Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle1Celtic5

Partick Thistle 1-5 Celtic

Celtic secured their third Scottish title in a row with seven games to spare after a five-goal demolition of Partick Thistle at Firhill.

It is the earliest the Scottish top flight has been secured since Rangers won on 16 March in season 1928-29.

After Anthony Stokes headed in early, it was a party waiting to be unleashed.

Liam Henderson and Stefan Johansen added to that before Christie Elliot's reply and Stokes and Kris Commons ensured the champagne flowed.

The victory establishes an unassailable 26-point lead over second-placed Aberdeen as Celtic are crowned champions for the 45th time.

With the Dons having been held to a draw away to Ross County 24 hours earlier, the scene had been set for Neil Lennon's side to win the title in a Glasgow derby.

Liam Henderson and Stefan Johansen both scored in the second half

Many Celtic fans might have taken greater pleasure in securing it at the home of a certain other club in Scotland's biggest city, but the absence of Rangers from the top flight has made their task easier for the second season running.

Thistle had gone into the game desperate for points at the other end of the table, where they sit two points ahead of second-bottom St Mirren in a five-team fight to avoid a relegation play-off.

The Maryhill outfit were seeking a third straight home win after a season-long wait for a home victory since their return to the top flight, and manager Alan Archibald had voiced his determination to avoid hosting a championship party.

However, Emilio Izaguirre sent over a cross from the left and the unmarked Stokes stepped out of the shadows at the back post to head past goalkeeper Paul Gallacher from eight yards.

Celtic had scored 11 goals in their previous three games and it looked like they were about to unleash another goals-fest as the ball pinged about a penalty box unconvincingly guarded by a nervous home defence.

Whether it was down to Celtic's complacency or premature feelings of celebration, Thistle did well to weather that early pressure and work their way gradually into the match.

They took control for a period in the first half and Johansen and Izaguirre were fortunate not to earn yellow cards as the champions-elect became increasingly edgy.

However, since losing to Barcelona in the Champions League, Celtic have played 17 domestic games and only lost goals in two of them - both in defeats by in-form Aberdeen. Thistle rarely looked like they had the ability to unlock the visitors.

Henderson had been left out of Celtic's starting line-up as Efe Ambrose returned to the defence, but the winger's introduction at half-time for full-back Adam Matthews breathed new life into Lennon's side.

Caught out early again, the Thistle back-line was made to look foolish as Izaguirre's cross was dummied first by Commons and then Stokes, allowing the unmarked 17-year-old to fire low into the far corner for his first Celtic goal.

It was two goals within four minutes as Johansen played a one-two with Leigh Griffiths before powering into the penalty box and firing his second goal in as many games.

Only then did Thistle become an attacking threat, Lyle Taylor just failing to make contact with an Aaron Taylor-Sinclair cross to the front post; Gary Fraser's powerful long-range drive being turned wide by Fraser Forster and then Taylor heading straight at the goalkeeper.

Commons was denied by a Gallacher save, while Stephen O'Donnell forced Forster into more action at the other end.

Thistle had cries for a penalty waved away by referee Steven McLean when a shot from Prince Buaben shot struck the arm of Charlie Mulgrew, before Elliot fired past Forster.

By then, however, Celtic were already well on their way to ensuring they would become the first champions since the Scottish Premier League became the Scottish Premiership after its merger with the Scottish Football League.

A superb Stokes volley and Commons finish on the break in the dying seconds finished the job, keeping the title at Celtic Park.

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 3Taylor-Sinclair
  • 22Fraser
  • 13Gabriel
  • 15Mair
  • 28ErskineSubstituted forElliottat 63'minutes
  • 10Buaben
  • 21TaylorSubstituted forDoolanat 78'minutes
  • 23HigginbothamSubstituted forLawlessat 70'minutes
  • 8Bannigan

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 7Craigen
  • 9Doolan
  • 11Lawless
  • 14Elliott
  • 16McMillan
  • 17Moncur

Celtic

  • 1Forster
  • 2MatthewsSubstituted forHendersonat 45'minutes
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 4Ambrose
  • 5van Dijk
  • 15Commons
  • 21MulgrewBooked at 28minsSubstituted forKayalat 71'minutes
  • 28GriffithsSubstituted forSamarasat 77'minutes
  • 10Stokes
  • 25JohansenBooked at 54mins

Substitutes

  • 9Samaras
  • 17Balde
  • 20Pukki
  • 24Zaluska
  • 33Kayal
  • 34O'Connell
  • 53Henderson
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
7,549

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home11
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home6
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 5.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 5.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 5. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Georgios Samaras.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 4. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Georgios Samaras.
Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Gabriel Piccolo (Partick Thistle).
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Prince Buaben.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Celtic 3. Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.
Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Foul by Liam Henderson (Celtic).
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Kris Doolan replaces Lyle Taylor.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Georgios Samaras replaces Leigh Griffiths.
Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle).
Beram Kayal (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle).
Attempt blocked. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Gabriel Piccolo (Partick Thistle).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Beram Kayal replaces Charlie Mulgrew because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Steven Lawless replaces Kallum Higginbotham.
Attempt missed. Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Christie Elliott replaces Chris Erskine.
Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).
Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Fraser Forster.
Attempt saved. Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt missed. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right.

Booking

Stefan Johansen (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 3. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths.
Attempt saved. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt missed. Gary Fraser (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 2. Liam Henderson (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.

Second Half

Second Half begins Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces Adam Matthews.

Half Time

First Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, Celtic 1.
Attempt missed. Scott Brown (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.
Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gabriel Piccolo (Partick Thistle).
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Anthony Stokes.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.
Attempt blocked. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).
Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Booking

Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic).
Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).
Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).
Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3127316484
2Aberdeen3018481558
3Motherwell301839657
4Dundee Utd3115881953
5Inverness CT3014610548
6St Johnstone3113513644
7Hibernian3181013-1134
8Kilmarnock318617-1630
9Ross County318617-1730
10Partick Thistle3161114-1929
11St Mirren317618-2227
12Hearts305619-306
View full Scottish Premiership table

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