Rangers demolished Hearts 4-1 to move within four wins of retaining their Scottish title on Saturday while Neil Lennon's first match in charge of Celtic ended in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.
Rangers still lead the table by 10 points and have two games in hand. Walter Smith's team bounced back from their midweek Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat at Dundee United with a ruthless display. Danny Wilson opened the scoring for Rangers early on and Suso Santana's equaliser did little to unsettle the visitors as Kenny Miller's strike and a second half double from Steven Naismith sealed the points.
"We had to show a good desire to win the game. You are always concerned there is a bit of complacency with the lead that we have and that we might get affected by that," said Rangers boss Walter Smith. "But we showed good desire today and the next three games we have are vitally important for us as well."
Robbie Keane scored a double as Lennon's first match in charge of Celtic ended in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Parkhead. Lennon, who has replaced the sacked Tony Mowbray after the midweek 4-0 mauling by St Mirren, was pleased with the response of his players.
"I asked for a reaction after Wednesday night and I got one," said the caretaker boss. "I'm thrilled that we won and played in a manner that befits the club."
The former Celtic captain watched as Keane produced two moments of magic to score in either half, taking his tally to 11 in 11 games. Scott Brown, returning from a three-game suspension, tapped in a third before Craig Bryson's deflected cross looped over the head of Artur Boruc to pull one back for Kilmarnock. It was a vast improvement from their midweek performance where they lost 4-0 to St Mirren in a defeat which sealed Mowbray's fate.
Lennon made five changes for his first game in charge and his reign could have got off to a flying start if Marc-Antoine Fortune hadn't headed over from six yards out after 45 seconds.
It took a moment of individual brilliance from Keane to open the scoring in the 36th minute. The Irish international collected a Brown pass with his back to goal, nutmegged Simon Ford and Frazer Wright then dinked the ball over goalkeeper Cammy Bell into the net.
McGeady showed good footwork to evade tackles in the box before firing a shot off the base of the post as the game headed to the break. Keane got his second in the 62nd minute. The on-loan Spurs striker collected the ball on the right and weaved his way past Scott Severin before firing into the bottom right-hand corner from an acute angle.
Celtic's third came four minutes later through Brown. McGeady broke into the box and his shot-cum-cross was turned into the net by the midfielder from around six yards out.
At Tynecastle, Wilson headed home his first goal for Rangers in the fourth minute before Santana pulled Hearts level. Miller restored the Ibrox side's lead before a second-half double from Naismith, his first league goals since the opening day of the season, sealed the win.
Aberdeen ended a ten-game run without a win with a 2-1 victory over St Mirren, Hibernian won 3-1 away to Falkirk, ten-man Dundee United beat Motherwell 3-0 and Hamilton defeated St Johnstone 1-0.