Celtic moved a step closer to the Scottish Premiership title as a crushing home win against St Johnstone stretched their lead to nine points.
Reo Hatate, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda put the league leaders in complete control at the break.
Josip Juranovic, Matt O’Riley’s brace, and Liel Abada completed the biggest win of Ange Postecoglou’s time in charge.
The victory puts the pressure on Rangers, who face St Mirren on Sunday.
- Reaction & as it happened
Meanwhile, St Johnstone stay in 11th having had their advantage over bottom club Dundee cut to five points.
Celtic took a big step towards reclaiming the league crown with victory at Ibrox last week, but Postecoglou dismissed any notion his side would let complacency creep in in the final six games.
Every aspect of their performance showed he was right as they set a ferocious tempo from the start.
Hatate was denied brilliantly by Zander Clark just a minute before firing in the first goal from Greg Taylor’s cut back, and the chances kept coming as Tom Rogic fired straight at the St Johnstone goalkeeper from seven yards out.
But it wasn’t too long before Callum Booth gifted Celtic a second goal by passing straight to Giakoumakis, who rounded Clark and squeezed the ball in from close range.
Unfortunately for Celtic, the Greek striker limped off with a muscle injury minutes later but his absence did not check their momentum as Jota whipped in a fantastic cross for Maeda to nod in a third before half time.
Despite making a double change at half-time St Johnstone were powerless to resist Celtic, and one of the replacements Tom Sang bundled over Hatate to give away a penalty just five minutes into the second half.
Juranovic converted with confidence to make it 4-0, and after a 19-minute lull, Celtic struck three goals in eight minutes to pile the misery on St Johnstone.
Half-time replacement O’Riley headed in David Turnbull’s cross and then curled a beautiful shot into the top corner three minutes later.
And Abada thumped in Celtic’s seventh after Maeda latched on to a ball over the top and touched the ball into his path.
The league leaders could have easily hit double figures as they racked up 23 shots and completed over 950 passes in an emphatic message about their title intentions.
More to follow.
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- St JohnstoneSt Johnstone
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 18RogicSubstituted forO’Rileyat 45′minutes
- 42McGregorSubstituted forMcCarthyat 74′minutes
- 41HatateSubstituted forTurnbullat 55′minutesSubstituted forat 90+2′minutes
- 17Neves FilipeSubstituted forFuruhashiat 74′minutes
- 7GiakoumakisSubstituted forAbadaat 27′minutes
- 19RooneySubstituted forSangat 45′minutes
- 8DavidsonSubstituted forMacPhersonat 45′minutes
- 29HallbergSubstituted forButterfieldat 77′minutes
- 14MiddletonSubstituted forMayat 64′minutes
- 22HendrySubstituted forBairat 64′minutes
- Andrew Dallas
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Celtic 7, St. Johnstone 0.
Second Half ends, Celtic 7, St. Johnstone 0.
David Turnbull went off injured after Celtic had used all subs.
Attempt missed. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Matt O’Riley.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Gordon.
Attempt missed. Matt O’Riley (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by David Turnbull.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by James Brown.
Attempt missed. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daizen Maeda.
Attempt missed. Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Liel Abada.
Goal! Celtic 7, St. Johnstone 0. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daizen Maeda.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Jacob Butterfield replaces Melker Hallberg.
Substitution, Celtic. James McCarthy replaces Callum McGregor.
Substitution, Celtic. Kyogo Furuhashi replaces Jota.
Goal! Celtic 6, St. Johnstone 0. Matt O’Riley (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Josip Juranovic.
Goal! Celtic 5, St. Johnstone 0. Matt O’Riley (Celtic) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Turnbull with a cross.
Attempt missed. Matt O’Riley (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jota.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Stevie May replaces Glenn Middleton.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Theo Bair replaces Callum Hendry.
Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alister Crawford (St. Johnstone).