Ntcham keeps Bhoys on course
Hearts 0 Celtic 2
Celtic recovered from a slow start to beat Hearts at Tynecastle and move five points clear in the Scottish Premiership.
Ryan Christie netted with the champions' first shot on target in the 28th minute and Olivier Ntcham doubled the advantage with an expert first-time finish five minutes before the break.
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The visitors had further chances but Hearts gave new boss Daniel Stendel some encouragement with the way they kept on trying to get back into the game after losing their shape for the period between the opener and half-time.
The result ensured Celtic utilised one of the games that was rearranged from their Betfred Cup run with Rangers now on a game in hand. Hearts avoided going bottom by one goal but face basement side Hamilton on Saturday.
Stendel made five changes after his side delivered a limp display in a 1-0 home defeat by St Johnstone in his first match. Christie and Jonny Hayes came back from injury for Celtic, who struggled to get the ball down from the start, although Ntcham was an exception throughout.