CELTIC went to the Premiership pinnacle for the first time in 18 months when they obliterated Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox side 3-0 following a whirlwind first-half at a pulsating Parkhead on Wednesday February 2.
They remained in pole position for the remainder of the campaign as Ange Postecoglou’s men stormed to their tenth title in 11 years.
The champions played catch-up at the weekend when their nearest challengers beat St Johnstone 4-0 in Govan on Saturday before the Hoops went back to top spot following their 5-0 thrashing of Kilmarnock at Rugby Park yesterday.
A BIG HAND…Ange Postecoglou applauds the Celtic fans at the end of the Rugby Park romp.
Goal difference separates the Glasgow teams at the moment and the Hoops have two more league games to play – Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday and Dundee United at Tannadice a week later – before the first derby of the campaign at home on September 3.
It’s business as usual for the title winners as they now prepare for the visit of Robbie Neilson’s Tynecastle team who overwhelmed Jack Ross’ troubled Tayside outfit 4-1 in the capital yesterday.
Postecoglou said: “We just get back to our work. It’s really important for us to get another solid week of work into the lads and get them ready for another difficult game next week against Hearts back at home and then move on.”
Reflecting on the triumph on Killie’s artificial pitch, the manager continued: “We knew going into the game, there were going to be some challenges for us.
NUMBER ONE…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates the opening strike against Killie while Josip Juranovic looks on.
NUMBER TWO…Filipe Jota races towards the Celtic fans after his long-range rasper.
NUMBER THREE…Moritz Jenz acrobatically swivels in mid-air to claim his second Hoops strike.
NUMBER FOUR…Carl Starfelt smashes in his first-ever Celts’ strike to leave keeper Sam Walker helpless.
NUMBER FIVE…Giorgos Giakoumakis takes to the air to wallop an overhead-kick into the net to seal the triumph.
“They say it’s a beautiful afternoon, but we weren’t running around out there and it was pretty hard for the boys, especially to play the kind of football we want.
“And obviously the surface is also a challenge, but again they showed real discipline and focus to not let that put us off our stride.
“I’m really proud of the fact that there are plenty of excuses for us not to be at our best, but the boys just stuck at it and got their rewards.
“It does affect it, you can tell with some of the movements the boys do and you’re always worried about injuries because it does change the normal mechanics of a football game.
PANIC STATIONS…Killie keeper Sam Walker collides with a team-mate as Kyogo Furuhashi threatens to add to Celtic’s goal tally.
“Within that context, I said before the game it doesn’t mean that we can’t attempt to play the football we want.
“Whether that works out or not, you never know, but we wouldn’t want to go in changing our style to try to adjust to what the conditions are.”
Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “Again to the boys’ credit, they are getting those rewards in creating those moments because that are really committed to what we want to be and I see that every day with their training.
“What we see on game-day is the result of them working really hard at training and pushing each other.”