There will be considerably better games than this in the Scottish Premier League during this campaign. It can quite safely be said, though, that not many will be more one-sided.

St Mirren left Celtic Park with exactly what they deserved on account of unimaginative, negative football. Given they have played against Barcelona twice in recent times, Celtic know what it is like to record a small number in possession statistics. Here, they would have relished an opportunity to dictate every element of the 90 minutes.

Celtic's ambition over the coming weeks is clear: to place as much daylight as possible between themselves and the remainder of the SPL before they return to European action. Celtic have been criticised for their underperformance on the domestic front but they still lead the division; a matter that will not change, if at all, on anything but a temporary basis between now and May.

The retention of key players during January is also significant to Neil Lennon. The Celtic manager is hopeful Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama will extend their contracts rather than be coaxed by the bright lights of England's top flight; the prospect of a Champions League last-16 tie should also appeal to those ambitious players.

The blunt reality, and flip side, is that fixtures such as St Mirren's visit are the ones Celtic's personnel face a struggle to motivate themselves for. Despite false claims of a championship "race", there is a flatness, and lack of quality, about the SPL. That factor is not lost on the paying public, who are yet to return en masse to watch an overpriced product.

The medium-term future of Celtic's players, and their manager, is also intrinsically linked to what satisfaction they can garner on the home front. Wanyama and Hooper displayed their worth once again by claiming the goals that brushed aside St Mirren's meek challenge.

It was Celtic's goalkeeper, Fraser Forster, who would be forgiven an alternative focus when St Mirren appeared. The visitors were pitiful as an attacking force, something all the more infuriating for their band of supporters given the problems Celtic have endured at home this season when opponents have taken the game to them.

Occasionally St Mirren verged on the radical by leaving Stephen Thompson somewhere in the close proximity of Celtic's half. St Mirren's most reasonable hope seemed that Celtic would grow bored with what resembled an attack versus defence training game.

Celtic had three penalty claims within the first 14 minutes, two of them for handball and the third, as Jim Goodwin seemed to push Hooper, the most legitimate.

Just seconds after that controversy, Wanyama had bundled the hosts in front. From a Charlie Mulgrew corner, the Kenyan midfielder watched his header saved by Craig Samson. In demonstrating his hunger to deliver what was a seventh goal of this season, Wanyama followed up to score.

Celtic dominated and swarmed all over the Paisley side for the remainder of the first half, albeit without creating a string of clear-cut opportunities. There was, however, time for another Celtic spot-kick appeal. Beram Kayal tumbled under the challenge of Mark McAusland, with the non-appearance of a yellow card for the Israeli bemusing in the context of Calum Murray's decision.

The second period followed exactly the same pattern. Scott Brown came within a fine Samson block of doubling Celtic's advantage, Hooper having nodded a Georgios Samaras pass into his captain's path. Hooper could, and maybe should, have gone for goal himself.

The woodwork was next to deny Celtic. Mulgrew's corner found the head of Mikael Lustig, who crashed a header off the crossbar. Lennon's exasperation would be tempered by the glaring reality of St Mirren offering little by way of punishment.

Belatedly, Hooper confirmed Celtic's superiority. The striker was on hand to offer a cute, hooked right-foot finish after another teasing Mulgrew set play dropped into his path.