Hibs stand-in manager Eddie May postponed a vasectomy in order to take charge of the Easter Road side at Celtic Park last night, but his swap in arrangements did not make his evening any more comfortable as Brendan Rodgers’ side kept up their unblemished start to the year. 

Celtic eased their way to a win that maintains their ascendancy at the top of the table with a goal in each half from Ryan Christie and Oliver Burke, with the Parkhead side dominating the 90 minutes against a Hibs side who rarely forayed out of their own half.

If the build-up to the game was seen through the prism of what was going on elsewhere and the consequences of any dropped points magnified, there was nevertheless a relaxed nature to the bulk of Celtic’s play against Hibs.

There was a boost before the game with the news that James Forrest is expected to be back for the weekend after a scan on his hamstring revealed that there is no tear. The winger had been forced to hobble out of last Sunday’s win at McDiarmid Park but with no sustained damage the likelihood is that he will be back for this weekend’s Scottish Cup tie against St Johnstone.

Of more concern will have been the injury to Emilio Izaguirre who had to be stretchered off following a late challenge from Darnell Johnson. With Kieran Tierney only just easing his way into training following a seven-week lay-off, the last thing Rodgers would have wanted was another left-back headache.

Izaguirre’s injury also delayed a debut for Vakoun Issouf Bayo, with the striker stripped and ready at the touchline before the Honduran’s injury meant a change in plan.

On a more positive note, Dedryck Boyata was back, with the Belgian defender getting 7e4 minutes of game time into his legs. The availability of the defender a bonus given the close proximity of Celtic’s Europa League tie against Valencia.

Those who were on the pitch, however, ensured that Celtic maintained their current domestic form. The Parkhead side have not lost a goal since they returned from their warm weather training camp in Dubai and have not lost a game on their own soil this season. If Scott Brown’s legs have gone, the Celtic captain did a fine imitation of a player still with a bit to give as he ran the show in the middle of the park.

Timo Weah and Burke both started the game, with Burke leading the line and Weah dropping to wide right in the absence of Forrest. Weah was constantly on the hunt for openings and was lively throughout as he looked to make things happen.

The American teenager has made an immediate impression since his arrival at the club last month but if he has endeared himself to the Parkhead support with his goals and his articulate enthusiasm, there was a season’s landmark for a more subtle member of the Celtic squad.

Callum McGregor made his 50th appearance of the season – he has yet to miss a game for club or country – a remarkable show of consistency from a player who has become pivotal to the manner in which Rodgers’ side play. It was McGregor who had Celtic’s first chance of the game with an effort that was blocked just inside the box in the opening minutes.

Hibs rarely threatened Celtic and as the opening period unfolded with the hosts repeatedly finding openings, it seemed inevitable that the Parkhead side would take the lead.

Christie had an effort on the quarter of the hour after Jeremy Toljan, making his first start for the club and impressing throughout, had cut the ball back for him. There were more. Weah connected with a smart ball through from McGregor while Scott Sinclair lifted an effort just over the bar after drifting inside.

It was Christie, though, who found the breakthrough and his tenth of the season midway through the opening period. It was Toljan who set up the goal with a low ball across the byline that Christie converted to give Celtic an opening goal that their play had suggested was on the cards.

Further chances followed in the second period; Christie turned his man on the edge of the box and came close to nabbing a second while the lively Weah was always inclined to look to make something happen.

Florian Kamberi was booked for clipping the heels of the American teenager as he looked to force his way into the box.

Boyata thought he had doubled Celtic’s advantage on the cusp of the hour mark with a header that was impressively stopped by Ofir Marciano but it proved to be a stay of execution for Hibs with Celtic cementing their lead shortly after.

Christie turned architect with a ball towards Weah whose ball through to Burke led to the second. As the on-loan 21-year-old unleashed his shot it came off Darren McGregor and looped over Marciano into the net. The youngster enjoyed the goal, too.

Having put in an industrious shift as he rebuilds both his confidence and his fitness, Burke’s third goal for the club will have done his self-belief no harm at all.

If there was something fortuitous about the strike, it was little more than Celtic deserved after dominating the bulk of the game. There was one cause for concern when Jozo Simunovic allowed second-half sub Mark McNulty to ghost in behind him but the Leith player’s effort was high and wide of the target.

The win over Hibs also gave further indication, should any still be required, that Craig Gordon will not be expected any time soon in Celtic’s starting line-up. Scott Bain held onto the gloves again and it would appear now that the goalkeeper is in firm command of the number one position at the club.