Rangers FC claimed their 52nd Scottish title, but the first since 2005, as they won 3-0 away to Dundee United FC on the final day of the season to end the three-year streak of championships won by Glasgow rivals Celtic FC.
Walter Smith's side began the day two points clear at the top, so they knew victory at Tannadice would ensure that Gordon Strachan's chasers could not catch them, even if they saw off Heart of Midlothian FC. Kyle Lafferty gave Rangers the perfect start when he converted Kris Boyd's cross on six minutes and Pedro Mendes added a crucial second on the stroke of half-time.
The celebrations began seven minutes after the resumption when Boyd made it 3-0, securing Rangers a place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. "It was a terrific performance," said Smith. "We had to produce one and I thought we were terrific here today. I felt at the stage in late December when we were well behind Celtic that we would lose out, but we haven't and that's fantastic."
Rangers will face Falkirk FC in the Scottish Cup final next Saturday as they attempt to complete the domestic double while Celtic, who it transpired could only manage a goalless draw with Hearts, will enter qualifying for Europe's premier club competition. Hearts, Aberdeen FC and Falkirk will enter qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.
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