Celtic manager Neil Lennon praised his side after they moved back to the top of the SPL table following the 2-1 win over Dundee United.
Goals from Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama saw Celtic claim victory despite John Rankin pulling one back for United.
"I thought we were deserved winners," Lennon told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.
"Samaras missed two really good chances to put us up three or four."
Celtic started the game a point behind Rangers, after Ally McCoist's side recorded a 2-1 victory over St Johnstone in the early kick-off at McDiarmid Park.
But early goals from Hooper and Wanyama saw Celtic establish a two-goal lead in an impressive first-half display.
Rankin's effort from distance straight after the break saw United threaten to get back into the game, but Celtic saw out the game to claim victory.
"Goals change the psychology of the game and we maybe stopped competing for 10 to 15 minutes (in the second half) but I thought we finished the game strongly," said Lennon.
"Going in 2-0 up at half-time, I was pretty happy. You can't expect us to win 3, 4 or 5-0 every week.
"That's part of the problem here; everyone seems to think it's a foregone conclusion.
"United are a decent team and have come into a little bit of form of late. But that's 11 wins in a row and that takes some doing.
"Overall, I'm delighted with the team and the performance. I thought Hooper was tremendous; Wanyma, Rogne and Mulgrew. There were a lot of good performances and we have scored two good goals.
"But for some slack finishing, we could've won by three or four."
Lennon praised the performance of goalscorer Wanyama and said he wanted his players to score more headers.
"He was very strong in midfield when Dundee United got a foothold in the game," he added.