CELTIC sealed their third successive Premiership title in the style of genuine champions as they put on a five-star, five-goal display against demoralised Kilmarnock at Rugby Park last night.

The Hoops’ so-called jinx team at the club’s reputed bogey ground – a venue at which Brendan Rodgers’ side had lost on two occasions in a rollercoaster campaign – were left under the rubble of a devastating, pulverising show.

Scotland’s title kings, who have ruled the nation for 12 of the last 13 years, started off in whirlwind fashion and left their rivals in their slipstream as they thundered to a three-goal advantage by the time the 35th minute arrived.

PARADISE…Brendan Rodgers applauds the fans after the 5-0 performance at Rugby Park.

Adam Idah, so impressive as Kyogo Furuhashi’s replacement, walloped in the first in the fifth minute and Daizen Maeda doubled the advantage seven minutes later.

James Forrest, with the ease of a veteran of so many victorious crusades, rolled in the third after finding a pocket of space smack in front of unfortunate keeper Kieran O’Hara.

Matt O’Riley, who had nonchalantly eased through the proceedings, put his stamp on the silverware showing with a second-half double, the first of which was a memorable, rasping drive from the edge of the box that raged into the roof of the net.

The visiting fans enjoyed a memorable occasion from start to finish as a little pocket of Ayrshire became a green Paradise on the evening of May 15 2024.

Afterwards, beaming Rodgers sent a special message to the Celtic supporters when he told the club website: “The best team always finishes top of the league come the end of the campaign, and it is a great feeling to know that we are the Champions of Scotland again.

“Winning the Premiership title is a wonderful achievement and it’s one that I’m sure Celtic supporters all over the world will be celebrating.

BALL BHOY…Brendan Rodgers plays his part to keep things moving at Rugby Park.

“The players deserve enormous credit for their efforts throughout this season. Every day they have dedicated themselves to their profession and to doing everything they can to bring further success to our club.

“We’ve faced many challenges on this journey, but we have arrived successfully at our destination, which is to be the Scottish Champions – this is the prize we work for, this is the one we live for.

“The coaching staff here and, indeed, all the staff at the club have played their part in what has been a great team effort, while our supporters have, as always, been a key part of this success.

“I’ve said on many occasions that our togetherness is one of the real strengths of this football club, and when that happens we can and do achieve great things.

“We had fantastic support again this evening at Rugby Park and I’m delighted that we have managed to secure yet another title success.

“Now it is our intention to complete the season in style and we look forward to celebrating together with 60,000 Celtic supporters at Celtic Park on Saturday.

“We know, of course, that this weekend will be another great Celtic occasion. I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced Trophy Days at Paradise before, and it is always a special time, one where everyone at the club comes together to celebrate our achievements – players, management and supporters.

CHAMPIONS…let the celebrations begin!

“I know that we’ll all enjoy everything that goes with the day including, of course, making sure that we sign off the league campaign with a positive result.

“However, the nature of football and of this club in particular is that we never rest on our laurels. We always want to improve and keep delivering further success for our fans.

“So we will enjoy these next few days, knowing that we are the Champions of Scotland again, but our focus here will quickly turn to preparing for the final game of the season – the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden on May 25th, and doing everything we can to make sure that trophy also remains at Celtic Park.

“For just now, however, I want to thank all of you for your support throughout this campaign. Our aim when we began the season was to finish in this position – top of the table and Champions of Scotland.

“We have achieved that goal and this is a time for all of us to enjoy the moment, celebrate our success and know that we are the finest team in Scotland.

“You are a Champion once again!

“Thank you for your tremendous support.”


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