Football News 2022: Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic virtually seal Scottish title with Heart win

Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic have almost certainly guaranteed a 52nd Scottish league title by coming from behind on Saturday to beat Hearts 4-1.

Celtic almost certainly guaranteed a 52nd Scottish league title by coming from behind on Saturday to beat Hearts 4-1.

Ange Postecoglou’s men are nine points clear of the Europa League finalists Rangers, who have three games left to play.

But Celtic’s superior goal difference of 22 goals means they realistically don’t even need another point to seal the title.

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Rangers’ title defense will mathematically end if they don’t beat Dundee United on Sunday.

The match mirrored Celtic’s season as they started slow before going through the gears.

Hearts inflicted one of only three league defeats on the Hoops on the opening day of the season, threatening to postpone their title party when Ellis Simms knocked home after just three minutes.

Postecoglou was plucked from Yokohama Marinos when Eddie Howe turned his back on Celtic’s offer a year ago.

The Australian’s knowledge of the Japanese market has been crucial to the turnaround for the Glasgow giants, who finished 25 points behind Rangers last season.

The Japanese internationals Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi turned the game around with two goals in seven minutes before half-time.

Maeda shot to the far post after great wing play by Jota. The Portuguese also created Celtic’s second, as he descended on Furuhashi to force the ball over the line from close range.

Matt O’Riley made sure there wasn’t a nerve-wracking final as he finished from a tight corner 21 minutes from time.

Georgios Giakoumakis then came off the bench to round out the score when the Greek drove in James Forrest’s deficit in the last minute.

“There are many ways to get to a finish, but it’s better if you just hit it,” Postecoglou told reporters after the win.

“I never get the idea from this group that they will stray from their course or lose their faith.

“I enjoyed it because you want our fans to feel good. I want them to enjoy it more than anything. The work isn’t done yet, but we’re in a great position.”

— with AFP

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