay-off, targets return against Arsenal|
|Yaya Toure: Sterling should have dived!|
|Turan wants to see out Barcelona contract despite China talk|
|Impassioned Ibrahimovic attacks Rooney´s critics|
|´He has to lose weight´ – Mihajlovic angry after dropping Maxi Lopez|
|Lack of Liverpool signings frustrates Klopp|
|Suarez: Busquets difficult to replace for Barca|
|Depay impresses Lyon after debut|
|CSL? Rooney committed to United|
|Denis Suarez wants more goals after opening Barca account|
|Simeone bemoans inconsistency but says Atletico are improving|
|Mourinho won´t stand in the way of Rooney and CSL|
|Dzeko on target as Roma stay on Juve´s tail|
|Rakitic ready to cover for injured Busquets|
|Bale and Kane wish Mason well after serious injury|
|Busquets injury less severe than feared - Luis Enrique|
|Mason in stable condition after skull fracture|
|Senegal v Algeria: Misfiring favourites in last-chance saloon|
|PSV provide perfect finish for darts champ Van Gerwen|
|Broos predicts ´something great´ for Cameroon|
|Eibar 0 Barcelona 4: MSN see Barca to victory after Busquets blow|
|Busquets sustains ankle ligament damage in Eibar v Barcelona|
|Cameroon 0 Gabon 0: Aubameyang miss haunts hosts as AFCON campaign ends|
|Guinea-Bissau 0 Burkina Faso 2: Traore on target as Stallions advance|
|Busquets injury at Eibar compounds Barcelona midfield woes|
|Deulofeu lands in Italy ahead of AC Milan move|
|´I made the best decision´ - Conte basks in Costa recall|
|Wenger urges Xhaka not to ´punish´ Arsenal|
|Ex-Bastia man Palmieri questions Balotelli racial abuse claims|
|Costa reaction hailed by Cahill|
|Manchester City must be mentally strong, says embattled Bravo|
|Chelsea 2 Hull City 0: Costa back with a bang for Blues|
|Koke lauds Griezmann ´stroke of genius´ as Atletico snatch draw|
|Pioli questions Ansaldi dismissal|
|´I should have shut up and I apologise´ - Wenger sorry for ref rant|
|Arsenal can be proud of this red-card record|
|Mustafi: Arsenal never give up|
|Higuain: Lazio posed no threat to Juventus|
|Athletic Bilbao 2 Atletico Madrid 2: Griezmann magic rescues point|
|Puel unsure Van Dijk will be fit for Liverpool clash|
|Free-scoring Monaco return to Ligue 1 summit|
|Arsenal 2 Burnley 1: Sanchez snatches thrilling win for 10-man Gunners|
|Palermo 0 Inter 1: Joao Mario strike extends Inter streak|
|Arsenal fans give Alexis Sanchez paws for thought|
|Costa returns to Chelsea XI to face Hull City|
|Inter cannot delude fans about Messi - Ausilio|
|Allegri admits new Juventus formation was a ´mad idea´|
|Leicester boss Ranieri admits to tactical mistakes|
|Zimbabwe v Tunisia: Kasperczek demands ruthlessness with quarter-final spot on the line|
|Southampton 3 Leicester City 0: Saints end losing streak but suffer potential Van Dijk blow|
|Juventus 2 Lazio 0: Dybala and Higuain strikes see leaders return to form|
|Iborra makes a mark at both ends as Sevilla scrape past Osasuna|
|Pogba hails ´brother´ Griezmann as Manchester United speculation continues|
|Costa fight rumour ´not nice´, says Courtois|
|Henry makes emotional Ozil plea: Stay and become an Arsenal legend|
|Welbeck still has huge promise, says Wenger|
|A-League Review: Wanderers finally end home hoodoo|
|Tevez denies he´s highest-paid player after CSL move|
|Napoli capable of greatness - Sarri|
|Montella proud of Milan display against Napoli|
|Ramos tells Madrid fans: We need support|
|Conte: Costa committed to Chelsea|
|Callejon credits ´Maradona effect´ as Napoli down AC Milan|