AP NEWS

Celtic wins 8th straight Scottish league title

May 4, 2019
Celtic players celebrate after the final whistle of their Scottish Premiership soccer match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen, Scotland, Saturday, May 4, 2019. Celtic won the Scottish league title for the eighth straight year on Saturday, completing the second leg in its bid to clinch a domestic treble for the third straight season. A 3-0 win at Aberdeen moved Celtic into an unassailable 12-point lead in the Scottish Premiership. (Jeff Holmes/PA via AP)

ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) — Celtic extended one of the longest periods of domination in the history of Scottish soccer by winning the league title for the eighth straight year on Saturday, completing the second leg of its bid for another domestic treble.

With a 3-0 win at Aberdeen, Celtic moved into an unassailable 12-point lead in the Scottish Premiership to clinch a 50th top-flight title with two games to spare. Only fierce Glasgow rival Rangers — with 54 — has more.

Having already collected the Scottish League Cup in December, Celtic will wrap up the treble if it wins the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on May 25.

A “triple treble,” as it is being called in Scotland, would be an unprecedented achievement in the country.

Perhaps just as importantly, Celtic is one more league title from tying the record of nine in a row — held by the Celtic teams of 1966-74 and Rangers’ teams from 1989-97.

“We need to take some time, even the supporters, to take stock and enjoy the moment,” said Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who has won the Scottish league four times. “This is eight titles — it has not been done for a very long time.

“So it is a special group of players and the fans should engage in that and not think about nine and 10.”

Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Odsonne Edouard scored Celtic’s goals at Pittodrie to seal the team’s 26th win in 36 league games in the campaign. Its first match as champion will be against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers at Ibrox next weekend.

Lennon was asked by Celtic to take charge until the end of the season when Brendan Rodgers left the club to join English team Leicester in February. Celtic has played 13 league games since then, winning 10 and drawing the other three.

“Look I’m here to do a job and I’ve done it,” Lennon said. “Externally it looked easy but internally it was tough. There was a lot of discontent around the place and confusion, and I’m thankful to my staff for helping me through what was a difficult period.”

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