Celtic vs Motherwell. Scottish Premiership.
Scottish Premiership champions Celtic eased to a 6-0 victory on trophy day; Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis scored a double with David Turnbull and Jota also on target; it was an emotional farewell for Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton as they made their final appearances for the Hoops
Sunday 15 May 2022 00:15, UK
Celtic made it a title party to remember as they turned on the style to beat Motherwell 6-0 in their final game of the season.
It was a day of celebration at Celtic Park after they reclaimed the Scottish Premiership title with a midweek draw at Dundee United.
They made sure it was a party to remember against a Motherwell side who had already secured European football for next season.
Doubles from Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis and goals from David Turnbull and Jota made it a title party to remember as both Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton said an emotional farewell to the club they had called home for ten seasons.
Celtic's stunning title win has also guaranteed the fans will get to enjoy Champions League group stage football next season which is worth around £40m to the club.
Ange Postecoglou, league and League Cup winner in his first season in charge, has transformed a club from one which finished 25 points behind Rangers last season to finishing four points ahead of their great rivals.
Motherwell had already qualified for the Europa Conference League qualifiers but they will want to forget this game in a hurry.
Australia midfielder Rogic started the game to the approval of the excited home support as Jota, Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda and Turnbull also came back into the side with Israel international Bitton on the bench.
Well boss Graham Alexander made two changes with Bevis Mugabi and Victor Nirennold, in for his first start since signing in January, replacing Liam Donnelly and Juhani Ojala and they and their team-mates spent most of the first half.
It seemed only a matter of time until Celtic got the breakthrough and it came following a mistake by Nirennold in the 22nd minute.
The French defender miskicked a deep corner from Jota inside the box and the Japan international wasted no time in turning and rifling a low drive past Well keeper Liam Kelly at his near post.
In the 32nd minute, as Motherwell retreated from a rare attack, Jota's cross from the left was met by the sliding Rogic whose shot rebounded off the post with the offside flag going up or lurking Hoops striker Maeda.
Celtic then had a minute or so of slackness.
Motherwell's Joe Efford set up Dean Cornelius but his unconvincing shot from 16 yards went well wide.
The home side imposed themselves again and scored twice before the break.
Turnbull combined with Maeda and turned Fir Park defender Rickie Lamie before shooting past Kelly from 12 yards before Furuhashi then volleyed in a perfectly-weighted pass from defender Anthony Ralston with trademark technique.
Motherwell had to regroup at the interval and striker Kevin Van Veen replaced Sean Goss but it made no difference.
In the 59th minute, after Furuhashi's pass to Maeda bounced off his fellow Japanese international, Jota latched onto a loose ball to sweep it past Kelly.
Then, amid a slew of substitutions, Rogic was given a standing ovation from the fans and embraced by his team-mates as he went off for the last time and he was clearly overcome by emotion.
Celtic kept going and in the 68th minute the Steelmen's defence allowed Giakoumakis to execute an overhead kick from six yards.
There were more cheers in the 85th minute when Bitton took over from captain Callum McGregor and he enjoyed his final moments in a green and white shirt, where Giakoumakis bundled in number six from close range in added time.
Manager Ange Postecoglou told Sky Sports he is already planning for next season as he enjoys their title celebrations:
"We all start with the greatest of ambitions and dreams. It's been the tightest league for a number of years. Rangers were outstanding this season.
"These lads have been incredible - they went 32 years without losing. We had a real clarity of purpose and tunnel vision all year. There were so many things that could have got in our way.
"I want them to enjoy it, the players and staff. Our families make the biggest sacrifice. If they smile for an afternoon, I think that helps.
"I'm kind of trying to comprehend it all. There will be a moment of reflection and understanding of what we achieved. Like these legends, in 20 years' time we will have shared a magic moment.
"This afternoon, [I'll stop] and then back to work tomorrow! It's a special moment."
Tom Rogic struggled to hold back the tears as he said farewell to the club he has called home for 10 seasons:
"It's hard to put into words. The club has been an enormous part of my life.
"I can't thank everyone enough. I had a great send off today and it's been an emotional day for me and my family.
"I'm fortunate to have had many great moments here, been part of lots of great teams and won lots of trophies. I look back on amazing moments and memories and I can only say great things about the club.
"Look around at this atmosphere, it's special.
"I hope the success continues and I'll be watching on."
Nir Bitton told Sky Sports he is leaving Celtic the way he always planned to:
"Amazing. When I signed for this club, I knew the expectations were high but it's about winning trophies and taking the club to the Champions League. I'm happy to end on a high.
"I have won a lot of trophies, I've had a lot of ups and downs and injuries. But this club is about winning and after last season, the players knew how much it meant to bring this title home. I'm glad we did it for the fans.
"There are so many moments along the way. My debut I will never forget, winning the treble is an amazing moment and this moment - this is how I wanted to finish it."
Six arrests were made after Celtic fans gathered in Glasgow City Centre after the match to celebrate their team winning the Scottish Premiership title.
"Police Scotland is a human rights-based organisation that puts our values of integrity, fairness, respect and a commitment to upholding human rights at the heart of everything we do," Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, Divisional Commander for Greater Glasgow Division, said in a statement.
"This afternoon thousands of Celtic supporters gathered in the area of Glasgow Cross to celebrate their team's achievement. A proportionate policing plan was in place which facilitated the gathering, prioritised public safety and sought to minimise disruption to businesses and communities.
"While there was an unacceptable level of anti-social behaviour and littering there were no serious incidents or disorder.
"There were some outbreaks of minor disorder and our officers acted swiftly and robustly to prevent escalation and protect safety. Over the course of the evening there were six arrests for offences including assault and acts of public disorder. A further four people were issued with fixed penalty notices."
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