Celtic clinch SPL title

2016-05-08 16:55
Goal (AFP)

Glasgow - Celtic clinched the Scottish Premiership championship for the fifth time in a row as they survived a nervy finish to seal a 3-2 win over nearest challengers Aberdeen at Parkhead on Sunday.

The Glasgow giants got off to the perfect start as Patrick Roberts' sensational strike fired them into a seventh minute lead.

The on-loan Manchester City winger added a second in the 20th minute before stand-in skipper Mikael Lustig made it 3-0 four minutes after the break.

The Dons, who have pushed the Hoops close this season, pulled one back through Niall McGinn in the 57th minute before Andrew Considine's header reduced the deficit further.

However, Celtic hung on to claim the victory that moves them 12 clear of Aberdeen with two games remaining and seals their 47th top flight title.

"It was good to beat Aberdeen to show we are the best team in the country," out-going Celtic manager Ronny Deila said.

"We played very well in the first 60 minutes and we got a bit edgy in the end but I'm happy we got the three points and got everything over the line."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes felt his players deserved credit for the fight they showed.

"At 3-0 with 40-odd minutes played at Celtic Park it is difficult, but the players deserve a lot of credit for not folding and giving up and coming back fighting strong," McInnes said.

"We let them know we were there and weren't going anywhere and they had a fight but ultimately we just fell a bit short."

Celtic showed they weren't content to settle for just the point they needed to seal the championship as they played with an intensity and tempo that has been lacking at times during the season.

It was Roberts who got the party started as he fired Celtic in front. The on-loan Manchester City winger was allowed to drift in from the right and left the Aberdeen defence trailing in his wake before unleashing an unstoppable strike past Adam Collin from 25 yards.

The England under-19 international almost repeated the feat minutes later as he was once again given time and space on the edge of the box but this time his effort was charged down by Ash Taylor and deflected wide.

However, Roberts wasn't to be denied for long. Leigh Griffiths found him just inside the box with a perfectly-weighted pass that split the Dons defence and he curled a first-time shot beyond the despairing Collin in goal.

There was no let-up from Celtic in the second half as stand-in captain Lustig made it 3-0. Callum McGregor showed good skill to cut in from the right and cut the ball back into the path of Lustig who swept the ball into the net.

Aberdeen almost pulled one back when a mistake from substitute Efe Ambrose allowed Jonny Hayes to race in on goal but his initial strike was palmed away by 'keeper Craig Gordon and the winger fired the rebound into the side netting from a tight angle.

However, Hayes made amends soon after when he played in McGinn, who prodded the ball under Gordon from 10 yards out to pull one back for Aberdeen.

The goal gave the Dons, who had previously looked down and out, a massive lift and they soon reduced the deficit further through Considine. Ambrose was booked for a foul on Graeme Shinnie and the Dons defender rose to meet the subsequent free-kick from McGinn and bullet his header beyond Gordon.

Aberdeen should have been level in the 76th minute when Logan got on the end of another McGinn free-kick but the defender sent his header whizzing wide of the target from close range.

Read more on:    celtic  |  soccer

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