Scottish Premiership
HeartsHeart of Midlothian0CelticCeltic5

Heart of Midlothian 0-5 Celtic

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport
Celtic's Scott Sinclair celebrates
Scott Sinclair has scored six goals in three games against Hearts

Celtic clinched a sixth consecutive Scottish title with a flourish as three-goal Scott Sinclair again proved to be a thorn in the flesh of Hearts.

Brendan Rodgers' side survived early pressure to sweep to victory and secure the earliest title success, with eight games to spare, in a 38-game campaign.

Two deadly finishes from Sinclair - he has scored six in three outings against Hearts - edged Celtic ahead.

Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts matched them before a Sinclair penalty.

The final whistle signalled a party in the Edinburgh sunshine as Celtic celebrated their 48th Scottish title - their 12th this century and first with Rodgers as manager.

And the records keep tumbling for Celtic, who remain unbeaten in 37 domestic games this season, eclipsing a 100-year-old club record.

Sinclair inspires Celtic symmetry

Celtic share Scottish title joy with fans

Winning the title in Edinburgh was an act of perfect symmetry for Rodgers' side.

The Northern Irishman's first domestic game in charge of Celtic was at Tynecastle and the packed stands were playing host to the 300th league meeting between the sides - and the 150th to be hosted by Hearts.

On that day back on 7 August, a late goal from Sinclair was needed to subdue hosts who were looking to overtake Aberdeen as Celtic's main title challengers after finishing third in their first season back in the top flight.

A Sinclair double also helped secure a 4-0 win over Hearts in Glasgow in January on a day when he deputised up front due to the absence of first-choice strikers Moussa Dembele and deputy Leigh Griffiths.

That day, the 28-year-old's goals came after he was switched to a more natural wide role, with Roberts in the centre, and that's the way they started at Tynecastle this time out as Rodgers was again denied his two top marksmen through injury.

Lesson learned, one-time Manchester City winger Sinclair combined superbly with fellow Englishman Roberts, himself on loan from the Etihad Stadium, twice within three first-half minutes to virtually end Hearts' challenge.

Cathro can't reverse Hearts' slide

Hearts a work in progress - Cathro

Aberdeen's 7-0 thrashing of Dundee on Friday had ensured that Celtic would require another three points to secure the title.

However, there were few signs that Hearts had the form to make them wait any longer.

Celtic had arrived at Tynecastle unbeaten in their last 10 visits since their last defeat by Hearts - 2-0 at Tynecastle in October 2011 - with the Edinburgh side only avoiding defeat once during that spell.

Since Ian Cathro had taken over as head coach from MK Dons-bound Robbie Neilson, they had slipped from second to fifth and had won only once in their last seven outings.

Yet they had lost only two of their last 14 Premiership home games and they came out full of determination to deny Celtic a title party in their own back yard.

Cathro looked to have won the early tactical battle, with his high-pressing game knocking the visitors out their stride and Isma Goncalves twice testing goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who then saved at point-blank range from Jamie Walker.

Magic from Sinclair and Roberts

Celtic's Patrick Roberts celebrates
Patrick Roberts set up two goals and scored one for Celtic

It had looked ominous for Hearts when Sinclair played in Callum McGregor to find the net after only two minutes.

The linesman's flag allowed the home side to breathe again and they were soon giving as good as they got in a fast and furious start that raged from end to end.

McGregor somehow side-footed wide from only six yards and we began to question Rodgers' decision to switch to an unusual formation with three at the back.

However, Sinclair played a clever one-two with Roberts on the edge of the penalty box before thumping high past goalkeeper Jack Hamilton to give Celtic a 24th-minute lead.

It was soon two as Roberts threaded the ball behind the Hearts defence for Sinclair to score again.

Hearts' defensive frailties had come home to roost and Armstrong's 20-yard drive after the break and Roberts' deft chip from the edge of the penalty area ensured the title was on its way back to Glasgow.

Sinclair completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after being pulled down by Krystian Nowak.

What now for Celtic? With the League Cup already won, a Scottish Cup semi-final awaits as they seek a domestic treble and the prospect of ending the domestic season unbeaten - a feat no Scottish champions have achieved since the late 19th century.



  • 1Hamilton
  • 27Struna
  • 19NowakBooked at 45mins
  • 12Avlonitis
  • 46Sowah
  • 6Kitchen
  • 4TziolisSubstituted forBuabenat 65'minutes
  • 20Johnsen
  • 15Cowie
  • 7WalkerBooked at 5minsSubstituted forMartinat 65'minutes
  • 77Esmael GonçalvesBooked at 33minsSubstituted forBeithat 71'minutes


  • 8Buaben
  • 11Nicholson
  • 13Noring
  • 22Beith
  • 24Smith
  • 30Currie
  • 88Martin


  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forGamboaat 80'minutes
  • 5Simunovic
  • 20BoyataBooked at 69minsSubstituted forK Touréat 87'minutes
  • 63Tierney
  • 14Armstrong
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregorBooked at 33mins
  • 11Sinclair
  • 27RobertsSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 79'minutes
  • 49ForrestBooked at 42mins


  • 2K Touré
  • 6Bitton
  • 12Gamboa
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 26Bailly
  • 76Aitchison
  • 88Kouassi
Kevin Clancy

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamCeltic
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, Celtic 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, Celtic 5.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  4. Post update

    Kieran Tierney (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

  7. Post update

    Andraz Struna (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Kolo Touré replaces Dedryck Boyata.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Heart of Midlothian 0, Celtic 5. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  10. Post update

    Penalty Celtic. Scott Sinclair draws a foul in the penalty area.

  11. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Krystian Nowak (Heart of Midlothian) after a foul in the penalty area.

  12. Post update

    Kieran Tierney (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Cristian Gamboa replaces Mikael Lustig.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Patrick Roberts.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Angus Beith replaces Esmael Gonçalves.

  18. Booking

    Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).

  20. Post update

    Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

4St Johnstone30127113938143
6Partick Thistle30910113335-237
9Ross County30610143250-1828
12Inverness CT30413133454-2025
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