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Ruthless Celtic wrap up seventh straight title in style by hammering Old Firm rivals Rangers

Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops had it all too easy in this afternoon’s derby.

20-year-old Odsonne Edouard was in fabulous form for Celtic today.
20-year-old Odsonne Edouard was in fabulous form for Celtic today.
Image: Jane Barlow

CHAMPIONS OF SCOTLAND again, Celtic’s seventh straight title was made all the more special by the fact it was bitter rivals Rangers who were embarrassed once more 5-0 to mathematically get Brendan Rodgers’s men over the line.

Despite an understandable slip in standards following a historic treble of domestic trophies without suffering a single defeat last season, there was rarely any doubt who would win the league from the moment the season kicked off in August.

Trailing the champions by 13 points, Rangers — only in their second season back in the top-flight since dropping down to the fourth tier after going into liquidation in 2012 — have a battle with Aberdeen and Hibernian in the remaining three games of the season just to be the second best.

In 11 games against Celtic since being promoted, Rangers are yet win a Glasgow derby and have now conceded 30 goals in nine defeats.

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park Celtic are crowned champions. Source: Ian Rutherford

More history beckons for Rodgers with Celtic just one game away in the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell next month from becoming the first side in Scottish football history to win back-to-back trebles.

The hope from the Celtic supporters and board is that the Northern Irishman will honour the contract he signed last year till 2020 to complete 10-in-a-row and break the previous best nine consecutive titles set by both sides of the Old Firm rivalry.

The former Liverpool manager was quickly linked with taking over at Arsenal when Arsene Wenger announced his decision to leave at the end of the season last week.

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park Hoops fans in party mode at Celtic Park. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Yet, despite constant speculation over whether there is enough of a challenge at Celtic to prevent Rodgers being tempted by a return to the right job in the Premier League, Rodgers himself has insisted there is still plenty for him to achieve at Celtic Park.

“There is still a lot of work for me to do here to achieve on the pitch and off the pitch. But you can only do that if you are happy and, for me, I couldn’t be happier at this club,” said Rodgers.

“Already we are thinking how can we improve for next year, how can we be better in our form and our game? How can we be better in all aspects? So that’s something that is important.”

Having already seen off three Rangers managers, the next appointment at Ibrox could see Rodgers come up against one of his most illustrious former players.

According to reports, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has been offered his first senior role in management at Ibrox come the end of the season.

Gerrard’s presence would restore some of Scottish football’s lost lustre, but trying to end Celtic’s domestic dominance would be a monumental challenge for a rookie manager.

For Celtic, the challenge is to look beyond the goldfish bowl of Glasgow rivalry to register an improvement on the European stage.

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership - Celtic Park Rodgers has done a solid job since taking over in 2016. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Rodgers has successfully navigated a series of tricky early season qualifiers to reach the Champions League group stage in each of his two seasons in charge.

However, Celtic have won just one game of 12 in the Champions League proper in the past two seasons with harrowing thrashings at the hands of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain a reminder that the financial chasm between the European elite and the rest is growing every season.

The newly crowned champions have little time to celebrate. The even tougher task of qualifying for next season’s Champions League with four qualifying rounds to get through starts again in July.

Source: Top Football/YouTube

- © AFP, 2018

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