AH, the comforts of home. A nice grass pitch, the disco lights fired up, and a thumping win to boot. If only everything was this straightforward for Ange Postecoglou’s side when they ventured away from Celtic Park.

Certainly, as they showed here in the routine 3-0 dismantling of Raith Rovers to move into the semi-finals of the League Cup, they have got the formula licked on their own patch, where they have now scored 21 goals in five domestic games for the concession of just two – both against Hearts in the previous round of this competition.

Goals from Joao Jota, Liel Abada and David Turnbull did the damage, with Dario Zanatta being ordered off for the visitors in the second half to compound a disappointing evening for the Kirkcaldy side.

The visit of a Championship team on League Cup duty may have once been reason for a Celtic manager to make sweeping changes to his starting XI, but Ange Postecoglou wasn’t afforded such a luxury. For one, he didn’t have the players fit and available to do so, but the importance of a morale-boosting win off the back of the latest away reverse at the hands of Livingston also ensured that the strongest team possible would take to the field.

Therefore, there were just three alterations to the line-up from the weekend, with Anthony Ralston, Adam Montgomery and Carl Starfelt replacing Josip Juranovic, Boli Bolingoli and Stephen Welsh.

Raith, for their part, have also had a patchy start to their campaign, but they came here with confidence from the weekend win over Morton. Manager John McGlynn sent them out with Ethon Varian ploughing something of a lone furrow up top, but with Zanatta and Aidan Connolly trying to get up in support when they could.

At the back, they could count on the experience of Jamie McDonald in goal, as well as Christophe Berra and Kyle Benedictus at the heart of the back four. With Blaise Riley-Snow patrolling in front of them, it was clear that the question would again be asked of Celtic’s creative players; can you break us down?

There was an early sighter from Jota that had McDonald scrambling across his goal before dropping a yard wide, but for the first 25 minutes or so, it was a fair old struggle for the hosts to find a way to goal. It was then though that James McCarthy showed a little of the class that was so absent from his full debut for the club at the weekend.

A well worked corner routine found the midfielder on the edge of the area, and he played an incisive through ball into the path of Jota, who took a touch and fired past McDonald to ease any emerging nerves around Celtic Park.

There were still some signs of ring rust in McCarthy’s display, but overall, he looked far sharper and his passing was far crisper than it had been at Livingston.

Any lingering worries were extinguished five minutes before the interval, with Jota this time the one providing the creative spark. The winger took a lovely touch to dink the ball over the challenge of Reghan Tumilty, then drove towards the box and stung the palms of McDonald with a fierce strike from the edge of the box. Abada was first on the scene to pick up the scraps coming in off the right, nodding the ball into the empty net.

If Raith had designs on coming out after the break and making a game of it, those plans were immediately torn asunder. A loose inside pass from Tumilty was picked off by the hitherto anonymous Albian Ajeti, with Tom Rogic immediately feeding Turnbull, who turned and made a beeline towards goal.

With defenders backing off, the midfielder opened up his body and clipped a curling shot beyond the helpless McDonald into his bottom left-hand corner.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for Raith, Zanatta then cleaned out Ralston after the full-back had breezed past him on the wing, picking up a second booking in the space of four minutes and receiving his marching orders, leaving his teammates a man short as they tried to keep the score down in the last half an hour.

On the flip side of the coin, it was the perfect circumstances for Postecoglou to give the Celtic supporters their first glimpse of another new arrival, with Liam Scales coming off the bench to make his debut at left-back. The Irishman looked to have a decent turn of pace, and is a fair old unit.

The only surprise was that when Ajeti was withdrawn, the long-awaited sighting of Giorgos Giakoumakis didn’t follow, with Jota instead deployed through the middle and Josip Juranovic coming on in an advanced position down the right. It turned out the Greek striker had pulled up in the warm-up and had been sent for a scan on a potential calf injury.

All-in-all though, it was a satisfactory night’s work for Postecoglou’s side, who were playing within themselves for almost the entirety of the second half. Jota was impressive, McCarthy too at times, and Celtic are back to winning ways.

Home, sweet home.