Mundane domestic outings in the immediate aftermath of European ties have historically caused problems for Scottish teams. Perhaps Celtic would have been grateful, then, for one of the most eventful and entertaining Scottish Premier League matches in their season falling four days after the Champions League loss to Juventus.
Celtic ultimately won this match handsomely against a Dundee United team who suffered their first setback since Jackie McNamara replaced Peter Houston as their manager. By full-time, it looked a heavy one.
Yet scorelines can belie drama; United took an early lead and were denied their chance to level the scores at 2-2 from a bizarre penalty award. In the first-half particularly, the visitors attacked Celtic impressively, if perhaps naively, while playing their part in an enthralling contest. Time will tell if McNamara's Tannadice outlook is altered on account of a drubbing, albeit they will face few teams with the conviction Celtic showed during these 90 minutes.
Routinely, Celtic and Neil Lennon would want to forget a 3-0 defeat. In the specific case of Juve, the SPL champions retain a grievance over the defending tactics of the Italian players at corner kicks. Lennon, having referred to it as "manhandling", will now compile a DVD in seeking Uefa's thoughts on the matter. Quite what that will achieve is open to debate but this is not an issue Celtic are of a mind to readily dismiss.
Before kick-off here, Lennon re-affirmed his stance. "All I want to know is what is legal and what is not," he said. "What went on the other night was not legal. My players did everything right in terms of pointing it out. It's not sour grapes. I just think the referee didn't do his job properly. "For me it's a form of cheating."
That use of the "c" word, at least, may raise eyebrows at the headquarters of European football's governing body. A response, of sorts, to Celtic is surely inevitable. Within 10 minutes, Lennon was more concerned about the concession of a United goal. Charlie Mulgrew was cheaply robbed of the ball by Gary Mackay-Steven, with United's clinical edge from there something Juventus would themselves be proud of. Mackay-Steven played in Stuart Armstrong, who beat Fraser Forster with a fierce, low shot.
Celtic's reply was instant, and offered a throwback to Tuesday evening. Then, the performance of Efe Ambrose was widely criticised and partly on account of a missed, headed opportunity when Celtic were a goal behind. From an almost identical spot on the Celtic Park pitch, the Nigeria international headed in Kris Commons' corner past Radoslaw Cierzniak.
Commons soon claimed a goal of his own, swivelling to meet an Emilio Izaguirre cross before offering a shot with which Cierzniak should have done better at his near post. A strange refereeing interlude was to follow. Bobby Madden somehow decreed that a straightforward challenge by Adam Matthews on Mackay-Steven was worthy of a penalty, despite neither the winger nor any of his United team-mates claiming for one. Madden, who had been perfectly positioned, signalled that Mackay-Steven had been pulled back, a view not vindicated by replays. Celtic, then, felt vindicated as Forster batted away Jon Daly's spot-kick.
The hosts' lead stretched to two goals by the interval. Anthony Stokes, restored to the starting line-up, played the ball back to Celtic's captain for the day, Joe Ledley; the Welshman's shot was deflected beyond Cierzniak.
Commons' second of the day arrived from the penalty spot, after Barry Douglas had impeded Stokes, with Forster denying Mackay-Steven four minutes later. That was to prove United's last foray. Stokes lashed home from 20 yards and earned a brace from close-range, after Cierzniak's save from a Forrest header rebounded into his path. United's stoppage time consolation arrived via Johnny Russell. Long before then, Celtic were rampant; perhaps in demonstrating the release of some European anger.