THE margin between these two teams this morning is 34 points and 11 places in the Ladbrokes Premiership table. You would never have guessed it on the general run of play last night, but the top and bottom of this one was that Celtic win again to move 14 points clear at the top with a game in hand, while Partick lose again to stay bottom.

The rain had poured down on a miserable night at Parkhead, but the goals didn't, with the second meeting between these two teams in 11 days was settled by Scott Sinclair's 16th minute goal.

Celtic are so far ahead of the pack domestically - they are now 21 matches unbeaten - that they are having to find other ways to keep themselves amused.

This has been something of a curse for Parkhead managers in recent times when they typically have a sizeable lead by the time New Year comes round, but Brendan Rodgers made his name as a youth coach at Chelsea and he has earmarked the crowded December fixture calendar to see exactly what he has squirrelled away in the club's youth ranks.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers resists urge to throw in raft of youngsters, but Calvin Miller gives glimpse of Celtic's production line talent

Despite making no fewer than eight changes from the side which overcame Dundee at the weekend, there weren't exactly the wholesale promotions from the development squad which some had predicted, but then the Northern Irishman is canny enough to know he has a first team squad to keep happy too.

While Liam Henderson got his sixth appearance of the season in central midfield, earning an assist for Sinclair's goal and the man of the match award, the game's one real novelty factor resided in the form of Calvin Miller, an 18-year-old from Castlemilk who Google will tell you was once nominated as one of the best players born in 1998 in the world.

That is a fair old claim to live up to but what we can say for sure is that this attacker, who starred as Scotland beat England to their first Victory Shield title in 15 years, has been converted to a left back by Rodgers, who likes his defenders to be comfortable on the ball.

The Northern Irishman also compared him pre-game yesterday to former Chelsea youth team prospect Ryan Bertrand, a man whose first ever European appearance came in the Stamford Bridge club's Champions League win.

Whether he is being groomed as a potential replacement for Emilio Izaguirre, or perhaps a long term successor to Kieran Tierney should a bigger fish come calling for his old youth team pal, what we can say on the strength of his hour or so on a heavy Parkhead field last night is that he has plenty to offer, particularly when it comes to the attacking part of the job.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers resists urge to throw in raft of youngsters, but Calvin Miller gives glimpse of Celtic's production line talent

He could quite easily have capped his display with a debut goal, when he worked a neat one-two with Scott Sinclair and stung the palms of Tomas Cerny. Defensively it was more of a mixed bag: while he got the benefit of the doubt with a first-half foul which could have led to a booking, and Thistle thought they might have got a soft-ish penalty against him for handball, the teenager can be happy enough with his evening.

So too can Celtic, even if this conformed to a pattern of rather scrappy, narrow recent victories from the team already assumed to be 2016-17's champions elect. That their margin at the top of the division is 14 points this morning was courtesy of a first half goal from Scott Sinclair which was right out of the Teddy Sheringham playbook.

The former Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Spurs striker had a free-kick routine which he took from club to club and invariably succeeded. It involved a late lateral run at about the depth of the penalty spot, while the big guys are all jostling for position, and Celtic worked a variation of it a treat last night. Henderson's slide rule pass was met perfectly by Sinclair, who steered in a high finish.

Thistle are the hard luck stories of this year's Ladbrokes Premiership and this was another particularly sore one for the Maryhill side. While they had Tomas Cerny to thank for the fact that they stayed in this game with quarter of an hour to play - the Czech's saves on the night defied Sinclair a second goal on the night when he was clean through, a Patrick Roberts effort right after half time, a shot from Stuart Armstrong and a low Moussa Dembele daisycutter which meant the Frenchman hasn't scored from open play since October 26 - it was the chances they missed themselves that were glaring.

Read more: Brendan Rodgers resists urge to throw in raft of youngsters, but Calvin Miller gives glimpse of Celtic's production line talent

The clever Ryan Edwards couldn't get enough power on his shot when he capitalised on an early mistake from Jozo Simunovic, then Ade Azeez was clean through on Craig Gordon but could only fire wastefully into the sidenetting - something of a theme of this striker's season.

Ziggy Gordon was allowed to travel untrammelled up the right flank, just after Emilio Izaguirre had replaced Miller, but could only roll the ball tamely wide, then Chris Erskine and Sean Welsh both fluffed their lines from close range. This was hardly the scintillating Celtic sighted in early season but no-one domestically has worked out how to stop them yet.

Celtic 1 (Sinclair 16) Partick Thistle 0

Celtic (4-1-2-3): Gordon; Gamboa, Lustig, Simunovic, Miller (Izaguirre 62); Brown; McGregor, Henderson; Roberts, Dembele (Griffiths 76), Sinclair (Armstrong 69).

Subs not used: De Vries, Izaguirre, Bitton, Sviatchenko

Partick Thistle (4-2-3-1): Cerny; Gordon, Lindsay, Devine, Booth; Welsh (Barton 77), Osman; Amoo (Erskine 68), Edwards, Lawless; Azeez (Dooland 82).

Subs not used: Stuckmann, Doolan, Elliott, Wilson, McDaid

Booked: Celtic: Simunovic 42, Izaguirre 67. Partick Thistle: Booth 16, Welsh 66

Referee: E Anderson