Moritz Jenz and Giorgos Giakoumakis both scored acrobatic efforts as Celtic cruised to a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Jenz, Kyogo Furuhashi and Jota – with another stunning strike – all recorded their second goals of the season as the champions wrapped up the three points before the break.
Substitute Carl Starfelt added a fourth to put Celtic ahead of Rangers on goal difference at the top of the cinch Premier League and Giakoumakis completed the rout with an overhead kick. An unchanged Celtic side took less than seven minutes to break down their hosts, with former Killie left-back Greg Taylor playing a crucial role.
Taylor’s pass inside Fraser Murray sent Daizen Maeda through the left channel and he set up Furuhashi to finish off the post. The visitors kept control, but Killie had a couple of half-chances just before the break. Kyle Lafferty sent a weak effort straight at Joe Hart from 25 yards after Oli Shaw had beaten Celtic’s centre-backs, before Murray curled just wide of the far post.
The second goal came out of nowhere in the 35th minute. Jota collected a pass from Maeda and unleashed a powerful strike from at least 30 meters that flew into the top corner. The goalscorer immediately ran towards photographers to show off his sweatband tribute to former Benfica winger Fernando Chalana, who died on Wednesday aged 63.
Jota soon had a chance to set up Madea but chose to shoot and was denied by Sam Walker. Killies left-back Jeriel Dorsett injured himself trying to track back after Furuhashi’s pass inside him and was replaced by Calum Waters.
David Turnbull had two attempts blocked before Celtic increased their lead at half-time after a corner. Callum McGregor’s deflected shot broke for centre-back Jenz, who showed a striker’s instinct to hook the ball home on the turn.
Oli Shaw forced Hart into a diving save after latching on to a high ball from the restart, but that was Kilmarnock’s last effort. Furuhashi headed against the post after Turnbull’s free-kick early in the second half.
Starfelt made his first appearance of the season after Jenz retired after receiving treatment and was soon involved in a flashpoint when Lafferty went down in the box. The former Rangers striker demanded a penalty but was instead penalized for backing in, and was booked for an aerial challenge with Taylor.
Ange Postecoglou made a triple substitution midway through the half and the replacements – Giakoumakis, Aaron Mooy and Liel Abada – injected more energy into Celtic’s attacking play.
Starfelt scored in the second attempt from close range in the 76th minute after Sam Walker had parried Cameron Carter-Vickers’ corner. Giakoumakis then finished brilliantly six minutes later after leaping into the air to meet a headed clearance.