Ross County fell to a 2-0 defeat against Premiership leaders Celtic, who moved three points clear of Aberdeen at the summit.
The Staggies had held out for the majority of the first-half, until Leigh Griffiths’ 30th goal of the season gave the Hoops the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Dedryck Boyata’s second-half header sealed the points for the Hoops, who gained revenge following the Staggies’ 3-1 win in the League Cup semi-final last month.
County remain fourth, but only on goals scored, having netted one more than Dundee who defeated St Johnstone 2-0 on Friday night.
County manager Jim McIntyre made two changes from the side that fell to a cruel 3-0 defeat against Hearts in midweek. Skipper Andrew Davies was absent with an ankle injury, making way for Chris Robertson, while David Goodwillie was replaced by Jonathan Franks.
Celtic were unconvincing 2-0 winners against Lowland League side East Kilbride the previous weekend, and having suffered back-to-back losses against County and Aberdeen prior to that, the Hoops were eager to record a convincing win. Manager Ronny Deila made five changes for the visit of the Staggies, with Logan Bailly, Efe Ambrose, Charlie Mulgrew, James Forrest and Colin Kazim-Richards dropping out, being replaced by Craig Gordon, Nir Bitton, Mickael Lustig, Stefan Johansen and Stuart Armstrong.
Celtic enjoyed most of the early pressure, with Griffiths’ strike cut out by Staggies goalkeeper Scott Fox’s near post save, before the former Hoops custodian did well to tip Gary Mackay-Steven’s low strike wide with a diving save.
County’s first attempt came on 10 minutes, when Richard Foster’s driven cross from the left found its way to Jackson Irvine on the edge of the box, but he dragged his shot wide.
The visitors survived a let-off on 36 minutes, when Celtic forward Griffiths latched on to Johansen’s threaded pass, but he could only strike his shot off the post with an empty goal to aim at.
County were not so fortunate on the stroke of half-time however, when Robertson’s clearance from Kieran Tierney’s cross landed straight at the feet of Leigh Griffiths, and he tucked home from 10 yards.
The goal was a blow for McIntyre’s side, who had looked set to hold on until the break. Their task became even harder on 57 minutes, when Stuart Armstrong’s delivery from the left picked out the head of Boyata, who bulleted home from close-range.
County’s opportunities to get back into the game were few and far between, with Michael Gardyne’s cut-back forcing Nir Bitton to divert narrowly wide of his own post, while Franks let fly with a late strike from long-range which forced Gordon to make a decent fingertip save, but there was to be no way through.