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  • Brilliant Bhoys seal seven-in-a-row with derby demolition

    Brilliant Bhoys seal seven-in-a-row with derby demolition

    By: Mark Henderson on 29 Apr, 2018 14:03

  • Scottish Premiership
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Sunday, April 29, 2018

    CELTIC...5
    (Edouard 15, 41, Forrest 45, Rogic 47, McGregor 53)

    RANGERS...0

    CELTIC sealed a seventh successive title in scintillating style, blowing Rangers away 5-0 on an unforgettable afternoon in Paradise.  

    Odsonne Edouard’s deadly double and a stunning solo effort from James Forrest deservedly put the Hoops in complete command at the break after they had left their city rivals reeling with an exhilarating exhibition of attacking, aggressive football.

    Goals from Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor inflicted further punishment on the beleaguered visitors early in the second half, and only the heroics of goalkeeper Jak Alwnick spared the Ibrox side from further humiliation as the seven-in-a-row champions continued to tear them apart.

    It was the first time Celtic had won seven consecutive championships since Jock Stein’s golden era, and Brendan Rodgers and his players took the salute of the Hoops faithful after the final whistle as Paradise celebrated this magnificent achievement.

    And having wrapped up the league crown with three games to spare, the Hoops will now look to clinch an unprecedented double treble on May 19 in the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell.  

    The inclusion of Edouard was one of two changes from last weekend’s game against Hibernian. He replaced Leigh Griffiths, who dropped to the bench, while Mikael Lustig returned to the back four in place of Jack Hendry.

    Roared on by a thunderous home support, Celtic started immediately on the front foot, creating a host of early chances. After the visitors could only partially clear McGregor’s corner, Oliver Ntcham had a shot saved by Alnwick, before Forrest had a shot deflected wide.

    Forrest had been prominent in the early exchanges, causing Andy Halliday consternation with his pace and purposeful bursts and, and from the winger’s cross, McGregor had an effort blocked, before Ntcham called Alnwick into action again.   

    Lustig was next to try his luck, the Swedish defender off target with a near-post flick from McGregor’s corner.

    It was one-way traffic, with the Ibrox side struggling to cope with Celtic’s tempo, intensity and crisp passing. Edouard threatened after thrusting through the middle, but the Frenchman elected to shoot rather than pick out Rogic or Forrest, and his attempt deflected wide.

    Following the resultant corner, Rangers’ resistance crumbled. Tierney did brilliantly to skip past Daniel Candeias and when he drilled the ball across goal, Edouard was on hand to stab the ball home, sending the vast majority of Paradise into raptures.

    Brendan Rodgers’ side continued to pile on the pressure in search of further reward – McGregor curled over, and only a series of last-ditch challenges from the Ibrox side prevented the rampant Hoops from breaking through again.     

    The shell-shocked visitors finally managed to test Craig Gordon in the 27th minute. Jamie Murphy played in Jason Holt, who squeezed a shot on target, but Celtic’s No.1 was down quickly to make the save, with Tierney completing the clearance.  

    Normal service soon resumed, however, as Forrest thrusted into the box, despite being hauled back by Halliday. He found Lustig, whose miss-hit effort almost fell for Edouard at the far post.   

    At the other end, Tierney intercepted a dangerous cross from Candeias as Graeme Murty’s side tried to build some momentum. It was all in vain. For, four minutes behind the interval, Celtic doubled their lead.

    Forrest sent Edouard scampering clear and, with Russell Martin backing off, the striker coolly picked his spot in the far corner.

    And there was still time for the Bhoys to add to their tally before the break after a piece of individual brilliance from Forrest. Dedryck Boyata beat Jason Cummings to the ball and found the winger, who danced past three Rangers defenders before beating Alwick with a fantastic finish inside the far post.    

    There was no respite for the Ibrox side in the second period. Within two minutes of the restart, the champions had added number four.  

    Although Alnwick saved from McGregor in the box, the loose ball eventually fell for Rogic and he swept home from the edge of the box.

    Incredibly, in the 53rd minute, it was 5-0.  Edouard did the damage on the left, driving to the byline and McGregor buried his cutback

    On a rare foray forward for the visitors, Josh Windass struck the outside of the post from distance but the Hoops remained in complete control, threatening to score every time entered the final third.

    Alnwick had to make three superb saves to deny Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic as the Bhoys continued to run the visitors ragged.   

    Substitutes Jack Hendry and Leigh Griffiths spurned late chances to make the scoreline even more emphatic, the latter shooting over after running through on goal from Kristoffer Ajer’s header, but the celebrations were already well underway in the stands, and they got into full swing once the final whistle sounded.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig (Hendry 72) Boyata, Ajer, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham; Forrest, Rogic (Sinclair 67) McGregor; Edouard (Griffiths 75)
    Not Used: Bain, Simunovic, Roberts, Kouassi

    RANGERS (4-2-3-1) Alnwick; Tavernier, Martin, McCrorie, Halliday; Holt, Dorrans (Docherty 71); Candeias, Windass (Morelos 57), Murphy; Cummings
    Not Used: Kelly, Hodson, Rossiter, Goss, O’Halloran

    Website Man of the Match: Odsonne Edouard

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