Connor Goldson's Old Firm double moved Rangers four points clear of Celtic with a 2-0 win over their title rivals at Celtic Park.
Celtic failed to register a single shot on target as the champions suffered a humbling defeat.
Goldson timed his run perfectly to glance James Tavernier's ninth-minute free-kick beyond a hesitant Vasilis Barkas for an early opener as Rangers took control from the off, although Mohamed Elyounoussi should have levelled up minutes later after robbing the defender, but chipped well over Allan McGregor's bar from 12 yards in one of few promising moments of quality from a dreadful home performance.
Goldson, who had only scored six Scottish Premiership goals in more than two seasons at Ibrox, then added a second for the day nine minutes into the second period from an excellent one-touch move, turning home Scott Arfield's low cross at the second attempt before aiming a kiss towards the television cameras in his celebration.
Celtic: Barkas (5), Ajer (7), Welsh (5), Duffy (5), Frimpong (5), Brown (5), Ntcham (5), McGregor (6), Laxalt (5), Elyounoussi (6), Klimala (5).
Subs: Ajeti (6), Rogic (5), Griffiths (5), Turnbull, Taylor (n/a).
Rangers: McGregor (6), Tavernier (7), Helander (7), Goldson (7), Barisic (7), Kamara (7), Davis (6), Arfield (7), Barker (5), Kent (8), Morelos (6).
Subs:Jack (6), Itten, Aribo (n/a)
Man of the match: Ryan Kent
Kent was twice denied by Kristoffer Ajer as a dominant Rangers side looked to turn the screw on their abject hosts, but with Celtic unable to test McGregor across the entire 90 minutes, Steven Gerrard's side had little to worry about as they moved four points clear in as routine an Old Firm win as they have enjoyed in many years.
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How Rangers took early advantage in title race
Rangers must have sensed an opportunity to steal a march on their hosts ahead of kick-off with Celtic missing a number of first-team players and in front of an empty stadium, and after surviving an early close shave when Mohamed Elyounoussi was denied at close-range by Filip Helander, they found themselves in front.
- Celtic were without Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed due to positive Covid-19 tests, with Ryan Christie also self-isolating. Stephen Welsh came in for his Old Firm bow, with Diego Laxalt making his Celtic debut.
- Rangers made four changes from their win over Ross County a fortnight ago, with Allan McGregor starting in goal, plus Filip Helander, Steven Davis and Brandon Barker also recalled.
Tavernier's excellent free-kick from deep on the right was met by Goldson, untracked after running back from an offside position, and his glancing header into the corner proved too much for Barkas' limp attempt to keep it out.
Elyounoussi should have levelled shortly after after robbing the goalscorer just outside his own box, but with Allan McGregor off his line his chip beat the crossbar by a considerable distance.
Ryan Kent had won the free-kick leading to the opener and continued to trouble the home defence throughout the opening period, but aside from his 20-yard daisy-cutter Rangers failed to test Barkas again before the break.
Celtic went in at half-time without registering a single shot on target, but could feel slightly aggrieved to see no action taken against Morelos, who aimed a small slap on the ear of Scott Brown shortly before the interval, which appeared to go unseen by the match officials.
Nine minutes after the restart Goldson - and Rangers - gave Celtic a lesson in finishing with the move of the game doubling the visitors' lead. One-touch build-up between Kamara, Morelos and Arfield left the latter with space to cross low to the marauding defender, whose well-taken first-time effort was kept out by Duffy's block - but second was buried beyond Barkas to give Rangers a valuable cushion.
Celtic continued to flounder in the final third with Rangers content to remain compact out of possession and with Neil Lennon's side forced to push men upfield, the hosts were nearly caught out again when Borna Barisic was played into space on the left, before crossing for Kent who was only denied a goal his performance merited by an excellent block from Kristoffer Ajer.
McGregor remained a relative passenger until the final 10 minutes when substitutes Alban Ajeti and Leigh Griffiths link up for the latter to round the goalkeeper. Despite a heavy touch Griffiths appeared to be caught but after staying on his feet, looked for his strike partner instead of going for goal and was denied by the Rangers stopper.
That and a Goldson block on an ambitious late Ajeti effort proved as tough as life would get for a Rangers side thoroughly dserving their three points against an out-of-sorts Celtic, who appeared to badly miss their absent first teamers, and are now off the pace of their title rivals even with their game in hand.
What the managers said...
Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "We've given away two poor goals from our point of view, one from a set play and the second from a second-phase set play. We missed a great chance to equalise, goals change games, the psychology of the games, but we didn't have enough today.
"We didn't have enough sort of sharpness, the boys coming off the bench didn't have the impact we were hoping for, we have to take this result and performance and look at it, and start to build for better.
"We've got Ajeti not fully fit, Griffiths not fully fit, Edouard out, three main strikers out missing today to start with. But I felt we created a few chances first half to score, Rangers defended their box pretty well, and I think that was the difference in terms of the psychology of the game.
"We were pretty decimated coming into the game, but we felt we had a strong enough team and it looked that way at half-time. The second goal is poor from our point of view, and you're chasing the game after that.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "We've put in a really controlled, professional performance today. I don't think we were at our fluent best but we came here and controlled the game with and without the ball, I don't think Allan McGregor's really been tested.
"We're really pleased with what the players have given and the performance they've put in, and we were certainly worthy winners.
"They threw everything at us, they brought Griffiths on, they brought Ajeti and Turnbull on, players worth a lot of money, but that's where I'm most pleased with us for controlling everything Celtic threw at us."
Sky Sports' Andy Walker on Celtic: "This has been abject, this has been embarrassing. There's been no urgency whatsoever. Celtic's imagination in the last third has been pretty much non-existent. In terms of overall play, l haven't seen anything effective. There's no aggression and no imagination."
Sky Sports' Kris Boyd on Rangers: "Let's not let excuses take the gloss off. It was men against boys. Rangers totally deserved this. They totally destroyed Celtic. Rangers were excellent. Celtic have a challenge on this season if they are to keep the title."
Celtic host Milan in their opening Europa League game on Thursday at 8pm, before visiting Aberdeen next Sunday in the Scottish Premiership, live on Sky Sports Football from 11am; Kick-off at midday.
Rangers also begin their Europa League campaign on Thursday, travelling to Standard Liege for a 5.55pm kick-off. They then host Livingston on Sunday at 3pm.