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Five on the night as Celtic secure third straight league title

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It was certainly Firhill for thrills for Celtic fans on Wednesday night as Celtic ran rampant against the Jags to secure the SPFL Premiership title.

The 5-1 win meant Neil Lennon now joins the illustrious company of Celtic legends Willie Maley, Jock Stein and mentor Gordan Strachan in becoming only the fourth Celtic manager to achieve the feat of winning three league titles in a row.

With Aberdeen drawing the night before in the Highlands, Celtic knew a win over Partick Thistle would be enough to secure the title with seven games remaining.

And they didn’t hold back with a full strength side only taking three minutes to go in front.

Emilio Izaguirre was free to float a cross to the back post where an unmarked Anthony Stokes calmly headed past Gallacher in the Jags goal.

The early goal rattled Partick who took until just before the half hour mark to finally have a real effort on goal. Kallum Higginbotham ruffled the side netting when his free kick from just outside the Celtic box went narrowly wide.

The fifteen minutes at the end of the first half was Partick’s best spell of the game, with the Jags unable to really test Forster.

Into the second half and it only took a couple of minutes for the Celtic rout to begin.

Super-sub Liam Henderson, with his first touch of the game, powered a low drive past Gallacher. It was the seventeen year-old’s first goal for Celtic but he dispatched it like a player twice his age with twice the experience.

With just 53 minutes played, Celtic made it three through January signing Stefan Johanson. The Norwegian played a couple of neat one two’s with Leigh Griffiths before powering past the Jags defence and unleashing an unstoppable low shot into the bottom of the net from only ten yards.

The party was now fully on swing in the Celtic end. But the Jaggies still wouldn’t go down without a fight and could nearly have found a consolation first through Higginbotham who had a shot from distance pushed onto the post by Forster, then Piccolo should have done better than just head the ball into the arms of Forster from only a couple of yards out.

Before Partick’s deserved consolation, Celtic could have been five goals to the good, but strikes from Leigh Griffiths and Anthony Stokes were ruled offside.

With you’ll never walk alone ringing round Firhill, Partick Thistle finally got a deserved consolation when a direct ball found sub Christie Elliott free in the box and he made no mistake as he powered a lethal volley past Forster.

But that was as good as it got on the night for Thistle as Celtic scored a fourth only five minutes later.

Some lovely link up play between Anthony Stokes and Georgios Samaras resulted in Stokes scissor kicking a volley over Gallacher and into the top corner.

The final gloss on the scoreline for Celtic came with the final kick of the ball with Samaras making a mazy run from the half way line before laying up top goalscorer Commons who cheekily prodded the ball through the legs of Gallacher from close range to give Celtic five on the night.

Partick Thistle: Paul Gallacher, Stephen O’Donnell, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Stuart Bannigan, Prince Buaben, Gabriel Piccolo, Lee Mair, Lyle Taylor (Kris Doolan), Gary Fraser, Kallum Higginbotham (Steven Lawless), Chris Erskine (Christie Elliott)

Subs not used:Scott Fox, James Craigen, Jordan McMillan, George Moncur

Celtic: Fraser Forster, Adam Matthews, (Liam Henderson) Emilio Izaguirre, Efe Ambrose, Virgil Van Dijk, Scott Brown, Anthony Stokes, Kris Commons, Charlie Mulgrew (Beram Kayal), Stefan Johansen, Leigh Griffiths (Georgios Samaras)

Subs not used: Lukasz Zaluska, Amido Balde, Teemu Pukki, Eoghan O’Connell,

Attendance: 7549

Referee: Steven Maclean

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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