Celtic down the Dons to secure eighth consecutive title
Mikael Lustig opens the scoring at Pittodrie as Bhoys are crowned champions yet again
Celtic celebrate after securing the league title against Aberdeen. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty
Aberdeen 0 Celtic 3
Celtic confirmed their dominance of Scottish football by clinching their eighth successive Ladbrokes Premiership title with a 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Parkhead defender Jozo Simunovic headed in the second from a Callum McGregor corner in the 52nd minute before French striker Odsonne Edouard fired in a late third to wrap up the championship with two fixtures remaining.
The win took Celtic 12 points ahead of Rangers who cannot catch them in their last three games.
The champions face Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on May 25th where victory will hand them an unprecedented domestic triple treble and with momentum behind them, who outside Tynecastle would bet against it?
Interim boss Neil Lennon’s side travelled north knowing a point would suffice and he reinstated left-back Kieran Tierney, who will have an operation on a double hernia at the end of the season, and attacker Timothy Weah with Emilio Izaguirre out altogether and Scott Sinclair on the bench.
The Dons were without suspended defender Andrew Considine as well as injured captain Graeme Shinnie, Gary Mackay-Steven, Connor McLellan and Niall McGinn but right-back Shay Logan returned after being injured out since February 10.
Before the game there was a minute’s applause in tribute to former Celtic captain and manager Billy McNeill and fellow Lisbon Lion Stevie Chalmers who died recently, the former also an ex-Aberdeen boss.
Dons keeper Joe Lewis saved an early header from Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic but in the 18th minute the home side should have taken the lead when Greg Stewart teed up Wilson with a cross but from 10 yards the striker, on loan from Manchester United, volleyed into the ground and the ball clipped the bar on the way over.
A long ball from Hoops defender Kristoffer Ajer found Edouard racing through on goal chased by Logan but Lewis blocked the shot.
At the other end, after a remarkable lung-bursting run and cross from Aberdeen skipper Scott McKenna, Celtic keeper Scott Bain blocked Sam Cosgrove’s shot before Wilson hit the outside of the post with the rebound with the goal gaping.
However, in the 40th minute when Stevie May switched off, Lustig sneaked in behind him at the back post to head in an inviting McGregor cross for his second goal of the season.
Wilson missed another half-chance at the start of the second-half when he failed to connect properly with a May cross, his volley floating over the bar.
Moments later when, after Lewis had foiled Edouard to concede another corner, Simunovic leapt to bullet in McGregor’s delivery, his second goal of the campaign after scoring the only goal of the game last week against Kilmarnock. That was the league title effectively won.
Bain did make a save from Aberdeen defender Michael Devlin’s close-range effort with five minutes remaining before Edouard, following a Hoops break, took a Rogic pass and drilled a shot low past Lewis for a fine third goal.