Saints claims Europa League spot
St Johnstone claimed third spot in the Scottish Premier League –
and the final Europa League berth – after ending the season with a
2-0 victory over Motherwell.
A 1-0 defeat for nearest rivals Inverness in the Highland derby
at Ross County meant the three points were enough for Saints to
beat Terry Butcher’s men to European football.
Goals from Liam Craig and Nigel Hasselbaink secured the win
against a Motherwell side who were already confirmed as SPL
Inverness were denied a Europa League place following their
first Highland derby defeat of the season.
Andre Hainault’s well-executed volley two minutes before the
break saw Caley Thistle fall at the final hurdle in their quest to
seal an unlikely European debut.
Inverness had not lost in five games against the Dingwall side
this season but they were second best on Sunday after struggling to
cope without several midfielders.
It was a cruel end to their most successful season, which also
saw them lose a Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final penalty
shootout to Hearts.
Celtic finished off their SPL campaign in style with a
convincing 4-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.
Kris Commons gave the champions the lead with a 30-yard
free-kick in the 11th minute before Georgios Samaras helped himself
to a double, the first with a deflected drive in the 17th minute
and the second a header 10 minutes later.
Neil Lennon’s side retained their grip on proceedings in the
second half, but only added to their lead with five minutes
remaining when substitute Anthony Stokes, on for Commons, made it
4-0, also with the help of a deflection.
It was a perfect warm-up for the Hoops ahead of next week’s
Scottish Cup final against Hibernian at Hampden where they will
look to clinch the double.