Match ends, Celtic 6, Dundee 0.
Celtic delivered a timely reminder of their commanding nature with an impressive sweeping aside of Dundee.
The visitors could not suppress Celtic's cutting edge or endeavour, and were quickly two goals behind thanks to Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths.
Emilio Izaguirre took over the scoring after the break, striking twice and also missing a penalty.
That was a rare moment of relief for a subdued Dundee, who conceded further goals to Scott Brown and Nadir Ciftci.
Soon after this game kicked off, Aberdeen scored to lead 3-0 at Tynecastle. The Celtic players would have been unaware of that fact - although plenty of the home fans were following events on the other side of the country - but they are alert enough to the pressure being applied by Derek McInnes's side.
Celtic, the defending champions, are currently in pursuit of the league leaders. They were certainly quick to respond against Dundee, taking full advantage of the visitors sitting too deep and being wasteful in possession.
Touch of class
The latter issues riled Paul Hartley, but the Dundee manager would no doubt concede that they were in part a response to Celtic's attacking intent. Griffiths had already sent a free-kick into the side netting and another chance over before the home side scored.
Dundee often had 10 men behind the ball, but Celtic had the refinement of touch and imagination to break through the lines. They were well served on the flanks, too, and Brown's deft pass released Izaguirre down the left and his cross was expertly volleyed into the net by Rogic.
The Australian attacking midfielder grew into a commanding presence. Tall, rangy, powerful and with a delicate touch, he provided all the qualities that Celtic have missed while Stefan Johansen has suffered a dip in form. He might have scored again, but after a brilliant surging run he saw his shot pushed away by Bain, and the Dundee goalkeeper was also equal to another volley later in the first half.
Celtic were comfortably in front long before then. Rogic turned provider two minutes after opening the scoring, crossing for Griffiths who took the ball on his chest, stepped past Gary Irvine then drilled a shot past Bain.
Deep Dark Blues
Hartley was infuriated on the touchline, mostly because his team was so deep. When they did have the ball, they tended to be ponderous, although Paul McGinn did manage a long run down the right that ended with him falling to the ground inside the area as Efe Ambrose challenged, but half-hearted penalty appeals were turned away by the referee Steven McLean.
The visitors could not devise a more effective game plan during the interval and it took just one minute of the second half for Rogic to deliver another shot on target, that Bain again saved. Torment continued for the visitors, and Izaguirre finished nearly from close range with his right foot after a one-two with Kris Commons sent him into the area.
For all that his defensive nous is questioned, Izaguirre can be irrepressible going forward and he struck again when a cross from his fellow full-back Saido Janko was deflected to the back post and into his path.
Only sentiment could disrupt Celtic's poise. When Callum McGregor was pulled back inside the area by a forlorn Irvine, the home fans shouted for Izaguirre to take the spot kick. He was handed the ball, but then wildly blazed it over the bar and spent he next few minutes of the game shaking his head in disbelief.
Breakthrough for Ciftci
Nadir Ciftci thought he had finally broken his duck for Celtic near the end, but a foul was awarded on Bain just before Ciftci tucked the ball into the empty net from McGregor's free-kick. The Celtic fans booed the decision, but it was a minor complaint on a satisfying afternoon for the home fans at Celtic Park.
Ciftci also wasn't finished. Moments later, he crossed for Brown to clip the ball past Bain, and then the former Dundee United striker did grab a goal, latching on to a loose passback and poking the ball past Bain.
There was loud acclaim for the goal, and for the scoreline.
- 15CommonsSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 63'minutes
- 49ForrestSubstituted forMcGregorat 63'minutes
- 9GriffithsSubstituted forCiftciat 57'minutes
- 5McPakeBooked at 90mins
- 10ThomsonSubstituted forCalderat 59'minutes
- 29HarkinsSubstituted forLoyat 60'minutes
- 7StewartBooked at 89mins
- 15HemmingsSubstituted forHealeyat 67'minutes
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Celtic 6, Dundee 0.
Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt blocked. Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Greg Stewart (Dundee) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Greg Stewart (Dundee).
Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic).
Greg Stewart (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Celtic 6, Dundee 0. Nadir Ciftci (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
Goal! Celtic 5, Dundee 0. Scott Brown (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nadir Ciftci.
Saidy Janko (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Irvine (Dundee).
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Scott Bain.
Attempt saved. Scott Brown (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Nicky Low (Dundee).
Foul by Saidy Janko (Celtic).
Gary Irvine (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.