Celtic picked up an impressive 2-0 win over AIK on Thursday, and they continued their momentum in the Scottish Premiership with a crucial 3-1 win over Hearts on a ludicrously warm day at Celtic Park.
To freshen things up, manager Neil Lennon opted to make a number of changes to his starting lineup, the most notable of which came in the form of new signing Fraser Forster, who returned to the club on loan following five years with Southampton.
Fraser Forster is the best keeper we’ve had since Fraser Forster. Great to see him back.— Graham A (@graham1A) August 25, 2019
Forster wasn't the only big change as, with Odsonne Edouard rested, 22-year-old Vakoun Issouf Bayo was handed his first start in attack.
It was an electric start to the game, with both sides throwing everything at the other in the sunshine at Paradise. However, it was Celtic who opened the scoring, thanks to some resilient work from Bayo.
The striker's scrappy finish might have gone down as an own goal in the end, but Celtic fans certainly didn't care.
Said it in January Bayo will destroy teams this season.— Celtic Now And Forever ⬅️ (@celtic_now) August 25, 2019
Celtic held on to their 1-0 lead at the half-time interval, and they made it 2-0 soon after the break thanks to Callum McGregor's stunning strike in the 54th minute.
The Hoops were cruising, and fans knew it.
Callum McGregor Ballon D'Or— Baz (@BarryMcGonigle) August 25, 2019
Pick that out Callum Mcgregor 😍— Tommy. (@Hurley_5) August 25, 2019
Hearts had absolutely no answer, with Craig Levein's side looking completely out of their depth against the Hoops.
When Bayo bagged his side's third from close range, Celtic fans were partying, whilst Hearts' supporters began looking for the nearest exit.
OMG BAYO IS THE GOAT— french eddie for the ballon dor (@lethaleddie) August 25, 2019
I haven't seen the game today but it really backs up what I've been saying for months. Bayo is the best striker in Europe.— Andy Gilchrist (@1AndyGilchrist) August 25, 2019
I said it after the game Wednesday that Bayo was making some great runs and if we find him, he will score goals. He's done it again today and we have found him with the passes. Boy is going to be a bargain I reckon.— Tam McKinlay (@tammckinlay9) August 25, 2019
Hearts were given a glimmer oh hope left on when they were awarded a penalty following a clumsy challenge by Scott Brown, but Conor Washington's penalty was well saved by Forster.
However, the excitement didn't last long as Washington managed to convert the rebound. Game on..?
Brown is done, shouldn’t be a starter anymore. Ntcham - McGregor - Christie should be the midfield 3. Just disgracing himself this season is Broony— Jacko (@RyanJackson_21) August 25, 2019
Game over. Celtic never looked threatened by Hearts, even though the late penalty scare gave them something to think about.
Lennon's men are right back to the top of the table, but can they stay there?