CELTIC left it late to beat Dundee United in their cinch Premiership match at Parkhead yesterday – it took a last-minute Kyogo Furuhashi goal and an injury-time Liel Abada strike to sew up the three points.

But the 4-2 triumph still helped the Scottish champions to extend their lead over Rangers at the top of the table to seven points; their nearest challengers slumped to a 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park yesterday. 

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So can the Glasgow club be caught by their city rivals now? Is the title race over in November? And are their Tayside opponents fated to remain rooted to the bottom of the table and suffer another relegation? Here are five things we learned from events in the East End of Glasgow.

HeraldScotland:

STRENGTH IN DEPTH

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou might not have European football to worry about any more this season. But he still has a lot of league and cup fixtures to negotiate in the months ahead. He clearly has the strength and depth he needs to get through them and enjoy another successful campaign.

He freshened up his starting line-up after the mentally and physically draining Champions League meeting with Real Madrid in Spain on Wednesday night and made no fewer than seven changes yesterday.

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Anthony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Alexandro Bernabei, Jota, David Turnbull, Sead Haksabanovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis all came in and Josip Juranovic, Carl Starfelt, Greg Taylor, Daizen Maeda, Aaron Mooy, Furuhashi and Abada dropped out. The new-look side took care of business

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst could only dream of having those kind of options at his disposal. He is struggling to get 11 fit players on the park at the moment. The superior resources that Postecoglou possesses should ensure that Celtic retain their Scottish title come May.

HeraldScotland:

VAR TOO LONG

The penalty that referee David Dickinson awarded United in the first-half after ruling that Bernabei had handled the ball inside his own area incensed the Celtic players, supporters and manager.

But what really made Postecoglou’s blood boil was the length of time it took the match official – who awarded the spot kick after watching a replay of the incident back on the pitchside monitor – and his VAR colleagues to arrive at the decision.

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He had a valid point. They system needs time to perfect here. It was always inevitable there would be teething problems when it was introduced. Still, there is far, far too much standing around at the moment. It is killing the flow of matches as well as the atmosphere. The SFA must strive to speed things up going forward.

HeraldScotland:

SUPERB SEAD

Haksabanovic has shown exactly why Postecoglou was so keen to bring him to Scotland back in August with his performances for Celtic in the past couple of months.

The Swedish-born Montenegrin internationalist has played with great energy and no little invention both out wide and in the playmaker role for the Scottish champions.

But the 23-year-old had not netted going into the United game. He finally opened his account with a well-taken first-half double.

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He turned in a Jota cross from a few yards out for the first and pounced on a weak headed clearance from Aziz Behich for the second. They promise to be the first of many.

Having cost just £1.7m, the skilful and powerful winger, who received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Abada in the second-half, has proved to be another outstanding Postecoglou signing.

HeraldScotland:

DOZY DEFENDING

The slack play that resulted in Dylan Levitt netting an 87th minute equaliser for United was overshadowed by the late goals that Furuhashi and Abada scored.

But Postecoglou must address the failings that led to the visitors drawing level. It had been coming. Greg Taylor headed a Glenn Middleton attempt off the line and Ryan Edwards hit the post with a header.

Celtic may not be so fortunate next time around. They need to learn to remain switched on for the full 90 minutes going forward. They will leak vital points and stumble in the title race if they fail to tighten up at the back. 

HeraldScotland:

UNITED UPTURN

Liam Fox’s charges were devastated to go so close to getting a result at Parkhead and ending up with nothing to show for their efforts. But they can take heart from their all-round display. They defended well and created chances on the counter. If they perform as impressively going forward they will move off the foot of the table.

Their match against fellow strugglers Kilmarnock at Tannadice on Wednesday evening is of huge importance to them. They can go into it with confidence despite suffering yet another defeat.