Celtic clinch the title with five of the best, Midweek report

ScottishPrem

Celtic managed to clinch the title, in a midweek where most of the teams were playing catch-up with their fixtures due to national cup participation.

Celtic managed to win the title for the third year in a row; with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Glasgow rivals Partick Thistle.

The game had barely kicked-off and Celtic took the lead. Anthony Stokes headed home a pinpoint Izaguirre cross to give the Parkhead side the advantage. Thistle boss Alan Archibald had every right to be seething at his defence for allowing stokes a free header at the back post.

As the second half got underway, Celtic brought on young Liam Henderson to replace Efe Ambrose. The youngster vindicated Neil Lennon’s decision, in a good Celtic move from the back, two clever dummies from Stokes and Griffiths the ball went all the way through to Henderson who shot across Gallagher in Thistle’s net into the bottom left-hand corner to double the lead. It was two goals in two minutes when Stefan Johansen got his second goal in two games firing low past a helpless Gallagher after a neat one-two on the edge of the area. Partick got a consolation through Christie Elliot, that didn’t dampen any Celtic spirit with the fans in party mode Commons completed the scoring with the game into injury time.

Celtic were able to win the title because Aberdeen didn’t collect all three points in their clash with relegation play-off candidates Ross County.

Aberdeen had the best chance of the opening stages, Barry Robson met Logan’s cross but Mark Brown was alert to keep the former Dundee United midfielder at bay. County had a goal disallowed and one effort cleared of the line before eventually going in front. Considine committed a foul, which he was shown a yellow card for allowing Carey to deliver the free-kick into the box which De Leeuw got a touch on and it found its way into the net. Just before the Interval County should have been two in front but Arquin was denied by a sprawling Langfield save.

Aberdeen started like a house on fire in the second half Barry Robson’s left-foot long-range effort smashing off the post. Moments later Robson was in the thick of the action again, he was claiming handball but instead the ref decided it was only a corner. Cammy Smith saw his header come off the base of the post as Aberdeen searched for the equaliser. The pressure finally paid of 13 minutes from time, Mark Reynolds smacked the post, and he collected the rebound to find Adam Rooney who converted a low finish inside the six-yard box. Considine then was caught with the ball over the top, bringing down Graham Carey to get himself sent off. Both sides had chances to win it but neither could find the winner.

Dundee United kept their hopes of gaining a Europa League spot alive by beating an inconsistent Inverness Caley side 2-1 at Tannadice.

In a less than inspiring opening 45 minutes, both sides went out for the win from the off. Billy McKay was first up but he could only muster a tame effort towards the United goal. Gauld, Armstrong and Ciftci all had efforts saved before Marley Watkins raced in behind the home side’s defence lifted the ball over the goalkeeper only to be denied by a last-ditch Gavin Gunning clearance.

United upper their efforts at the start of the second period and had the lead soon after. A good move started by left-back Andrew Robertson he found  Armstrong whose cross deflected off Shinnie into the path of Ryan Gauld who showed good composure to finish past Brill. They doubled the lead after some poor Caley defending, Josh Meekings was short with his back pass to the goalkeeper, and in attempting to clear, he blasted it against Ryan Dow – who then had the easy task of walking the ball into the empty net. Liam Polworth pulled one back for Caley with less than ten minutes to go. United held on for all three points.

St Mirren lost yet again and seemingly stuck in the relegation play-off spot, this time at home to top-six side St Johnstone.

The hosts started brightly with John McGinn riding a few challenges and stinging the palms of Alan Mannus. They went close again but Kenny McLean’s effort deflected wide. O’Halloran went close but his effort from Croft’s cross went way over the bar. Steven MacLean took the lead six minutes from half-time he was left unmarked to finish Wetherspoon’s cross.

The Perth Saints had a great chance to go further in front after the break; O’Halloran with the goal at his mercy was denied by Naismith outstanding last-ditch takle. St Mirren hit the post through Magennis and Steven Thompson headed over. It’s worrying times for the Paisley club as it’s difficult to see where their next win is coming from.

RESULTS

Partick 1-5 Celtic – Celtic are champions

Ross County 1-1 Aberdeen

Dundee United 2-1 Inverness CT

St Mirren 1-1 St Johnstone

STANDINGS

140328 - Scottish Premiership

Table courtesy of Fifa.com

JamieCurrie

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