Celtic eased to a 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle to move five points clear at the top of the Premiership and pile the pressure on Rangers.

Neil Lennon's side knew they had the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table, with their title rivals not playing until Friday, but it was a sluggish start in Gorgie.

Daniel Stendel's men pressed high and hard from the outset and didn't allow the visitors to settle.

A moment of individual brilliance from Odsonne Edouard saw them fall behind though, the Frenchman taking out four players with a lovely backheel to tee-up Ryan Christie on the edge of the box.

The Scotland international took a touch onto his left foot on the edge of the box and, somewhat inevitably, found the bottom corner.

It was game over 12 minutes later as James Forrest took advantage of gaps at the back to set up Olivier Ntcham for a side-footed half volley.

Celtic could have extended their lead in the second half and Hearts had goalkeeper Joel Pereira to thank for keeping the score down.

The Jambos did push for the final 15 minutes but they couldn't muster a real chance and the league leaders won relatively comfortably.

That leaves them five points ahead of Rangers, who have their own trip to Edinburgh to face Hibs on Friday.

See how it all unfolded below.

Key Events

Full-time

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That’s the final whistle and Celtic take a five point lead at the top of the Premiership.

The pressure is all on Rangers now ahead of their own trip to Edinburgh to face Hibs on Friday.

For Hearts there were some positives, but they remain 11th and are only off the bottom on goal difference.

Two minutes of added time

The assistant signals two minutes of added time but the fire has gone out of this game.

Huge chance for Griffiths!

That was suicidal by Hearts!

Clare plays it across his own box and it’s right to Leigh Griffiths.

The striker’s touch is heavy though and he loses the angle as he tries to take it around Pereira.

It looks like the assistant put a flag up for offside, which would be odd given it was a Hearts player who played Griffiths in...

Griffiths almost in!

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The substitute looks like he’s in on goal but the ball just skids away from him on the greasy surface.

He’d love a goal against Hearts...

Celtic double change

Forrest takes a run at Clare but his left-footed cross is deflected behind for a corner.

Christie takes but can’t beat the first man. That’s not like him.

That cross was Forrest’s last action as Nir Bitton replaces him.

Odsonne Edouard goes off too, to be replaced by Leigh Griffiths.

Oh my days look at Frimpong run!

Clare dries off the ball with a towel and sends a long throw into the box.

It’s cleared though and suddenly Frimpong is haring away.

Pereira comes out to meet it and - just about - gets there before the right-back.

Frimpong really is lightning quick.

Halkett volley wide

Hearts win a free-kick - much to Neil Lennon’s annoyance - which Whelan sends out wide.

He gets it back and whips it in to Halkett but the centre-back doesn’t connect properly with his volley and it dribbles wide.

Think that’s what’s called a “shin-roller”.

Hearts look to put the pressure on

Hearts are trying hard to get back into this but they’re struggling to break down the Celtic defence.

Wighton has two half-chances, the first is blocked before it reaches Forster and the second is scrambled clear before he can get his shot away.

Crucial intervention by Clare

Ntcham picks out Forrest in behind the defence with a wonderful pass.

The Scotland international is on his favoured right foot but Clare comes steaming across to make a great saving tackle.

Halkett free-kick

Henderson makes progress toward the Celtic box and is felled by Jullien.

That’s a free-kick on the edge of the box in a good shooting position and it’s taken by Halkett.

Rather than batter it goalward the centre-back curls it right into the wall and a deflection of the wall puts it out for a corner.

Pereira saves from McGregor

Pereira has kept Hearts in it this second half.

This time it’s McGregor who is afforded too much time and space and the Hearts goalkeeper does well to deny him with a strong right hand from close range.

Hickey does well

Hearts pour men forward and they’re wide open on the break.

It’s four vs four as Edouard plays it wide to Frimpong but Hickey does really well to get back and stop Frimpong’s cross.

Pereira to the rescue again

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 18, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Hearts. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Hearts manager Daniel Stendel during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 18, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Hearts. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Image: PA Wire)

It’s an interesting tactic from Hearts, this.

They’ve decided to just completely leave Edouard alone on set pieces in a “that’s just crazy enough to work” sort of approach.

The ball comes to him at the back post but Pereira is off his line sharply to smother the shot.

The Frenchman hasn’t scored yet but it feels like it’s coming. Or maybe he’s just so unnerved by this mind game of leaving him unmarked all the time.

Final Hearts change

Ewan Henderson replaces Jake Mulraney.

That’s the final change after Brandon’s first half injury, and Brandon is in the stands with a boot on his foot.

Doesn’t look good.

Celtic penalty claim

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 18: Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard goes down in the box after a challenge from Hearts’ Loic Damour during a Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic, at Tynecastle Stadium, on December 18, 2019, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 18: Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard goes down in the box after a challenge from Hearts’ Loic Damour during a Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic, at Tynecastle Stadium, on December 18, 2019, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group) (Image: 2019 SNS Group)

Edouard finds space in the box but he can’t quite work it into a shooting position.

As he looks to curl it on his right he goes down under Damour’s challenge.

Referee Bobby Madden isn’t interested and by the Hearts man’s reaction he clearly feels Edouard made the most of that.

Edouard off the post!

Edouard takes a great touch and is about to pull the trigger when Berra gets across to knock it behind for a corner.

It’s taken short and Edouard is left unmarked in the six yard box.

That doesn’t seem a tactically sound plan but fortunately for Hearts he can only loop his header off the post.

That was a huge let-off.

Berra can't quite stretch

Halkett heads a free-kick on at the front post and it’s a half-chance for Berra but he can’t stretch enough to make contact.

Celtic goal disallowed

McGregor has the ball in the net but it’s disallowed for offside.

Forrest finds Edouard in the box and he takes one touch on his right to set up a shot. He then takes another one and puts it onto his left.

He might have been better off taking it first time though and Pereira gets enough to knock it away.

McGregor follows up but he’s offside when he turns it into the net.

Play continues down the other end - it was a very late flag - and there’s a lot of confusion in the air!

Good run by Clare

Clare makes a good run from the right, beating two Celtic to men to set up a shooting chance.

He doesn’t catch it properly but that’s more encouraging from Hearts.

Jullien the pantomime villain

Jullien goes down under MacLean’s challenge but he made a bit of a meal of it.

He gets back up and is booed by the Tynecastle crowd.

The kids are alright

Frimpong plays it off Hickey and it’s behind for a corner. Those two have a combined age of 36, which is a year younger than Steven MacLean.

Just let that sink in.

Christie’s corner is cleared to McGregor and he doesn’t quite connect with the shot.

Half-time change for Hearts

Glenn Whelan is on for Bozanic.

It looks like Stendel is going to switch to a midfield diamond with Whelan at the base and Wighton at the tip.

Second half kicks-off!

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We’re back under way at Tynecastle and it’s a huge 45 minutes ahead for Hearts.

They started the match really well but were well and truly on the ropes at the end of the first half.

The next goal really will be crucial in this one because if Celtic score again it’s goodnight Vienna.

That first goal...

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Stendel’s pressing game was working really well until the first goal but the goal itself showed what can go wrong.

Hearts have been looking to swarm Celtic players in possession, and for the goal four of them sprinted over to Edouard.

When he came up with that little backheel flick though it took them all out of the game and left Christie with time and space.

It’s the risk you run when you play such an aggressive pressing style, and it may well be worth it in the long-run, but that goal showed why you can’t just impose a new style in a week or two.

Half-time

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The whistle goes and it’s Hearts 0 Celtic 2 at the break.

So how do we assess that first half?

For the first 20 minutes Hearts were great - they hustled and harried and wouldn’t allow Celtic to settle.

You could say, then, that Stendel’s approach was the right one as he started with a bold 4-4-2 and a high press.

That two-man central midfield was always a risk though and they were badly exposed even before the second Celtic goal - does that mean the German ultimately got it wrong?

Neil Lennon’s side haven’t been at their best but they lead 2-0 and you really can’t see them giving away that kind of lead.

Damour goes into the book

Damour leaves one in on Scott Brown and goes into the book.

Kris Ajer joins him though for mouthing off at Bobby Madden.

Hearts 0 Celtic 2

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 18: Celtic's Olivier Ntcham scores to make it 2-0 during a Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic, at Tynecastle Stadium, on December 18, 2019, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 18: Celtic's Olivier Ntcham scores to make it 2-0 during a Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic, at Tynecastle Stadium, on December 18, 2019, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group) (Image: 2019 SNS Group)

That was coming - Olivier Ntcham makes it 0-2.

That open approach by Hearts was always risky and they’re totally carved apart on the break.

Halkett’s gone forward and Forrest is left one-on-one with Berra.

The veteran actually does well to hold him up, but Forrest still manages to pick out a cross.

Olivier Ntcham is in acres of space at the back post and he smashes it in on the half-volley.

Two HUGE Celtic chances

Howler by Hearts!

Michael Smith is too slow on it in midfield and for some reason Hearts have left Edouard onside and unmarked.

For once the Frenchman’s touch lets him down and Pereira comes off his line to gather.

Just two minutes later Halkett switches off and allows Forrest in behind him and it’s simple task for Ntcham to pick him out.

Forrest really should score but it’s an awful finish and he puts it wide.

Mulraney gets it all wrong

Mulraney dribbles in from the right flank and gets into a promising position but he can’t decide whether to spread it wide or go for goal.

In the end he does a bit of both and just sort of spoons it into the Celtic box.

Great save by Pereira!

Christie looks to cross it in from the right but it takes a deflection.

The touch is taking it over the Hearts goalkeeper but he manages to get fingertips to it and touch it on to the bar.

That’s a really good save because he didn’t have much time to react that that deflection.