Match ends, Inverness CT 1, Celtic 3.
Celtic went seven points clear at the top of the Premiership with victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Callum McGregor, for the second successive match, provided the early inspiration with a confident strike.
Inverness striker Miles Storey rounded goalkeeper Craig Gordon to equalise.
But Leigh Griffiths, who apologised for missing several changes in the Europa League defeat against Ajax, scored from close range before Danny Devine found his own net.
Defeat leaves Inverness only two points ahead of the relegation play-off place but, given the tightness of the league, within four of the top six.
Conditions in the build up to the match were fairly atrocious but thankfully subsided to allow the game to proceed.
Celtic seized an early initiative when McGregor, who struck early in the midweek defeat by Ajax, used the wet surface to arrow a low shot beyond goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams into the corner.
Inverness responded well, with Gary Warren going close with a header from a corner and Josh Meekings sliding a right-foot curler wide.
Celtic's Mikael Lustig narrowly missed with another header from a corner when he really ought to have hit the target.
A lack of support for Storey seemed problematic in terms of Inverness sustaining any pressure, but they did begin to pin Celtic back without overly troubling Gordon.
Set-pieces often make Celtic look fragile at the back and, on occasions, they seemed to get away with balls into dangerous areas.
Celtic, though, also carried a threat from set-pieces, with Jozo Simunovic close with a looping header back across goal that narrowly evaded the far post.
The game became flat after a bright start as Inverness contained Celtic's threat well.
Pressure on the ball allowed Storey to use his pace as he ran through on Gordon and, while the goalkeeper did well to parry, the striker reacted well and slotted home the rebound to put the home side level.
Celtic needed more creativity and introduced Scott Allan at the expense of Stuart Armstrong, who was looking short of confidence.
The former Hibernian midfielder provided a spark, and combined superbly with Kieran Tierney on the left. Griffiths was the beneficiary as he slammed a low cross home from close range.
Debutant Carlton Cole then almost made an immediate impact after superb work on the right from McGregor and, although the striker did everything right in heading the ball down, Fon Williams got a touch over the bar.
Caley Thistle manager John Hughes signalled almost all-out attack as the game neared a conclusion and Stefan Johansen rescued Celtic with a clearance off the line as the ball edged towards goal from a corner.
However, when Cole looked certain to score, the ball eventually hit his hand, came off Devine and rolled into the net to secure the three points.
It will be a welcome result for Celtic after a difficult week for Deila with a cushion now in the league that many would believe sets them up to retain their title.
- 25Fon Williams
- 20PolworthSubstituted forHornerat 84'minutes
- 4VincentSubstituted forMbuyi-Mutomboat 74'minutes
- 27VigursSubstituted forSho-Silvaat 74'minutes
- 6BittonBooked at 66mins
- 14ArmstrongSubstituted forAllanat 54'minutes
- 18RogicSubstituted forColeat 61'minutes
- 9GriffithsSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 90+2'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Celtic 3.
Attempt missed. Tobi Sho-Silva (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.
Substitution, Celtic. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Leigh Griffiths.
Attempt missed. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Attempt saved. Carlton Cole (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Own Goal by Danny Devine, Inverness CT. Inverness CT 1, Celtic 3.
Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Inverness CT. Lewis Horner replaces Liam Polworth.
Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Carlton Cole (Celtic).
Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).
Carlton Cole (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.
Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).
Substitution, Inverness CT. Tobi Sho-Silva replaces Iain Vigurs.
Substitution, Inverness CT. Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo replaces James Vincent.
Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Mikael Lustig (Celtic).