Healy: Glens have ended our title reign
Glentoran delivered a knockout blow to Linfield on Boxing Day after a Robbie McDaid deflected goal in added time sealed a dramatic 2-1 victory and left Blues boss David Healy admitting the champions' title defence is over. Crusaders were the day's big winners as their 2-0 home success against Cliftonville saw them take advantage of leaders Coleraine's 1-1 draw against Ballymena United.
The Crues are now four points behind the Bannsiders, with a game in hand, but the most sensational story was Glentoran's unlikely Big Two triumph, their first at The Oval since 2011.
"Our title chances have gone," said Healy whose side host Crusaders on Saturday.
"We have fluffed too many games. We have fluffed too many chances and conceded too many silly goals. We came into the new season as champions, but we - and I include myself - have not done enough this year."
At Seaview a delighted Crues boss Stephen Baxter said: "In the context of the title race we are getting the points at the right time. But we won't get carried away. It's about working hard and hopefully beating the teams around you. There's a long way to go."