Celtic's Boxing Day travels required only a perfunctory punch as they enjoyed a comfortable win at Dens Park.

First-half goals from James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths gave the Parkhead side three points from their penultimate game of 2017.

There was an ease about the win and although it was a more staid offering in the second period than it was in the first, there will be some satisfaction at having steadied the ship this week after the sobering defeat at Tynecastle ten days ago.

The only blemish was what appeared to be a serious injury to Republic of Ireland internationalist Jonny Hayes who was stretchered off in some distress.

It was harsh on the winger who has been forced to wait on the sidelines for his chance since arriving from Aberdeen this summer. he had picked up from his decent weekend showing against his former team so it seemed particularly cruel on the player when his afternoon was cut short.

It was, though, Celtic's only real lament from what was a comfortable trek.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers insisted that he wouldn't be upset if it was not the same lead as it was this time last term going into the break - 19 points back then - but this win took Celtic 11 clear at the top, with few envisaging anything other than a clear motoring on after downing tools for a three-week break next month.

Prior to that there is Saturday's game against Rangers to negotiate but against Dundee, particularly in the opening period, there was an energy about Celtic that belied the fact they may be suffering with nay kind of lethargy after playing so many games between June and now.

Leigh Griffiths led the line while teenage defender Kristoffer Ajer kept his place after an impressive showing against Aberdeen. Whether or not he is in there this weekend for the visit of Rangers remains to be seen.

It was an imposing start from Celtic who were so quick to push their hosts onto the backfoot that by the time James Forrest had opened the scoring after just seven minutes, the goal already had an inevitable feel about it.

Prior to the opener, Callum McGregor had clipped the post in what proved to be a mere stay of execution for Dundee.

Within a couple of minutes Forrest had given Celtic a tangible advantage that their early play had suggested was coming. The goal, crisply sliced into the net, was the culmination of a fine passing move with Jonny Hayes, Griffiths and Kieran Tierney all involved in the build-up.

There were just seven minutes on the clock but even then it looked like a struggle for Dundee to find a way back into the tie.

Forrest turned provider shortly after only for Hayes to nod his backpost header just wide of the post.

It was the last meaningful involvement from the Irish winger who was stretchered off shortly afterwards after a clash in the middle of the park with Josh Meekings.

The Dundee midfielder took the legs out of Hayes with a tackle at full pelt that left both of them grounded.

It meant a change with Hoops kid Mikey Johnston introduced to the fray.

The midfielder slotted in on the left and had two incursions into the Dundee penalty box shortly after arriving, one of which drew a smart save from Elliott Parish.

While the stop for treatment for Hayes and Meekings meant an additional seven minutes added onto the first period, it did not signal a break in fluency nor in the manner which Celtic dominated the game.

It was no real surprise when Griffiths doubled their advantage with Olivier Ntcham the architect of the strike with a fine pass into the feet of the striker. The Scotland internationalist thumped the ball into the back of the net to kill off what little resistance had been there from Dundee.

Griffiths enjoyed the celebrations – his first goal since a free-kick at Dingwall back in November.

And while the forward was in amongst it throughout the game, there remains a question mark about whether or not he will be given the nod for Saturday’s lunchtime meeting with Rangers which will bring the curtain down on the opening half of the season.

Griffiths was replaced by Moussa Dembele for the final ten minutes of the game and it will be interesting to see who takes the jersey for Saturday's game against Rangers.

Speculation around Dembele’s future at Celtic was dismissed before the game by Brendan Rodgers as reports around a Brighton bid for the player circulated this week. Certainly, it is a story that will remain on the radar over the coming weeks but the priority this week will be on what he does on the pitch, regardless of whether it proves to be a final act or not.

Scott Sinclair did not start the game but there were fine performances from Forrest and Ntcham, with the latter showing the kind of form that prompted Celtic to shell out their biggest transfer fee in a decade when they signed the Frenchman this summer.

Forrest, too, has ensured that the absence of Patrick Roberts due to a hamstring injury has been of little note.

The winger’s goal at dens Park took his tally to 12 for the season and on current form it is difficult to argue that he has been the most consistent performer at the club this term.