Celtic cling 12th Scottish Premiership title in 13 seasons

Celtic emerge champions, Hearts relegated as Scottish season ends

Brendan Rodgers’ side travelled to Rugby Park, where they had lost on their previous two visits, knowing a point in their penultimate league fixture would extend their top-flight dominance.

In a performance packed with the urgency and intensity Rodgers craves, two goals inside the opening 12 minutes eliminated any fears of a third straight defeat in Ayrshire.

The outstanding Matt O’Riley – Celtic’s player of the season – had a killer back-post ball buried by Adam Idah before Alistair Johnston’s driven cross was tapped in by Daizen Maeda.

By the 35th minute, it was three for the rampant visitors as Maeda turned provider for the resurgent James Forrest to convert from close range.

O’Riley rocketed in a stunning fourth from the edge of the box after break before coolly slotting away Celtic’s fifth and his 18th goal of the season.

Kilmarnock, already guaranteed fourth spot, were denied a Danny Armstrong consolation at four down, with Marley Watkins judged to be offside by the VAR in the build-up.

This result will not define a stellar season for Derek McInnes’ men, who have caused problems for both Old Firm clubs this term, but they were simply blown away by a Celtic side determined to win a 54th top-flight crown in style.


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