CELTIC go into Saturday’s derby at Parkhead with a three-point advantage after an eventful weekend.

The champions took care of business with their 3-0 triumph over Hearts in Glasgow yesterday with Kyogo Furuhashi (2) and Matt O’Riley (pen) on target.

All eyes were on Ibrox this afternoon and Philippe Clement’s side overcame a Kilmarnock team forced to play with only 10 men for 70 minutes.

The 4-1 scoreline in favour of the Govan side flattered in the extreme against visitors who had taken a 12th-minute lead when James Tavernier diverted a left-wing effort from Matty Kennedy past Jack Butland.

UPS AND DOWN…Killie’s Matty Kennedy celebrates his side’s goal while Ibrox star Dujan Sterling isn’t inclined to join in.

There had already been a ludicrous two-and-a-half minute delay after VAR official Steve Kirkland interruped play in the second minute when he wasted everybody’s time with an extended look at a handball incident concerning Killie left-back Corrie Ndaba.

Referee David Dickinson was instructed to review the incident and , thankfully, he took no notice of the intrusion from his colleague with the control stick.

However, play was held up again in the 22nd minute and this time the hosts were awarded a penalty-kick and Joe Wright was red-carded for handling a ball on the line.

Justice was done when Will Dennis swooped to his right to push Tavernier’s spot-kick round the post.

Eight minutes into first-half stoppage-time, Fabio Silva equalised after a blunder from Lewis Mayo.

ON THE SPOT…Will Dennis celebrates his penalty-kick save from James Tavernier.

In the 62nd minute, Clement’s side got lucky again when Dennis pushed out a shot from John Lundstram and it went straight to Ben Davies. The keeper again blocked the attempt, but it rebounded against the defender’s thigh and bounced over the line.

Killie were tiring and Tom Lawrence whipped in No.3 in the 70th minute and two minutes into stoppage-time John Souttar scored after Dennis had pushed a shot into the air.

Now the scene is set for Parkhead on Saturday where a win for Brendan Rodgers’ side will go a long way to the team winning their third successive crown with only two games – at Killie and home to St Mirren – to play until the silverware is handed over.

The Hoops also have a five-strike goal difference advantage over their nearest challengers.


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