Celtic crowned SPL champions

Celtic secured a 44th Scottish championship with a flourish as Inverness were swept aside 4-1 in the Parkhead celebrations.

Last Updated: 21/04/13 at 20:28 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Scottish Cup. Click here to bet.

Celtic celebrate a 44th title in front of their own supporters

Celtic celebrate a 44th title in front of their own supporters

Goals in the space of five second-half minutes from Gary Hooper (61) and Joe Ledley (66) kick-started the kind of joyous atmosphere Neil Lennon had called for ahead of the game, and Hooper's party-piece third (73) added lustre to the occasion.

Georgios Samaras smashed a late fourth (89), and the home support barely broke voice even as Aaron Doran replied for Terry Butcher's side in injury-time.

High in the stands the Hoops' suspended manager savoured a second straight title success sitting among supporters whose thoughts now turn to Hampden Park next month and the prospect of a first domestic double for six years.

Inverness' fate was a footnote to the latest chapter in Celtic's heavy history books, but defeat had an impact on the visitors' pursuit of European qualification for the first time.

The third-placed Highlanders' lead over chasing St Johnstone is now four points - with four games remaining - after Steve Lomas' side drew 2-2 with Ross County.

Caley Thistle were the last side to prevent Celtic scoring at home in an SPL game, and for an hour they promised a repeat of that November shutout as the champions-elect found it hard going.

Victor Wanyama's header - steered wide as advancing goalkeeper Antonio Reguero loomed in his eyeline - was as close as they got during a drab first half which saw a linesman's flag deny Anthony Stokes.

When Efe Ambrose missed from six yards after the break it appeared Celtic might have to settle for a point and a low-key crawl to the finishing line.

But Hooper found a route to goal through Graeme Shinnie's legs, and Ledley's controlled side-foot from a Mikael Lustig pass ended the game as a contest.

The rest was a lap of honour, Hooper's classy near-post back-flick burying Kris Commons' cross and Samaras' skill working the chance for a shot which crashed in off the bar.

Doran smuggled Inverness onto the scoresheet at the death; few in the home end even noticed.

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Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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