Celtic win eighth straight Scottish Premiership title

Celtic win eighth straight Scottish Premiership title
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard scores a goal against Aberdeen in London. (Reuters)
Updated 04 May 2019

Celtic win eighth straight Scottish Premiership title

Celtic win eighth straight Scottish Premiership title

LONDON: Celtic secured an eighth successive Scottish Premiership title with a 3-0 win away to Aberdeen on Saturday.

The Hoops, who only needed only to avoid defeat at Pittodrie to be sure of retaining their crown, saw Aberdeen’s James Wilson twice hit the woodwork when the match was still scoreless.

But Celtic took the lead five minutes before half time when Mikael Lustig headed in a cross from Callum McGregor.

Jozo Simunovic, the match-winner against Kilmarnock last week, made it 2-0 with a 53rd-minute header from McGregor’s corner.

French striker Odsonne Edouard, played in by Tom Rogic, completed the scoring two minutes from time with his 21st goal of the season.

Victory gave Celtic an unassailable 12-point lead over second-placed Rangers, their arch Glasgow rivals.

And with the Scottish League Cup already won, Celtic — still unbeaten under interim manager Neil Lennon — are now two-thirds of the way to completing an unprecedented third consecutive domestic treble.

Also on Saturday, nine-man Tottenham Hotspur’s bid for English Champions League football was rocked after Nathan Ake’s last-gasp winner punished red cards for Son Heung-min and Juan Foyth and condemned Spurs to a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.

South Korea forward Son was sent off for a needless push in the closing moments of the first half and Argentine defender Foyth saw red for a studs-up lunge soon after the interval, barely two minutes after entering the field as a half-time substitute.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked like they would hold on for a point as the match entered stoppage time, but Bournemouth defender Ake ended third-placed Tottenham’s stubborn resistence to delay their attempt to guarantee a place in the Premier League’s top four.

A win at Dean Court would have achieved that aim, but fourth-placed Chelsea will now go above Spurs if they defeat Watford and Arsenal, currently fifth, will move to within one point of their north London rivals if they beat Brighton.

Tottenham’s ninth defeat in their last 15 games in all competitions means they need to wait for Sunday’s results to see if they need to win their final Premier League game of the season at home to Everton on May 12.

It was the worst possible preparation for their bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the Champions League semifinal second leg at Ajax on Wednesday.

Pochettino did not rest any of his key players ahead of the trip to Amsterdam, with Son, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura all starting, although Jan Vertonghen was absent after his head injury in midweek.

Lucas Moura tried to catch out Bournemouth’s teenage keeper Mark Travers with an audacious effort from the halfway line.

Travers, making his Premier League debut, was way off his line, but went unpunished as the Tottenham forward’s shot went just wide.

The 19-year-old was fortunate on that occasion, but he proved he had banished any nerves when he dived to his right to save Dele Alli’s long-range strike.

Lucas tried again from more conventional range when the Brazilian burst clear for a shot from the edge of the area that Travers did well to tip over the bar.

Shining in his personal duel with Lucas, Travers foiled the Tottenham star for a third time, quickly rushing off his line to save with his legs.

At 19 years and 351 days, Travers, who has already received a Republic of Ireland call-up, was the first teenage goalkeeper to start a Premier League game since Joe Hart in October 2006.

Travers’ last game of senior club football was during his loan spell with non-league Weymouth at Gosport Borough on New Year’s Day 2018 in front of a crowd of just 418.

He showed no signs of stage-fright on this much bigger occasion and produced another superb save to keep out Alli’s header.

Tottenham finished the half down to 10 men as Son earned an out-of-character dismissal.