Rangers held their nerve to beat Dundee United 3-0 and secure their first SPL title in four years.
Last Updated: 24/05/09 3:35pm
Rangers held their nerve to win 3-0 at Dundee United and secure their first Scottish Premier League title in four years.
The Gers headed into the final day knowing victory would deny Old Firm rivals Celtic a fourth straight league championship.
Celtic had travelled to Tannadice in a similar situation last season and clinched the title on a dramatic final day, and there was no slip-up from Rangers either as they were comfortable winners thanks to goals from Kyle Lafferty, Pedro Mendes and Kris Boyd.
Celtic could only secure a goalless draw at home to Hearts, although it was clear for the final half-hour that Walter Smith's men would claim the club's 52nd league crown and end their worst title drought since the 1980's.
Dundee United needed a point to secure fourth place so Aberdeen's 2-1 home win against Hibernian took them above United on goal difference and booked a place in next season's Europa League.
Dundee United 0 Rangers 3
Rangers began the day two points clear of Celtic, who had a superior goal difference, so a draw at Dundee United would have been enough to open the door for their Glasgow rivals.
But the Hoops' hopes of defending their title were fading as soon as the sixth minute, when Gers striker Lafferty opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season.
Portuguese midfielder Mendes volleyed home on the stroke of half-time to give them some breathing space.
And just seven minutes after the restart, Boyd converted his 31st goal of the season to get the party started amongst the vast travelling support at Tannadice.
Rangers cruised home and Smith handed substitute appearances to Barry Ferguson and Nacho Novo, the only men remaining from Gers' title-winning side of 2005.
Celtic 0 Hearts 0
Celtic were well on top against Hearts but failed to make a breakthrough at Celtic Park.
Gordon Strachan threw on Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink for Georgios Samaras at half-time while Shaun Maloney replaced Scott McDonald midway through the second half but by then it was clear it was not going to be Celtic's day.
Aberdeen 2 Hibernian 1
Hearts were already assured of third place and Aberdeen will join them in Europe next season after Lee Miller's 13th-minute opener set them on course for a 2-1 victory over Hibernian.
A Charlie Mulgrew free-kick doubled the Dons' lead on the stroke of half-time and Derek Riordan pulled one back immediately.
But Hibs' Ian Murray was shown a second yellow card with 20 minutes left and Sone Aluko had a late penalty saved for the Dons.