Celtic seal 45th title, and in record time
Neil Lennon's men wrap up championship with rampant display at Partick Thistle
Agence France-Presse in Glasgow
Celtic clinched their 45th Scottish title in style as they eased to a 5-1 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill on Wednesday.
It is the earliest the Scottish top flight title has been won since 1928/29, when Rangers won it on March 16.
Aberdeen’s draw with Ross County on Tuesday meant Celtic fans arrived at Firhill in jubilant mood knowing that a win would guarantee the league trophy.
Anthony Stokes got the party started early when he headed Celtic into a third minute lead before substitute Liam Henderson grabbed his first goal for the Hoops just four minutes after coming on at the interval.
Stefan Johansen then drilled an unstoppable shot past Paul Gallacher in the 53rd mintue and Leigh Griffiths and Stokes both had efforts ruled out for offside before Christie Elliott netted an 85th minute consolation for Thistle
Stokes sent a sensational strike past Gallacher before Kris Commons had the final word with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time to send Celtic 26 points clear of Aberdeen with seven games remaining and seal a 45th league championship.
The Hoops have dropped just nine points on their relentless march to the title, tasting defeat just once in a season where goalkeeper Fraser Forster set a new Scottish shut-out record of 1,256 minutes.
It is a third successive league title for Celtic and manager Neil Lennon, who celebrated four years in the job on Tuesday, to add to the five championships he clinched as a player with the Parkhead club.
“It’s a great night for the club and the way we played in the second half sums up this team at the moment – it was simply breathtaking,” a jubilant Lennon said.
“This is unquestionably the greatest league campaign I’ve had as a manager. We’re the title favourites every season but we’ve been emphatic this year. Since I’ve been involved with the club that’s nine out of the past 14 years [we have won the league] so we’re certainly stamping our domination on the championship.”