14.08.2022 18:32 h

Celtic crush Kilmarnock to retake top spot in Scottish Premiership

Celtic edged back ahead of Rangers on goal difference at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 5-0 thrashing of Kilmarnock on Sunday as both Moritz Jenz and Giorgos Giakoumakis scored overhead kicks.

Kyogo Furuhashi, Jota and Carl Starfelt were also on target in a dominant display from Ange Postecoglou's champions to maintain their perfect start after three games.

The Hoops needed two late goals to see off Ross County last weekend, but got off to a flying start when Furuhashi turned in Daizen Maeda's cross after just seven minutes.

Celtic did not let the plastic pitch or the baking temperatures slow them down as Jota's blistering strike into the top corner and Jenz's second goal in as many games for the club killed the game off before half-time.

"We knew that (the pitch) was one of our challenges today, along with it being a hot day to try and play the football we want to," said Postecoglou.

"The boys' attitude was first rate.

"It was a great start for us. Last week we scored late and we said we want to wear teams down. That doesn't discount the fact we want to start strong and put teams away early."

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes had spoken before the game about his determination to make life as difficult as possible for the champions.

But the former Aberdeen boss was disappointed by his side's defending.

Starfelt was given two chances at a gaping goal to open his Celtic account on his 50th appearance for the club.

"We're not ready to take on Celtic yet, but we are better than what we showed today, certainly with our defending," said McInnes.

Giakoumakis then saved the best for last. The Greek striker acrobatically swivelled to fire through Sam Walker's legs.

Sunday's other match in Scotland's top-flight saw Hearts move up into third place with a 4-1 defeat of Dundee United.

Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring for Hearts inside the first minute and the Edinburgh club doubled their lead early in the second half through Barrie McKay.

Jorge Grant made it 3-0 before Dundee United pulled a goal back through a Steven Fletcher penalty only for Josh Ginnelly to complete the scoring in stoppage time.

Defeat left United -- hammered 7-0 by Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in midweek as they exited the Europa Conference League with a record-equalling loss for a Scottish club in Europe -- third from bottom.