You know how Paris Saint-Germain (bless their hearts) literally won Ligue 1 last year with a ton of games to spare after dealing a 9-0 smashing to ESTAC Troyes on the road? Well, a similar happenstance took place Saturday at Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh with Celtic FC.
Brendan Rogers’s Celtic FC rode on a hat trick from Scott Sinclair in the 24th, 27th and 84th minutes, a 55th minute insurance goal from Stuart Armstrong and another 61st minute insurance strike from Patrick Roberts to shut out Ian Cathro’s Heart of Midlothian 5-0 who included former MLS/D.C. United standout Perry Kitchen, to win their 48th Scottish Premiership title with eight games to go – their sixth straight league title. The title, as promised, was dedicated to Tommy Burns, who died of skin cancer less than a decade ago. Burns was a former player and coach for Celtic who passed away on May 15, 2008.
“In the first eight games you can’t win the title, but you can lose it,” said Rodgers in his explanation behind Celtic’s rock-solid domestic form. “In those games we put down a marker. We were not at our fluent best but we showed good signs mentally. We then gained confidence from the Champions League. We thought, ‘Right, we have qualified for the group stage but we need to play the game in a better way.’
“Winning at Hearts on the first day was important as was beating Aberdeen at home. Then the Rangers game was a good moment for us but, even then, I didn’t think we were set. I knew there was still plenty improvement to come. We want to arrive at the semi-final of (the Scottish Cup) in the best possible place we can be. I’m one of the ones who is never satisfied to be honest. After the League Cup win I was happy, I was happy for the players, I was happy that we’d won it. It was our 100th trophy but we had to look forward to the next one. We have got goals to achieve. It will be a brilliant achievement when we do it and the pleasure for me is that relationship between the training field and the pitch, how well they have done. I’ll be happy, but not totally satisfied.”
Moussa Dembele leads the Hoops in goals scored with 17. Sinclair has 15 goals while Armstrong has 11. Also key to the team’s production have been Leigh Griffiths (eight goals) and Socceroo Tom Rogic (six goals). The Hoops’s next major test will most likely come from eternal rival Rangers on April 23 at Celtic Park in Glasgow. Prior to the Old Firm tie in the Scottish Cup, Celtic’s next matches are at home to Patrick Thistle (Apr. 5) and Kilmarnock (Apr. 8), and away to Ross County (Apr. 16).