Celtic offered their rivals a glimmer of hope with their start to the season; a indecisive transfer window which saw some speculation over key players was followed by a slow start to their title defence.
Hearts took advantage and seized the initiative in the title race and must have fancied their chances in last weekend’s Betfred Cup semi-final which came on the back of another European away defeat for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
But the Bhoys turned on the style in the second half to make a mockery of their injury problems and swat Hearts aside 3-0 at Hampden Park, which has been the catalyst for change.
On the back of that comprehensive semi-final win, Celtic have kicked on again once more.
With their return to league action, Celtic have reaffirmed their status as Scotland’s elite side.
A 5-0 thumping of Dundee was followed up by a second encounter with Hearts in a matter of days and Celtic showed their dominance once more.
The league table may still say that Hearts are ahead – although Celtic have a game in hand – but Rodgers’ men delivered a huge psychological blow.
Have Celtic sent a message that they are back to their best? Perhaps more is to come, but that’s only even more ominous news for the rest of the division…