Aberdeen 0-3 Celtic: Neil Lennon's side win eighth straight Scottish Premiership title
Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Odsonne Edouard on target as Hoops stay in hunt for treble-treble
Last Updated: 06/05/19 3:17pm
Celtic finally sealed their eighth successive Scottish Premiership title with a 3-0 win at Aberdeen.
Neil Lennon's side had been made to wait for their 50th Scottish league crown after recent results but although a draw at Pittodrie would have been enough, headers from Mikael Lustig (40) and Jozo Simunovic (53) put them on course for victory before Odsonne Edouard (88) added gloss.
Celtic, who remain unbeaten in 2019, have already won the Scottish League Cup as well as their latest league championship and will complete an unprecedented domestic treble-treble if they beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on May 25.
Aberdeen: Lewis (6), Logan (6), McKenna (6), Devlin (7), Lowe (7), Stewart (7), Ferguson (6), Ball (6), Wilson (5), May (5), Cosgrove (7)
Subs: Halford (N/A), Campbell (6), Ross (6)
Celtic: Bain (7), Lustig (8), Simunovic (8), Ajer (6), Tierney (7), Brown (6), McGregor (8), Rogic (7), Forrest (7), Weah (6), Edouard (8)
Subs: Hayes (6), Burke (N/A)
Man of the match: Callum McGregor
How Celtic sealed title
The game started after a tribute to Lisbon Lions Billy McNeill and Stevie Chalmers, McNeill having also had a spell as manager of Aberdeen.
Before Lustig's goal, Aberdeen had enjoyed the best two chances, both of which fell to striker James Wilson. Firstly, he volleyed the ball into the ground and off the crossbar, then, after Sam Cosgrove had forced a save from Scott Bain, he hit the outside of the post with his attempt on the rebound with the goal gaping.
Celtic's first goal came after they had struggled to create clear-cut chances, as Kieran Tierney opened up Aberdeen's previously compact defence with a chip to the far post and Lustig launched himself at the ball to score a spectacular header. Aberdeen's Stevie May had lost his man and allowed the Swede to escape down the right flank.
The Hoops' grip on the trophy was strengthened when Simunovic, who scored a vital goal against Kilmarnock last week, climbed highest to nod home a corner beyond Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis' reach.
With the game petering out, and after Aberdeen were forced to substitute Greg Halford just moments after he had come on for Shay Logan only to suffer what looked to be a serious groin problem, Celtic scored their third. Edouard was played in by a Tom Rogic pass and sent Lewis the wrong way with a neat finish.
Celtic did suffer a late scare when Lustig left the field in the dying seconds with what appeared to be a hamstring problem after Tierney had earlier been forced to leave the field, making them both doubts for the Scottish Cup final, but the celebrations could begin at the final whistle.
Manager Neil Lennon, who still awaits news on whether or not he will be in the post next season after taking temporary charge after Brendan Rodgers departed to Leicester, led the party with the away fans as his side moved an insurmountable 12 points clear of rivals Rangers.
Lennon was ably assisted in conducting the crowd by Scott Brown, who has captained Celtic in each of their eight title wins.
🏆@CelticFC— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 4, 2019
5️⃣0️⃣th top division championship & 8️⃣th in succession.
Won 1️⃣5️⃣ of a possible 2️⃣3️⃣ domestic trophies in last 8️⃣ seasons.
Can clinch a 3️⃣rd domestic treble in a row, v Hearts in Scottish Cup final on May 25 pic.twitter.com/gB3AV3ZP3c
Man of the match - Callum McGregor
As so often this season, McGregor was at the centre of Celtic's dominance, driving from midfield, holding Aberdeen's counter-attacking play at bay and playing his part in his team's first two goals.
Derek McInnes: "It feels harsh. I thought we had chances and if they go in - you have to take them against sides like Celtic - it could be a different game. We've conceded poor goals - the second in particular - and we've had to patch a team up. We've not been good enough in both boxes and ultimately the day is about Celtic winning the league."
Neil Lennon: "It's a wonderful moment for the club, the players and the most important people, the supporters. I have to say it's been the toughest piece of management I've had to do. I know on the outside it looks easy, but it's difficult to go in on your own and pick it up.
"There was a lot of discontent and a bit of agitation, but the players have helped me and I'd like to think I've helped them. It's a privilege to be here as interim manager or any kind of manager."
Pundit reaction - what now for Lennon?
James McFadden: "It would be very difficult not to give him the full-time job. Although he couldn't refuse the job it was still a huge task. He's had to take the reins from someone who's been hugely successful. It's a great achievement because there was no given that he went in there and maintained the level. It shows he can work under huge pressure to deliver."
Kris Commons: "Only time will tell what the board wants to do but I think Lennon will have options himself. He won't be short of offers. They have to get it sorted in the near future. He has done fantastically well as interim boss but I think if he is given the full-time job, it gives him licence to identify players, make them stronger and go for the nine."
Rangers will claw back to within nine points of Celtic if they beat Hibernian on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football, but a title race that has long looked over is now mathematically so. The Old Firm rivals meet one last time this season next Sunday - also live on Sky - and Celtic finish their league campaign against Hearts before facing the same side in their treble-treble decider. Aberdeen host Hearts before ending the term at Hibernian.