Reaction: Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and his players celebrate Scottish Premiership title in style at Tannadice

The Hoops have been crowned champions after drawing 1-1 with Dundee United in their penultimate game of the season
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Celtic have wrestled back the Scottish Premiership title from Rangers at the first time of asking after reversing a 25-point deficit last season.

The Hoops drew 1-1 with Dundee United at Tannadice to wrap up the trophy - 14 months on from the end of their disasterous ten-in-a-row bid.

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New manager Ange Postecoglou faced a mammoth task as he immediately set about addressing the state of the squad he had inherited in June last year.

Celtic fans celebrate after the cinch Premiership match at Tannadice Park, Dundee. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022.Celtic fans celebrate after the cinch Premiership match at Tannadice Park, Dundee. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022.
Celtic fans celebrate after the cinch Premiership match at Tannadice Park, Dundee. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022.

Joe Hart, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Josip Juranovic, Liel Abada, Carl Starfelt and Kyogo Furuhashi joined the Parkhead club, while loanees Cameron Carter-Vickers and Felipe Jota also committed to Postecoglou’s revolution.

The early signs were far from positive after suffering defeat to FC Midtjylland 3-2 on aggregate in the Champions League second qualifying round before a 2-1 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle on the opening day of the season.

An narrow Old Firm defeat to Rangers in August was another early setback but Postecoglou remained calm and continued to go about his work in a quiet and organised manner.

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After finishing third in the Europa League group stages, Celtic dropped into the new Europa Conference League but their domestic form had been improving at a rate of knots.

However, reigning champions Rangers appeared firmly in the driving seat heading into the winter break, despite Postecoglou securing his first piece of silverware as Hoops boss in December.

Celtic’s response during the second half of the season was emphatic.

Their League Cup triumph at Hampden coupled with the January additions of exiciting Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and creative midfielder Matt O’Riley increased expectation levels.

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A two-legged defeat to Norwegian champions FK Bodo/Glimt in February was a blow as Celtic suffered an early European exit, but since then they have been almost flawless.

A Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to their bitter rivals would prove to be the only minor disappointment of a near-perfect second half of their domestic campaign.

Rangers, who held a six-point lead on Boxing Day, let their stunning European exploits begin to effect their league form and the Hoops took full advantage, embarking on a tremendous unbeaten streak.

It had been a heroic effort from Postecoglou and his players. The emotion displayed at the full-time whistle last night told its own story.

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A speechless Postecoglou told Sky Sports: “It feels pretty special, mate. Probably the first time this year I’m lost for words.

“Just an enormous effort and I’m really proud of the players, staff and supporters. No one gave us much of a chance at the start of the season and to achieve what we have done, the ultimate, is a big effort.

“The fans have had a tough time. Not just the fact we didn’t win anything but the fact they couldn’t come out and support their team.

“They were right behind us from day one. I couldn’t be happier and I’m just really proud. They’ve been unbeliavable.

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“I think our football has been outstanding but the character this tesm has shown to get through the last 31 games and rise to every challenge, I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“Tonight was a bit nervy but that is only natural. You get so close there will be nerves but we got the job done.”

Goal scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis, who netted the decisive opening goal at Tannadice before Dylan Levitt hauled United back on level terms, admitted: “This is one of the moments you won’t forget for the rest of your life.

“It was an amazing feeling scoring that goal. It was the goal that secured the title. We would’ve liked to have sealed it with the win, but we are champions, that is all that matters.”

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Right-back Anthony Ralston was awarded man of the match - further evidence of a player who has developed massively under Postecoglou’s guidance this season added.

He stated: “Each to a man, everyone in the squad has been amazing this season. We’ve been faced with challenges along the way but we’ve approahced them head on.

“I’m absolutely delighted, buzzing. We never stop. All the way to today. On Saturday we go in with the same attitude even though it is done.

“(Ange) has been great. He’s had a huge effect on the players. The style of play he’s brought is something we’ve all adapted to and believed in. He is why we are where we are today.”

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Skipper Callum McGregor, who will lift the trophy this Saturday after their match against Motherwell commented: “Absolutely delighted.

“This group of players deserve this moment so much. The fans have been unbeliavable all season.

“It took us a while to get going tonight but we’re going to enjoy this moment. We were a little bit off it in terms of the penetrataion and the quality we’ve shown.

“But the hard work has been done and it was a case of just getting over the line and we can enjoy Saturday now.

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“It means absolutely everything to me. It’s a super proud moment for my family but I couldn’t do it without this group of players, the managers, and aall the staff at Lennoxtown. They’ve been first-class.”

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