CLASSY champions Celtic were ruthless and relentless as they dismantled their opponents at Rugby Park this afternoon.

With Ange Postecoglou urging them on from the sidelines, they put their foot on the gas from kick-off and kept it there for large chunks of this one-sided confrontation.

Kyogo Furuhashi, Filipe Jota, Moritz Jenz – for the second successive week – and substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis all got on the scoresheet.

And even Carl Starfelt managed to claim his first goal for the Hoops. It was that sort of day in the sunshine of Ayrshire.

There was a lot for the manager to enjoy in this eye-catching performance and not least the contribution from Greg Taylor, so often an unsung hero. The former Killie defender was in the thick of the action from the start and put in a superb display.

NET PROFIT…Kyogo Furuhashi is caught in the rigging after putting Celtic ahead in the opening stages.

The opening goal arrived in the seventh minute and was stunning it is simplicity and breathtaking in its execution.

Joe Hart rolled the ball to Jenz who picked out Taylor in the old inside-left position. The Scotland international, with Steve Clarke watching from the stand, sliced open the home side’s rearguard with a through ball into the path of the rampaging Daizen Maeda.

The Japanese ace summed up the situation in a clash and whipped in a low left-wing cross that was fired behind the helpless Sam Walker by Kyogo from eight yards.

It was the striker’s first touch of the ball and he made it a telling one.

PICK IT OUT…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates with the Killie defence in disarray.

The astonishing Jota walloped in the second in the 35h minute and, just like his killer strike in the 2-0 opening-day win over Aberdeen a fortnight ago, it was a thing of beauty.

The Portuguese winger latched onto a square pass from Maeda, controlled it in an instant, took a few steps and then sent a searing drive from 30 yards over the fingertips of Walker into the top right-hand corner of the net.

It’s a bit early in the campaign to talk about Goals of the Season, but this one will not be far away at the end of the term when classic efforts are being mentioned.

Jenz added a third in the first minute of stoppage time in the opening half and the German defender combined quick thinking with a deadly touch to leave Walker helpless for a third time.

A right-wing corner-kick from Matt O’Riley fell to Callum McGregor who thumped the ball goalwards from outside the box.

The attempt was blocked and spun into the air where Jenz showed excellent positional sense and timing to take and touch and then send an acrobatic overhead-kick low into the left-hand corner of the net.

BHOY OH BHOY…Kyogo Furuhashi and Filipe Jota celebrate another Celtic goal.

Four minutes after the turnaround, only the woodwork denied the Hoops a fourth goal.

Maeda was crudely stopped in his tracks on the left and David Turnbull swung the resultant free-kick into the packed penalty area.

Kyogo timed his run to perfection and flicked a header over the stranded Walker, but the ball slammed against the face of the crossbar and the danger was cleared.

A minute later, Jenz limped off to be replaced by Starfelt, making his first appearance since the 6-0 victory over Motherwell at Parkhead on May 14.

In the 66th minute, Postecoglou made a triple substitution when he withdrew Turnbull, Kyogo and Meada and introduced Aaron Mooy, Liel Abada and Giakoumakis.

Ten minutes later, central defender Starfelt scored his first goal for the club since his arrival from Rubin Kazan 13 months ago.

O’Riley swung in another devastatingly accurate right-wing corner-kick and Cameron Carter-Vickers bustled his way into the box to direct a header low to Walker’s right-hand corner of the net.

The keeper threw himself full-length to beat the efort away, but it fell to Starfelt who blasted in a close-range drive.

Amazingly, the netminder managed to block the attempt, but the rebound went straight back to the defender and this time he drove the ball into the rigging.

AIRBORNE AND GOALBOUND…Moritz Jenz fires an overhead-kick into the Killie net.

In the 80th minute, James Forrest replaced Jota and two minutes later, the visitors were celebrating a fifth goal.

An Abada right-wing cross was headed into the air by Ash Taylor and Giakoumakis snapped onto the loose ball with an enterprising overhead-kick that sent the ball low through the legs of the bewildered Walker.

It was a case of anything my centre-back Jenz can do, I can at least equal from the Greek frontman.

At the end of the day, the Hoops had claimed maximum points from their opening three games with an impressive 10 goals scored and just one conceded.

It also extended their unbeaten league sequence to 35 games. Now that is championship-winning stuff!

TEAM: Hart; Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Jenz (sub: Starfelt 55), Taylor; O’Riley, McGregor, Turnbull (sub: Mooy 66); Jota (sub: Forrest 80), Kyogo (sub: Giakoumakis 66), Maeda (sub: Abada 66).


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