Celtic FC clinched their 45th Scottish championship with a comprehensive 5-1 Premiership win at Partick Thistle FC on Wednesday.
Anthony Stokes put Celtic on course for their third straight title with a fourth-minute header, but the points were not secure until early in the second half. Two goals in five minutes, from 17-year-old substitute Liam Henderson – his first for the Glasgow club – and Stefan Johansen, paved the way for the victory the visitors required. Christie Elliott pulled one back for Partick but Stokes and Kris Commons ensured an emphatic triumph in added time.
With second-placed Aberdeen FC dropping two points at Ross County FC on Tuesday, Celtic knew a win would leave them in an unassailable position with seven games to spare, having suffered just one defeat all season. They did the necessary in consummate fashion, wrapping up the Scottish top-flight crown earlier than any team since Rangers FC did so on 16 March 1929.
Neil Lennon, in his fourth campaign in charge, is only the fourth Hoops manager to lift three consecutive championships, after Willie Maley, Jock Stein and Gordon Strachan. "We were magnificent tonight and started the game very well," said Lennon. "Our second-half performance was just breathtaking and it's a great way to win the championship. That's nine [titles] now since 2000/01, so the domination continues and you could see the progress in the team tonight."
It was an extra-special occasion for Johansen, who picked up his second winners' medal in six months, having landed the Norwegian title with Strømsgodset IF last year. "It's fantastic to win my first Scottish title," said the Norway midfielder. "It is something I've dreamed of since coming to Celtic and it's a fantastic feeling to have achieved it."
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