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Scottish Premier League wrap: Celtic crowned champions

Gary Hooper scored a brace as Celtic claimed the Scottish Premier League title with a 4-1 win over Inverness CT on Sunday.

The victory sees the Glasgow giants confirmed as champions with four games left in the season and a Scottish Cup final against Hibernian to come.

The first real chance came the way of James Forrest with 20 minutes gone, after the visitors had failed to properly clear a Kris Commons strike at goal, allowing the young winger to take aim from the edge of the area, but his effort ended up sailing wide.

In the closing stages of the opening half Celtic continued to press forward, with Anthony Stokes being called offside as he rolled the ball into the net.

Celtic continued at the start of the second half in the same vain in which they finished the first, full of attacking intent, with Commons having a shot blocked, then the rebound being fired over the bar from Hooper.

Neil Lennon’s side should have taken the lead with 11 minutes of the second period gone, as Efe Ambrose rose unchallenged to meet a Commons corner, but the 24-year-old Nigerian could only direct his header over the bar.

On the hour mark they deservedly took the lead when Commons cut inside from the left and played a ball through the Inverness defence, finding Hooper, who turned and slotted home past Reguero, into the bottom corner.

Six minutes later the Parkhead party got into full swing as Mikael Lustig made his way down the right hand side and the Swede then searched out Joe Ledley on the edge of the area and the stand-in skipper placed the ball into the back of the net.

The goals started to fly in, with the home side getting a third almost immediately, as Inverness failed to properly clear, allowing Commons to direct a pass from the left wing to Hooper, who flicked the ball through his own legs and into goal for his second of the game.

With the game having only two minutes left, substitute Georgios Samaras got in on the act, cutting in from the left hand side and smashing the ball into the back of the net.

The visitors did get a goal deep into injury time when Aaron Doran nipped in and poked the ball past Fraser Forster for a consolation, but that could not stop Celtic’s title party.

More to follow…

Sun 21 April, 2013
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