Celtic defeated Hearts 4-1 at Tynecastle Stadium, as Celtic turned on the style in what is a happy hunting ground for the champions at the moment.

It was a great start for Celtic, who took the lead early on through Matt O'Riley. Luis Palma picked out the Dane, with the standout player this season catching the Honduran's cross for the first time, placing it past Zander Clark in the Hearts goal. Celtic were in fine form, and doubled their lead through Daizen Maeda, following a VAR review for offside.

The visitors had the chance to make it three almost directly from kick-off, as a penalty was awarded, though Reo Hatate hit the post. He made amends with a lovely flick to Palma, who found Kyogo Furuhashi in the box to effectively seal the game. Hearts did pull a goal back through Lawrence Shankland, a regular scorer against Celtic, with a brilliant finish from the hosts' captain. It would finish 4-1, however, as Tomoki Iwata scored his first goal for the club with an emphatic strike.

The manager named an unchanged line-up from the team that defeated Kilmarnock 3-1 at Celtic Park 15 days ago. Liam Scales continued his starting run at the centre of defence alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers, whilst it was a familiar midfield trio of Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate and O'Riley.  Palma and Maeda retained their wing positions, whilst Kyogo Furuhashi assumed his usual role for Celtic in leading the forward line for the champions.

With that being said, here are the key points of discussion from this afternoon's game in Gorgie...

Clinical Celtic run riot

Clinical. Relentless. Ruthless. Celtic put Hearts to the sword with a four-star display that simply blew the hosts as the men in green and white served up some capital punishment in Edinburgh. Rodgers' side maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a swashbuckling and scintillating performance that Hearts simply had no answer to. Goals from O'Riley, Maeda, Kyogo and Japanese midfielder Iwata saw the champions run out emphatic winners at Tynecastle and the men from Glasgow could even afford the luxury of Hatate missing a spot-kick on 50 minutes. Even Shankland's goal to make it 3-1 always felt like a consolation and crumb of comfort for Steven Naismith's men. Celtic may well be a work and team in progress under Rodgers but they showed no mercy and when they are on their game like they were in Edinburgh they are going to take some stopping domestically. Celtic piled on the agony as they put on the style. How Rodgers will hope his men can replicate that on the European stage at Celtic Park on Wednesday night during Matchday three of the Champions League group stage against Atletico Madrid.

Tony Haggerty

'The Great Dane' a class apart

O'Riley may not have made his Denmark debut against San Marino in midweek but his time is coming at international level, sooner rather than later. As Sir Alex Ferguson once said about a Jim Baxter display at Wembley against England you could have set it to music. O'Riley really was that good as he helped Celtic destroy Hearts 3-1 at Tynecastle. The 22-year-old made it an incredible six goals in 12 games for the season and he even had a hand in Maeda's close-range effort that put Celtic 2-0 up at the interval and already out of sight in this one. Six goals before Hallowe'en for a guy they got from MK Dons £1.5 million? Celtic are the ones who should be wearing a mask. O'Riley was simply a cut above in everything that he did. It was the Great Dane that started the ball rolling after just three minutes of this encounter in Auld Reekie when he latched onto Palma's lofted pass and effortlessly steered a sumptuous volley into the bottom corner of Clark's net and Celtic were up and running. It was the coolest of finishes from the coolest of customers. O'Riley utterly strolled through proceedings with a touch of class as the three in Celtic's midfield grabbed a vice-like grip on the contest and never ever let go. There was real fluidity and purpose to O'Riley's play, especially in a dynamic and devastating opening 45 minutes. At times O'Riley was on a different planet to the rest and the distance was the length of the Royal Mile. O'Riley was poetry in motion and produced rock star football as he, not so much schooled Hearts but gave them a football clinic for the day. That's exactly how it's done, ladies and gentlemen.

Tony Haggerty

Promising Palma

With some players making their way into a new team and unfamiliar surroundings, it can be difficult for them to acclimatise, especially at Celtic. Someone ought to tell Palma that, as he has effectively cemented himself as the club's first-choice winger since his arrival from Aris in Greece. It did not take him too long to make an impact on proceedings in this game, either, as his cross would end up being the first assist of the game, leading to the opening goal. As much as O’Riley’s technique and finesse will be heralded – and rightly so – it was largely down to the quality of the delivery from Palma that allowed O’Riley that goal-scoring opportunity in the first place. Always available to receive a pass, the winger looked to get on the ball as much as possible, despite not having as much of it as he would have liked. In the second half, Palma was instrumental in the second goal, which ricocheted its way to Kyogo. Not the quickest operator Celtic have ever had on the left wing, but he makes up for it in skill and dribbling, not unlike a player Rodgers had during his first spell in Patrick Roberts. There are still elements of his game that he has to work on, but the ability is starting to show on a regular basis. Goal contributions in his last three outings highlight this ability clearly, as his performances are bearing fruit on the stat-lines in games too. Celtic’s favourite Honduran son as things stand is – of course – Emilio Izaguirre, but Palma is carving his own path at the club, with plenty more to come from him.

Ryan McGinlay

Hatate's second-half clinic

You know what you are going to get from the Japanese international when you put him in the midfield alongside O’Riley and McGregor. Perhaps not the most careful on the ball or as safe as his counterparts, Hatate will provide both positive and negative moments when on the park for your team. Thankfully – most of the time – his positives far outweigh those negatives, as he put on a midfield clinic in the engine room, especially in the second half. After a mixed first 45, where he was in and out of the game and perhaps a bit wasteful with his passing, he had the chance to get himself on the scoresheet with a penalty in the 46th minute, almost immediately following the restart. He hit the post and could have easily gone into his shell a bit, especially given how the opening half went for him. Of course, we know Hatate better than that, and the dynamic midfielder proceeded to play a massive part in the third goal with an outrageous flick to Palma, who delivered to Kyogo. His strength, guile and passing range was there for all to see, as the midfielder effectively ran the show until he was taken off for Iwata, who certainly took his chance in the team too. Hatate will not always play an accurate pass, or take the safe option in games, but you learn to give him the benefit of the doubt, such is his undoubted talent in playing football. A tremendous showing of his midfield mastery.

Ryan McGinlay

Kyogo's drought eliminated

Panic ye not! Kyogo's domestic goal drought is over. The Japanese talisman had gone over a whole calendar month without a league goal but he was back in business with a bang following an excellent counter for the Samurai Blue in midweek. The striker buried a clinical third high into the net beyond Clark after a wonderful flowing move down the right-hand side involving  Hatate, Alistair Johnston, and O'Riley. That made it six in 15 appearances for the season and 60 career goals for Celtic in just 95 matches. That is a phenomenal return in anybody's language. Only Leigh Griffiths has managed to net that total since the legend that is Henrik Larsson. You can argue the toss whether Rodgers tweaks to Kyogo's game and to get him more involved in the build-up play is paying dividends. The attacker has not lost any of his sharpness in front of goal and he was never going to pass up the opportunity to bury the chance when it presented itself to him at Tynecastle. All is well as Kyogo is back in the goalscoring groove. That's rather ominous for Scottish Premiership defences. Kyogo was eventually replaced wisely by Rodgers on 72 minutes with Oh Hyeon-gyu and it was a timely substitution as the striker appeared to aim a kick at Cameron Devlin prior to leaving the field after he was dumped on the seat of his pants crudely by the Hearts midfielder. However, his withdrawal took the sting out of any repercussions.

Tony Haggerty