Rangers bring title back to Ibrox
By Steve Luckings
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Alex McLeish's side clinched the title on goal difference from their bitter rivals Celtic who finish the season empty handed despite finishing level with The Gers on points.
Michael Mols sent the blue half of Glasgow into early celebrations with a goal after three minutes.
However, Ibrox fans' hearts were sent racing when Jason Dair found an equaliser from 20 yards on 11 minutes after Stevie Crawford had teed him up.
Argentine hit-man Claudio Caniggia restored Gers' lead just five minutes later with his 12th goal of the season before Georgian international Shota Arveladze made it 3-1 on the half-hour mark after Lorenzo Amoruso sent in a brilliant cross from the left.
As news filtered through that the title was slipping from their grasp, Neil McCann sent in a telling cross that top scorer Ronald De Boer converted for his 21st of the season to hand the initiative back to Gers with a header on 64 before Stevie Thompson was fortunate to see a clearance from Lee Bullen hit straight at him and cannon back into the net three minutes later.
The lively McCann was then brought down in the box for Spanish international Mikel Arteta to slot the ball home in the left hand corner to bring the title back to Ibrox.
Celtic ended the season without any trophies despite beating Kilmarnock 4-0 at Rugby Park.
After their heart-breaking defeat to FC Porto in the Uefa Cup in midweek Celtic once again finished second best to their bitter rivals Rangers after their Tennants Scottish Cup defeat by losing their SPL title to Alex McLeish's men on goal difference.
Chris Sutton's 18th and 19th goals of the season (16, 43), both from Alan Thompson dead balls gave The Bhoys the advantage, before the accurate left sided midfielder smashed home a penalty after Sutton was felled in the box 54 minutes briefly put Celtic in the title ascendency.
Wide man Thompson was then awarded a dubious penalty on 70 minutes which he failed to keep his composure as he did on the first and blazed the ball well over the bar.
Stilian Petrov managed a fourth on 83 minutes after being released through the middle by Henrik Larsson but the final result was not enough to see The Bhoys to a third consecutive domestic title as they failed to better Rangers's result.
Hearts cemented their place in the Uefa Cup next term with a 1-0 win against Dundee at Tynecastle thanks to a goal from Mark de Vries.
Click here for updated SPL table