Champions Celtic finish on winning note, Kilmarnock take third
GLASGOW – Celtic capped their eighth successive Scottish Premiership title-winning campaign with a 2-1 win over Hearts, while Kilmarnock finished third thanks to victory against Rangers on Sunday.
In a dress rehearsal for next weekend's Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Hearts, both sides made a host of changes at Parkhead.
Amid a celebratory atmosphere, 20-year-old Michael Johnston fired in the opener with less than two minutes gone.
That was cancelled out in the 17th minute by a fine curled finish from Hearts winger Jake Mulraney.
Sixteen-year-old Karamoko Dembele was given his Celtic debut in the second half, but it was fellow prospect Johnston who scored the winner with a fine run and low drive.
A Hoops victory in the Scottish Cup final would seal an unprecedented domestic treble for a third successive season.
Steve Clarke is set to leave Kilmarnock with a farewell gift of a third-place finish after Eamonn Brophy’s late penalty saw off second-placed Rangers 2-1 at Rugby Park.
With the Killie boss expected to be named the new Scotland manager this week, Clarke was hoping to leave on the back of the Ayrshire outfit’s highest league finish since 1966.
And Clarke – watching from the stands after receiving a ban for criticising referee Steven McLean – got his wish as Brophy drilled home from the spot in the 89th minute.
The hosts got off to a perfect start when Chris Burke fired home against his old side, only for Alfredo Morelos to turn up the tension with his 30th goal of the season – and his 10th against Killie – midway through the second half.
But Brophy kept his nerve late on to ensure his team will be heading abroad for their first European adventure in 18 years next term.
Aberdeen missed out on an automatic Europa League berth despite a 2-1 win at Hibernian.
The Dons came from behind to secure victory as Sam Cosgrove and James Wilson both scored after Marc McNulty had given Paul Heckingbottom’s side the lead.
Aberdeen now need Celtic to beat Hearts in the Cup final if they are to claim the last European spot.AFP