Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Partick Thistle 1 Celtic 5: Hoops wrap up hat-trick of Scottish title wins

Celtic's Anthony Stokes (right) celebrates with team mates and staff winning the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
Celtic's Anthony Stokes (right) celebrates with team mates and staff winning the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
Celtic Manager Neil Lennon celebrates during the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Celtic famous fans the Green Brigade back in the stadium during the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Fans invades the pitch after Celtic won the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
Celtic's Anthony Stokes (right) celebrates winning the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
Fans invades the pitch after Celtic won the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
Fans invades the pitch after Celtic won the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
A fan invades the pitch after Celtic won the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.
Celtic's Efe Ambrose and Leigh Griffiths celebrate winning the league following the Scottish Premier League match at Firhill Stadium, Glasgow.

Celtic clinched the Scottish Premiership title in style with an emphatic 5-1 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Anthony Stokes headed the visitors into the lead in the third minute before 17-year-old substitute Liam Henderson, on for right-back Adam Matthews at the start of the second-half, opened his Celtic account in the 49th minute with a low drive from 12 yards.

Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen added a third in the 53rd minute to confirm the superiority of the visitors, who responded to losing a late goal to Jags substitute Christie Elliott by scoring another two through Stokes and Kris Commons.

It secured a third successive title for Celtic and afterwards the boss said: "They finished it with the way we want them to play.

"In the second half some of the football was breathtaking

"You could feel it over the last couple of weeks, the anticipation building and the style in which we finished it was fantastic, symptomatic of the way this team is.

"This title win is better. The next one is always better. This has been the most consistent in the league, although the cups were disappointing this season.

"But certainly the league form was magnificent. To lose one game and break a clean sheet record into the bargain, it has been an exceptional ."

The former Celtic skipper put the pitch invasion at the end of the match down to "a little bit of over-exuberance", even though it prevented the players coming out afterwards to take a bow.

Lennon said: "Our support tonight was magnificent. Some of the fans have never experienced the championship-winning run that we have had in the last nine or 10 years.

"We want to reach out to a younger generation and hope they come along for a lifetime, that is really important and I think they can all be really proud of the team and the club tonight.

"They are seeing Celtic dominate Scottish football and some of the older ones haven't seen these heady days for a long long time. Since Martin O'Neill came in in 2000, it has been superb, Gordon Strachan took over and I am just following on in that tradition.

"It is a great moment for me but it is all about the team, I have a great network behind me with the board and backroom team and I am just the front.

"We are seeing the evolution of a another team.

"It is not just about domestic success, we strive to be a successful Champions League side which is important.

"We have had two campaigns and we will do everything we can to have a third one and I will look to improve on the cup competitions but in terms of the league I couldn't ask for any more from the players."

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