STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

In Pictures: How Celtic reclaimed the Scottish Premiership title

Celtic won the Scottish Premiership with a draw at Tannadice on Wednesday night.

In Pictures: How Celtic reclaimed the Scottish Premiership title SNS Group
Celtic have reclaimed the Scottish Premiership title.

Celtic reclaimed the Scottish Premiership title with a 1-1 draw at Tannadice on Wednesday night.

It vindicates the club’s decision to bring in Australian coach Ange Postecoglou last summer.

His arrival in Glasgow came after the Hoops finished 25 points behind Rangers last season, which ended a period of unprecedented dominance by Celtic in Scottish football

Celtic won nine consecutive league titles from 2012 to 2020, the second time the club had achieved such a feat in its history.

That run included a quadruple treble, with the Parkhead club completing a clean sweep of domestic silverware for four seasons in a row.

But major rebuilding work was required last summer following the departure of Neil Lennon and an unsuccessful pursuit of Eddie Howe while John Kennedy took interim charge.

Here is the story of how Postecoglou overcame a shaky start to bring the league title to the east end of Glasgow in his first season with the club.

Opening day despair in Edinburgh

John Souttar beats Scott Bain as Celtic slump to defeat at Tynecastle.SNS Group
John Souttar beats Scott Bain as Celtic slump to defeat at Tynecastle.

Hearts defender John Souttar headed an 89th-minute winner as Postecoglou’s difficult start to his Celtic reign continued into the cinch Premiership season.

Souttar rose to head home Michael Smith’s free-kick and earn the hosts a 2-1 victory in front of 5,272 fans at Tynecastle, with capacity limits in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The result consigned Postecoglou to a second defeat of the week following Celtic’s Champions League exit against Midtjylland.

Dishing out 6-0 drubbings

Liel Abada scored the first of six Celtic goals against St Mirren.SNS Group
Liel Abada scored the first of six Celtic goals against St Mirren.

Celtic bounced back from their opening day defeat in style by thrashing both Dundee and St Mirren 6-0 at Parkhead in August.

David Turnbull scored a hat-trick against the Paisley side, with Liel Abada (2) and Odsonne Edouard also on the scoresheet.

Defeat in first Old Firm

Rangers' Filip Helander heads past Joe Hart to settle the first Old Firm match of the season.SNS Group
Rangers’ Filip Helander heads past Joe Hart to settle the first Old Firm match of the season.

Postecoglou’s first Old Firm fixture ended in defeat after Filip Helander’s second-half goal gave Rangers a 1-0 win at Ibrox.

Helander headed in from Borna Barisic’s 66th-minute corner to settle the game, which was played with no away supporters inside the stadium.

West Lothian woes

David Turnbull hides his face after Celtic fall to defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena.SNS Group
David Turnbull hides his face after Celtic fall to defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Andrew Shinnie’s first-half strike consigned Celtic to a sixth defeat in seven away games under Postecoglou as their poor record at Livingston continued.

The result earned Livi their first Premiership win of the season and took them off the bottom of the table.

Postecoglou admitted his team were “terrible” going forward in his post-match interview.

Building back momentum

Celtic players celebrating with the travelling support at Easter Road.SNS Group
Celtic players celebrating with the travelling support at Easter Road.

Following the disappointment at Livingston, Celtic struggled to gather momentum. They knocked Raith Rovers out of the League Cup but drew at home to Dundee United and were thrashed by Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow.

However, the tide started to turn in October as Postecoglou guided his side to wins over Aberdeen, Motherwell, St Johnstone and Hibs.

Tony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kyogo Furuhashi all struck before the break at Easter Road on October 27 to earn Postecoglou’s resurgent side a fifth consecutive win in all competitions.

The feelgood factor was returning but there was a stumble at the end of the month. As the world’s leaders poured into the city for the COP26 climate change, Giorgos Giakoumakis missed a stoppage-time penalty as Celtic drew 0-0 with Livingston at Parkhead.

Controversial Kyogo goal breaks Hearts

Kyogo Furuhashi celebrating the winning goal against Hearts.SNS Group
Kyogo Furuhashi celebrating the winning goal against Hearts.

Celtic picked up nine league points in November with victories over Dundee, St Johnstone and Aberdeen, sending them into a clash against Hearts in good confidence.

A controversial goal from Furuhashi was enough to give Celtic victory in a close encounter at Parkhead.

The Japan forward looked like he might be marginally offside as he converted Anthony Ralston’s cross in the 33rd minute but Bobby Madden and his officials gave the goal.

The 1-0 victory took Celtic back to four points behind Rangers after the leaders won by the same score against Hibernian 24 hours earlier following a much-debated penalty award.

Late Dingwall drama

Anthony Ralston celebrates his dramatic late winner in the Highlands.SNS Group
Anthony Ralston celebrates his dramatic late winner in the Highlands.

A depleted Celtic side were drifting six points behind Rangers until Anthony Ralston headed home in the sixth minute of stoppage time in Dingwall on December 15.

Postecoglou was without six attackers and started with winger Abada in the centre-forward role.

The “super-proud” Australian said of his players: “They had to put up with a lot of adversity but testament to their spirit and composure and character, they kept playing their football and got a deserved winning goal.”

Boxing Day success in Perth

Nir Bitton makes it 3-1 to Celtic in front of a sparse crowd at McDiarmid Park.SNS Group
Nir Bitton makes it 3-1 to Celtic in front of a sparse crowd at McDiarmid Park.

After his side failed to convert 31 shots in a goalless draw against Covid-hit St Mirren in midweek, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou brought back Furuhashi for the trip to Perth on Boxing Day.

With new crowd limits of 500 coming into force in Scotland to help stem the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, only Saints season-ticket holders who were successful in a ballot witnessed the match.

Liel Abada (2) and Nir Bitton got the goals as Celtic recorded a 3-1 win.

Japanese influence adds sparkle

Celtic’s Daizen Maeda walks out ahead of his debut against Hibs at Parkhead.SNS Group
Celtic’s Daizen Maeda walks out ahead of his debut against Hibs at Parkhead.

Premiership clubs agreed to bring forward the winter break in a bid to avoid imposing limits on crowd numbers, as the country continued to deal with the spread of the Omicron variant over the winter months.

When matches resumed on January 17 there was a capacity crowd inside Parkhead for the visit of Hibernian. Postecoglou had been busy in the transfer market – bringing in the Japanese trio of Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi and Reo Hatate.

It was the latter who made an instant impression, scoring four minutes into his debut as Celtic defeated the Leith side 2-0.

Josip Juranovic was also on target in the first half from the penalty spot as Celtic moved three points behind Premiership leaders Rangers

Rangers rout takes Celtic top of the table

Reo Hatate scored twice against Rangers at Parkhead.SNS Group
Reo Hatate scored twice against Rangers at Parkhead.

Postecoglou claimed his Celtic side were “everything we wanted to be as a football team” after demolishing Rangers 3-0 to go top of the Premiership in early February.

In a frenetic first half at Parkhead, Reo Hatate marked his Old Firm debut by grabbing a stunning brace before winger Abada added a third from a cross from the Japanese midfielder with Rangers keeper Allan McGregor limiting the damage.

Pittodrie party

Jota leads the celebrations at Pittodrie.SNS Group
Jota leads the celebrations at Pittodrie.

Following the Old Firm fixture, Celtic thrashed Motherwell 4-0 at Fir Park and remained top of the Premiership thanks to a midweek double from Jota at Pittodrie in February.

The visitors were two goals to the good after 20 minutes with counters from the Portuguese winger and midfielder Matt O’Riley, both back in the side.

Celtic looked well in control until goals after the break from Dons striker Christian Ramirez and midfielder Lewis Ferguson drew the home side level but Jota quickly scored a dramatic second to put the Hoops back in front.

The win kept them one point ahead of Rangers at the top of the Premiership.

Greek tragedy averted

Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrating after scoring a dramatic late winner against Dundee.SNS Group
Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrating after scoring a dramatic late winner against Dundee.

Giorgos Giakoumakis’ dramatic late strike completed his hat-trick and gave Celtic a 3-2 win over Dundee that stretched their lead at the top of the Premiership to three points.

The Greece forward fired in a winner in the 86th minute to capitalise fully on Rangers’ 1-1 draw against Dundee United earlier in the day.

Title in touching distance after glory in Govan

Cameron Carter-Vickers scored the winner at Ibrox in April.SNS Group
Cameron Carter-Vickers scored the winner at Ibrox in April.

Celtic opened up a significant six-point gap over Rangers at the top of the Premiership with a 2-1 comeback win at Ibrox in April.

Gers’ on-loan midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored just three minutes into his first Old Firm game with a close-range finish, but Hoops midfielder Tom Rogic levelled four minutes later and defender Cameron Carter-Vickers had the 700 travelling fans in raptures when he fired the visitors ahead just before the interval with a goal that proved decisive.

The victory confirmed a 12-point swing in the title race this season.

Saints slaughtered 7-0

Liel Abada celebrates making it 7-0 as Celtic rout St Johnstone.SNS Group
Liel Abada celebrates making it 7-0 as Celtic rout St Johnstone.

Postecoglou stressed the importance of his whole Celtic squad after taking a step closer to the Premiership title with a scintillating 7-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday.

Goals from Hatate, Giakoumakis and Maeda gave the relentless Hoops a comfortable interval lead.

Juranovic added a fourth from the spot early in the second half and O’Riley scored twice in three minutes before fellow substitute Abada hammered in a seventh.

Crossing the finish line

Hearts' goalkeeper Craig Gordon can't keep Kyogo's header from going over the line to make it 2-1.SNS Group
Hearts’ goalkeeper Craig Gordon can’t keep Kyogo’s header from going over the line to make it 2-1.

Celtic effectively put the Scottish Premiership title beyond the reach of Rangers after coming from behind to beat Hearts 4-1.

The victory put Celtic nine points and 22 goals ahead of Rangers. It also made it 30 league games unbeaten, since the Hoops lost 1-0 away to Livingston last September.

The second goal was the key moment in the match. Hearts keeper Craig Gordon scooped away Furuhashi’s header after Jota had headed O’Riley’s cross across the goal line but assistant referee Dougie Potter signalled for a goal.

Television replays vindicated his decision.

The third and fourth goals duly arrived and Celtic Park went into full celebratory mode.

Tannadice title party

Giakoumakis headed Celtic into the lead at Tannadice.SNS Group
Giakoumakis headed Celtic into the lead at Tannadice.

A large travelling Hoops support descended on Tayside knowing anything other than defeat would see their team crowned champions for a 10th time in 11 seasons after Rangers interrupted their run of dominance last term.

Celtic looked set to get over the line in victorious fashion when Giakoumakis opened the scoring with his 15th goal of the campaign after the break but Dylan Levitt hit back for the hosts.

In the end, a draw suited both teams as Postecoglou was able to savour confirmation of title glory in his first season in charge of the Parkhead side, while United sealed their place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers.