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Rangers clinch Scottish Premiership title after Celtic fail to beat Dundee United

todayMarch 7, 2021

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Rangers have officially been crowned Scottish Premiership champions for the first time in a decade after Celtic failed to find a breakthrough against Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday afternoon.

Wild celebrations ensued at Ibrox on Saturday after Steven Gerrard’s team beat St Mirren to go 21 points clear. With seven games left to play, Celtic knew they had to be at their best to keep their rivals waiting at least another week before formally clinching the trophy.

They dominated proceedings in Dundee, as opposing keeper Benjamin Siegrist was forced into more saves in a single game (12) than any keeper in the Premiership this season.

John Kennedy’s team peppered the Swiss keeper’s goal, with David Turnbull going closest to opening the scoring with a drive from the edge of the box.

Celtic have been demonstrably poor this season, but a big part of their problem has been an inability to turn strong performances into wins. That cost them at Ibrox back in January when Rangers snatched the win that set them on course for the title, and it was evident again here as they sent a number of good chances wide of the goal.

Diego Laxalt and Mohamed Elyounoussi both skewed efforts into the side netting, and even the introduction of James Forrest – who emerged from the bench for a first appearance since September – was not enough for Celtic to break down an increasingly stubborn United side.

And when Siegrist gratefully snatched Leigh Griffiths’ header out of the air and clutched it into his chest late on, the title race was officially over.

There had been plenty of talk of Rangers winning the title at Parkhead next weekend, but they now sit 20 points clear after 32 games, and will travel to the home of their rivals as champions.

The title was effectively confirmed 24 hours earlier, with the chasm in goal difference between the sides meaning that even if Celtic were to somehow close the gap, they stood no realistic chance of winning the title.

Speaking after Rangers’ win over St Mirren, and the eurphoric celebrations that followed around Glasgow, manager Steven Gerrard – who has now won a league title for the first time in his career – couldn’t hide his emotions.

His side will now take their title-winning momentum into their Europa League tie with Slavia Prague.

“Tonight we want to let this soak and settle in,” he said on Saturday evening. “We’re on a big high because we know we are 99.9% there, and that is an incredible place to be in. This is a monumental achievement, what the players are about to achieve.

“The priority now is to recover ahead of a huge game on Thursday, but it is tough to keep control of a group of players who are on cloud nine.”

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