Charly Musonda took his bow but it was Moussa Dembele who stole the limelight.

Celtic's new signing ignited some excitement in the home support when his arrival at the club was confirmed on Monday evening but it was the Frenchman who served a reminder of just how devastating he can be when on form.

Whatever speculation has surrounded the player in this window, the player put in the kind of display that was in keeping with the manner in which he impressed in his inaugural campaign at the club.

Brendan Rodgers was at pains before this game to stress that it was never about atoning for that sobering afternoon at Tynecastle in December.

And yet there was something raw about Celtic and the manner they went for Hearts from the minute the first ball was kicked in this game. Devastating in attack, Celtic had the Tynecastle side on the ropes by the time this one had hit the half hour mark with Dembele their chief tormentor.

The French striker set up two and scored one and his overall play underlined just how much of an asset he is to Celtic in that kind of form. With Leigh Griffiths sidelined for the next month and a forthcoming Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg looming, this performance underlined just what Dembele can bring to this Celtic side.

Scott Sinclair had the unusual experience of starting the game on the bench but that was not the only unfamiliar look about the Hoops. Rodgers went for two strikers up front, a tactic rarely used in his time at the club.

It made for a cracking opening period, with Celtic's attacking play a portent of what was to come as Hearts were blown away long before the whistle had sounded for the sanctuary of the interval.

There were just two minutes on the clock when the hosts put down their first marker of the evening. It was Edouard who burst the net with the opener after collecting a pass in the middle of pitch from Dembele before showing pace, aggression and precision as he burst forward before unleashing a rasping effort high into the net.

As Hearts struggled to catch their breath, Celtic kept on coming.

Kieran Tierney, instrumental all evening as he tore up and down the flank, whipped a pacey ball across the face of the goal that was just inches in front of Dembele’s boot and there was always a feeling that Celtic were going for the jugular.

With Dembele showing the kind of movement and link up play that made him such a devastating player for Celtic in his inaugural season at the club, the second came from an unlikely source as Dedryck Boyata breached a Hearts defence that had only lost one goal in their last eight games.

The game had not gone shortly passed the half hour mark than it was out of sight for the Tynecastle side.

Tierney left Connor Randall chasing fresh air on the flank and his ball across goal was converted by Dembele who nicked in front of Christophe Berra to clinch the third to net his first goal for the club since the end of November.

Tynecastle kid Harry Cochrane had to be taken off after coming off the worse in a challenge with Scott Brown but he was not the only one who couldn’t put the same stamp on the game as he had in the meeting back in December.

Regardless of how Hearts shifted and changed, however, they had no answer to the relentlessness of Celtic. Edouard has looked ill at ease in recent weeks leading the line on his own, but the 19-year-old shone up well when playing just behind Dembele.

The Frenchman, too, looked sharper than he has for the past few weeks. It was he who set up the opening two of the evening before adding the third but his overall play was impressive with no evidence of the unsettling effects of the last months on show.

The same could be levelled at Celtic. The Parkhead side produced arguably one of their better displays for the past few months, with Tierney excellent on the flank while Eboue Kouassi, Olivier Ntcham and Brown impressed in the middle of the park.

Musonda arrived to a raucous welcome just after the hour mark when he replaced James Forrest.

The 21-year-old has played little first-team football this season and looked inevitably rusty but his arrival appears to have sparked a bit of life about Celtic again.

Celtic blotted their copybook with little more than 20 minutes remaining when a rare lapse in concentration from Brown gave Hearts a glimpse of a lifeline. Caught in possession, Brown was robbed by Lafferty who drilled a low shot past Dorus de Vries who had not had cause to muddy his gloves prior to the strike.

Sinclair replaced Dembele – the Celtic striker enjoying the acclaim of the support as he left the pitch – and almost teed up Ntcham for a fourth.

The French midfielder was then denied a fourth with a block from Jon McLaughlin but by then the points were on the board as Celtic moved 14 points clear at the top.