Joe Ledley's fourth goal of the season was enough to give Celtic victory over Partick Thistle in this Glasgow derby.
It secured Celtic's third consecutive win by a 1-0 scoreline and ensured their seventh successive domestic clean sheet.
Despite a spirited showing by Thistle, their recent inability to take their chances in front of goal was evident.
However, they did come close late on when Steven Lawless had a shot cleared off the line by Adam Matthews.
Neil Lennon's side remain 11 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, with Thistle still in tenth position.
Celtic set out their intention right from kick-off with Thistle Keeper Scott Fox having to tip over a Teemu Pukki header after only 40 seconds.
Fox, wearing the captain's armband for the day, then twice prevented Kris Commons from making an early breakthrough.
One was a shot that took a deflection, the other a 30-yard free-kick which the skipper did well to parry away.
Lyle Taylor made his Thistle debut following
his loan move from Sheffield United
and he blasted high and wide from the edge of the penalty box.
Ledley (right) gave Celtic a winning start to 2014
Having won only one of their last 15 matches in all competitions Thistle were looking for a better start to the New Year.
Bannigan had Forster stretching to his left to turn away a 20-yard left-foot strike.
The big English keeper was a relieved man when he managed to get an unorthodox touch on an Elliott header moments later.
It was a good spell for Thistle with Craigen next to threaten when he got on the end of a Gabriel Piccolo cross to direct a glancing header just wide of the right-hand post.
But, six minutes before the interval, the breakthrough came when Ledley drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.
There were fewer chances in the second half and Thistle were unable to regain the momentum they had in the opening period.
The torrential rain continued as the second half got underway but the underfoot conditions were ideal for slick passing.
Charlie Mulgrew, back in the Celtic side after a four-game injury absence, tried his luck with a free-kick from 25 yards which just dipped over the bar.
Mulgrew did have the ball in the net after 57 minutes but it was ruled out for offside.
Pukki brought out another fine stop from Fox as Celtic probed for a second goal.
Thistle came close to equalising when the hosts failed to deal with a corner.
The ball broke to substitute Lawless who curled in a low shot, but it was cleared off the line by Matthews.
Celtic 01 Forster 02 Matthews 03 Izaguirre 21 Mulgrew (Samaras - 67' ) 04 Ambrose 05 van Dijk 08 Brown Booked 16 Ledley 15 Commons (Biton - 91' ) 49 Forrest 20 Pukki (Stokes - 67' ) Substitutes 06 Biton 09 Samaras 10 Stokes 11 Boerrigter 17 Baldé 24 Zaluska 41 Fisher Partick Thistle 01 Fox 02 O'Donnell 03 Taylor-Sinclair 13 Gabriel 05 Muirhead Booked (Wilson - 81' ) 06 Balatoni 07 Craigen 08 Bannigan 21 Taylor (Doolan - 65' ) 14 Elliott 23 Higginbotham (Lawless - 72' ) Substitutes 09 Doolan 10 Forbes 11 Lawless 12 Gallacher 17 Baird 20 Kerr 31 Wilson
Ref: Kevin Clancy