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Piling on the agony, putting on the style…how they sang and frolicked at Rugby Park as Brendan Rodgers’ side claimed a third successive title and a title that will feel all the sweeter for the fact it came so close to squirming away from them. Some of that agony has been courtesy of their own hand this season but last night was not the night for that.

Such reflections will take place over the summer as Celtic look to strengthen ahead of a Champions League campaign that opens the door to significant riches.

The riches they enjoyed last night were the kind they have feasted on repeatedly as they have lorded it domestically over the rest.



This title, their 12th in 13 seasons, was relished with a fervour and appetite that had been keenly sharpened by a fear of a Rangers side that were called into line by the arrival of Philippe Clement as Rangers were revived, restored and then crumbled when the pressure was on.

This Celtic side came to life, as Rodgers had promised in the business end of the season, with big wins that carried them over the line. Against Hearts and, crucially against Rangers. Last night’s dominant, aggressive display over Kilmarnock felt like a work away from the performances where Celtic toiled here earlier in the season.

Adam Idah wasted no time in settling any nerves among the travelling support when he netted with less than five minutes on the clock. Others followed as Daizen Maeda netted a second, James Forrest a third, Matt O’Riley a fourth. Then a fifth, just to make sure.

It was a performance of Championship swagger from Celtic and a performance that has come to the fore only latterly in this campaign. Like the win over Hearts at Celtic Park a few weeks back this was a game where Celtic carried a sound sense of conviction from the off as they went for the jugular.


Idah took over from Kyogo Furuhashi and took less than five minutes to make an impression.

Matt O’Riley’s ball to the back post was scrambled in by the Irishman to calm any Celtic nerves. It infuriated Kilmarnock, though, with Derek McInnes’ appeals that the striker’s arm had caught the face of Robbie Deas ignored.

Celtic had no sympathy.

Maeda added their second shortly after when Alistair Johnston picked him out and there was always a sense that the roof would come in on Killie. Forrest lashed home a third with Maeda provider this time before the winger turned the ball into the net. O’Riley netted the pick of the bunch after the break when he rifled one into the top right-hand corner from the edge of the box.

Danny Armstrong thought he had pulled a goal back but VAR was there to ensure there was nothing to spoil Celtic’s party as it ruled Marley Watkins had drifted offside in the build-up.

O’Riley added a fifth when he collected from Nicolas Kuhn and swept the ball into the net.

The championees chant had gone up long before then.

By full-time even the arch of redemption was complete as Rodgers was serenaded by the visiting support. That affirmation would have rang in his ears all the way back to Celtic Park where they waited to see his prophecy realised of a title delivered realised.


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