James Forrest inspired Celtic to their 13th domestic win in a row as they easily swept aside Kilmarnock.

The Scotland winger was involved in both of Celtic's first half strikes; creating Joe Ledley's opener then instigating Lee Ashcroft's own goal.

Charlie Mulgrew and Amido Balde struck in the second half to give the score-line a more realistic look.

The visitors rarely threatened as goalkeeper Fraser Forster reached 1,000 minutes without conceding domestically.

It was a second successive four-goal salvo for Celtic manager Neil Lennon as his side moved 18 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen.

Kilmarnock left Scotland striker Kris Boyd on the bench, while new signing Alexei Eremenko was not fit enough to make the squad.

It is doubtful if either man would have made much difference up front, where William Gros rarely got a touch as Allan Johnston's men were left chasing shadows.

It was an ominous sign of things to come when Kris Commons was held back in the box by Manuel Pascali, but referee Brian Colvin waved away the penalty claims.

Only two minutes later and Celtic had their lead, this time Forrest was the ringleader and Ledley side-footed his cross into the far corner.

Then it was Kilmarnock's turn to call for a penalty when Gros appeared to be clipped by Virgil Van Dijk, but once more the referee refused to point to the spot.

That was as far forward as the Rugby Park men got in the first 45 minutes and, after Forrest turned Jeroen Tesselaar inside out, the unlucky Lee Ashcroft directed the ball past his own goalkeeper to double the deficit.

Scott Brown, Teemu Pukki and Van Dijk all passed up opportunities before the break and the second half continued in the same vein.

Mulgrew hit the post after another Forrest cross before he eventually found the net when he skilfully collected Ledley's perfectly weighted pass and poked it home.

Kilmarnock were struggling to get anywhere near their hosts, but England goalkeeper Forster was called into action when Pascali tested him with a fine volley after a deep cross from Rory McKenzie.

The on-form Commons should have made it 4-0 when great link-up play with Mulgrew set him free, but he slipped his shot just wide when one-on-one with goalkeeper Craig Samson.

Van Dijk had the goal gaping as the game entered the last 10 minutes, but he somehow found the side netting.

However, substitute Balde grabbed the elusive fourth when his weak shot slipped through Samson's gloves.

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