Celtic clinches third straight Scottish Premier League title with win vs. Patrick Thistle
MAR 26, 2014 5:59p ET
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Celtic clinched its third straight Scottish league title in stylish fashion on Wednesday, beating Partick Thistle 5-1 to take an unassailable 26-point lead in the standings with seven matches still to play.
Anthony Stokes scored twice and Liam Henderson, Stefan Johansen and Kris Commons grabbed the other goals for Celtic, which secured the championship at the earliest date in the calendar since 1929.
With fierce Glasgow rival Rangers spending its second season out of the top flight as punishment for financial mismanagement, Celtic has had free reign in the Scottish Premiership over the past two years.
Neil Lennon's side has lost just one league game all season on its way to sealing a 45th league title. Rangers has won 54 championships.
Neil Lennon described his Celtic side as "breathtaking" after they clinched the Scottish Premiership title with an emphatic 5-1 win over Partick at Firhill.
Anthony Stokes headed the visitors into the lead in the third minute before 17-year-old substitute Liam Henderson, on for right-back Adam Matthews at the start of the second-half, opened his Celtic account in the 49th minute with a low drive from 12 yards.
Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen added a third in the 53rd minute to confirm the superiority of the visitors, who responded to losing a late goal to Jags substitute Christie Elliott by scoring another two through Stokes and Kris Commons.
It secured a third successive title for Celtic and afterwards the boss said: "They finished it with the way we want them to play.
"In the second half some of the football was breathtaking. You could feel it over the last couple of weeks, the anticipation building and the style in which we finished it was fantastic, symptomatic of the way this team is."
Lennon added: "This title win is better. The next one is always better. This has been the most consistent in the league, although the cups were disappointing this season. But certainly the league form was magnificent. To lose one game and break a clean sheet record into the bargain, it has been an exceptional."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.