IT WAS an afternoon of high emotion in Paradise as Joe Hart enjoyed his last hurrah in front of 60,000 joyous fans celebrating the champions’ third successive title triumph.

The 37-year-old keeper may have been beaten twice by the Saints, but it didn’t matter as Matt O’Riley, Kyogo Furuhashi and Luis Palma scored at the other end to see the curtain come down on another successful Premiership crusade.

Hart left the pitch in the east end of Glasgow for the final time in the 87th minute when he was replaced by Scott Bain to allow the home support the opportunity to show their appreciation for the 75 times-capped England international No.1 who has decided to call it a day after three exceptional years at the Hoops.

PARADISE…Joe Hart says his final farewell to the Celtic fans.

The popular netminder has picked up six medals – three titles, two League Cups and a Scottish Cup – and, of course, has one more chance to add to his impressive collection a week today.

Hart will be in his usual position for the Scottish Cup silverware showdown against Rangers at Hampden and everything is set up for a grand finale.

This afternoon’s win made certain Brendan Rodgers’ side finished with an eight-point advantage, a victory earned against opponents who were out to make sure they were not merely bit-part players in another Celtic success story.

As the title kings took care of business at Parkhead, Philippe Clements Govan outfit dropped two points in a 3-3 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle.

The Saints did their utmost to be partypoopers as they went in level at the interval. Twice they took the lead and twice the Hoops had to fight back to get on level terms.

FANFARE…the Celtic supporters pay their tribute to Joe Hart.

The opening period will not go down as one of Stephen Welsh’s most memorable outings. We’ll cut the youngster some slack as he appeared rusty after a rare first-team start, but he looked sluggish and agonisingly slow to deal with the counter-attacks of the Paisley side.

In fact, the central defender should have given the hosts the lead in only three minutes when Palma delivered one of a succession of dangerous left-wing corner-kicks.

On this occasion, the Honduran whipped one in at the near post and unmarked Welsh contrived to head wide from four yards.

Four minutes later, he presented the Saints with a throw-in high on the left wing with an alarming piece of sloppy defending.

The defence failed to deal properly with the long shy, the ball bobbled around before Callum McGregor attempted to head away, but, unfortunately for the captain, his intended clearance dropped perfectly for the lurking Mark O’Hara 16 yards out and he first-timed a low drive past the helpless Hart.

PICK IT OUT…Kyogo Furuhashi slides in to tuck the ball past Zach Hemming for the second goal.

It was that man O’Riley to the rescue in the 21st minute when he pounced on the ball to whip a left-foot effort past Zach Hemming at his left.

The masterful midfielder played in Kyogo who was crowded out by Alex Gogic.

O’Riley anticipated the panicky clearance to drill a drive into the net for his 19th goal of a prolific campaign.

Four minutes later, the Saints were ahead again and once more it was Welsh who blundered to present them with their second goal.

The defender misjudged the bounce of the ball and compounded his error by chasing back into the box and bundling striker Toyosi Olusanya to the ground.

Alas, there was little argument that it was a stonewall penalty-kick and O’Hara walloped in an unsaveable effort from the spot, rattling the ball wide of the stretching Hart to his left.

The fans were still in good voice, though, and they were cheering a second goal for the champions in the 38th minute after some vintage work from Kyogo.

The Japanese striker pickpocketed the Saints to nick in and win the ball at a throw-in on the right. He fed a pass to Reo Hatate taking off down the flank.

The midfielder zipped in an inviting low ball to the near post and there was his countryman arriving at pace to deflect the ball wide of the bemused Hemming.

Within a minute, Palma blew the opportunity to give the Hoops the lead. Nicolas Kuhn sent Kyogo scurrying clear on the right and the pacy forward sent a superb curling ball into the box.

Palma was all on his own eight yards out, but somehow he managed to screw his header wide of the right-hand upright.

The second-half was plodding along in the sunshine as Rodgers made a triple substitution in the 66th minute when he replaced Welsh, Hatate and Kyogo with Liam Scales, Tomoki Iwata and Adam Idah.

HAPPY DAZE…Luis Palma celebrates with Anthony Ralston after firing in the winner.

McGregor passed on the captain’s armband to Hart in the 77th minute as he made way for Paulo Bernardo.

It was a fitting crescendo in the 86th minute when an O’Riley back-heeler released Anthony Ralston on the right and he fired a low ball to the back post.

Palma timed his run to perfection to first-time a close-range drive into the net for the winner.

And then it was party time in Paradise as Hart made his final farewell and Celtic celebrated their twelfth title in 13 years and 54th crown overall.

The sun shone down on a perfect day for the champions.

Now there is the little matter of the Scottish Cup Final in a week’s time.

TEAM: Hart (sub: Bain 87); Ralston, Welsh (sub: Welsh 66), Nawrocki, Taylor; O’Riley, McGregor (sub: Bernardo 77), Hatate (sub: Iwata 66); Kuhn, Kyogo (sub: Idah 66), Palma.

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