Celtic caretaker manager John Kennedy got off to a winning start as Odsonne Edouard’s early goal was enough to see off toothless Aberdeen 1-0 on Saturday.
The Hoops assistant manager was promoted on Wednesday morning following the resignation of Neil Lennon with the Glasgow giants 18 points adrift of rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Victory cuts Steven Gerrard’s men’s lead to 15, but with just seven points needed from their remaining eight games of the campaign, it is a question of when not if Rangers end Celtic’s run of nine consecutive league titles.
The coronation for the runaway leaders could even come at Celtic Park in three weeks time and there was little in Celtic’s performance to suggest they look capable of ending Rangers quest to go the full league season unbeaten.
In a similar contest to the one Celtic won by the same scoreline in Lennon’s final home game in charge 10 days ago, an early goal was all the hosts needed against a Dons side that have now not scored in seven of their last eight games.
With time and space, Edouard took a pass from Ryan Christie at the edge of the Aberdeen box and fired in a shot which took a deflection off defender Tommie Hoban and wrong-footed keeper Joe Lewis, for his ninth goal in nine games.
Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor had hit the bar in the fifth minute with a looping header from a Niall McGinn corner, but Derek McInnes’s men rarely threatened after falling behind as they remain four points adrift of Hibs in fourth.
Rangers are not in action until Wednesday as their opponents Livingston face St Johnstone in the League Cup final on Sunday.
Hibs missed the chance to extend their advantage as the best of the rest outside the Old Firm as Motherwell won 2-0 at Easter Road thanks to goals from Jordan Roberts and Devante Cole.
Kilmarnock remain in the relegation playoff place after a 1-1 draw with Dundee United left Tommy Wright still winless after four games in charge.
Jamie McGrath’s late penalty saw St Mirren beat Ross County 1-0.