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Celtic wins eighth straight Scottish league title

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ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) Celtic won the Scottish league title for the eighth straight year on Saturday, completing the second leg in its bid to clinch a domestic treble for the third straight season.

A 3-0 win at Aberdeen moved Celtic into an unassailable 12-point lead in the Scottish Premiership.

Having already collected the Scottish League Cup, Celtic will wrap up the treble if it wins the Scottish Cup final against Hearts on May 25.

Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Odsonne Edouard scored Celtic’s goals at Pittodrie to seal the team’s 26th win in 36 league games in the campaign.

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Gerrard’s Rangers thumped by Liverpool U-23’s in first half “embarrassment”

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Steven Gerrard was left red-faced after a squad of first-team fringe players fell behind 4-0 in the first half of a closed-door friendly against the Liverpool U-23 side.

While Rangers came back in the second half to secure a 4-4 draw, Gerrard will use the opening 45 minutes to weed out some players who are struggling. “First half was an embarrassment and the second half was fantastic,” Gerrard said of the match. “It was a very useful exercise for different reasons but in terms of us as staff, we learnt so much about the players individually.”

The former Liverpool star said that he was frustrated by the players he felt needed game time, but praised four young teenagers who came on for the second half and turned the game around. While officially the players were unnamed, reports on social media say Dapo Mebude, Kai Kennedy, Josh McPake, and Glenn Middleton – all 17 or 18 years old – came on for the second half and made an impact, with Mebude scoring a brace plus goals from McPake and Middleton to lead the comeback.

When asked about the purpose for holding the match, Gerrard explained that fitness was a key component, but admitted that some first-team players were participants in the first-half drubbing. “Well I think it’s a few different reasons really,” Gerrard said to the club’s official video channel. “The first was to give people game-time who haven’t played as much. We want to try and keep them as sharp and as fit as possible for the run-in. And the other reason was to have a look at some young talent that had been doing really well in the Reserves or the 18s and give them an opportunity to be around the first-team lads and see how they can cope playing against good players at Ibrox.”

Gerrard said that he learned a lot from the match, which could be ominous for the players who were on the field in the first 45 minutes. “It was a very useful game. I probably learned more in that 90 minutes about the players than I have done all season because it was a game of two halves.”

Rangers sit second in the Scottish Premiership table, nine points behind rivals Celtic with four matches to go. Liverpool’s U-23 side has the chance to finish as high as second in the Premier League 2 table with one match remaining, behind Everton who was already confirmed as champions.

WATCH: USMNT’s Weah scores winner for Celtic

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon hasn’t been starting PSG loanee Tim Weah, so perhaps scoring when the boss wrote his name in the XI will help change that.

Making his first league start since Brendan Rodgers left for Leicester City, Weah nodded the Bhoys over the line in the 14th minute.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 3-0 Brighton and Hove Albion ]

The 19-year-old American now has four goals on his loan stint, three coming in league play, and has also produced an assist.

Weah’s versatility has found him at left wing, center forward, and right wing.

Celtic leads second place Rangers by 13 points.

Gerrard takes blame as another Morelos red costs Rangers in derby

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Alfredo Morelos has 29 goals and 11 assists this season for Rangers, but it’ll be difficult to remember the campaign for anything other than a color other than his side’s blue or the green-and-white of his rivals Celtic.

Red, as in the color of the card shown to him for elbowing Scott Brown in the Old Firm Derby on Sunday, giving him five dismissals on the season and helping Celtic earn a 2-1 win over Steven Gerrard‘s feisty visitors.

[ MORE: Celtic top Rangers ]

Morelos had just been clipped on the back of the leg during off-the-ball play, and threw his elbow back at Brown. The wily Celtic captain made the most of the contact and red was shown in the 31st minute.

Early reports say Rangers will fine Morelos a week’s wages, and Gerrard said he “can’t defend him anymore.”

But he’s also pretty angry with Brown, whose altercation with Ryan Kent after Celtic’s second goal helped up the venom in an already vicious rivalry.

From the BBC:

“You’re playing against a player who loves to antagonize. Morelos and Kent are both provoked. Celtic fans have the right to celebrate but to do it right in your face, Halliday has the right to protect his own people.

“The guy who antagonized it all from the beginning deserves to be punished as well. When you’re provoked, it’s only fair that both sides get punished in my view.

Morelos’ first red came in the 12th minute on Opening Day, a 1-1 draw at Aberdeen. Remarkably, he’s twice more been sent off against Aberdeen in league play plus Sunday’s red and another in the last match of Europa League qualifying.

Those are all big games. Rangers are understandably 1W-1D-2L in the four league matches, and have dropped four points in matches he missed through suspension.

Now Rangers are 13 points behind their Glasgow neighbors.

“The gap was already big and it’s even bigger now. The buck stops with me and I’m ready for that. We will move forward from this and try to finish the season as strong as we can.”

Celtic outlasts 10-man Rangers in instant classic

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Old Firm Derby matches always carry intrigue, but this one carried that from moment one to the final whistle.

James Forrest’s 86th minute goal rescued Neil Lennon’s Celtic from what would’ve been an embarrassing draw against their 10-man rivals Rangers at Celtic Park.

It would’ve been a banner day for Rangers under Steven Gerrard, who weathered a red card to Alfredo Morelos to find an equalizer.

Odsonne Eduoard had a goal and an assist for Celtic, who now lead the table by 13 points.

[ MORE: English Championship focus ]

The Bhoys, looking to avenge a first Old Firm loss in ages, went ahead through Edouard in the 27th minute and looked to be in fine shape once Morelos earned his fifth (!!!) red card of the season four minutes later when he threw an elbow into Scott Brown.

But absolutely shocking defense from Celtic allowed Rangers to equalize through Ryan Kent, who scored the winner at the Ibrox, with the visitors’ first shot attempt of the match.

The ending was insane. Eduoard set up Forrest for the winner, a composed finish given the atmosphere, but Rangers kept coming forward.

Celtic cleared a goal mouth scramble wide through Kristoffer Ajer, and goalkeeper Scott Bain rescued the ensuing corner.

It all kicked off after the match, with James Tavernier, Bain, Kent, and Scott Brown at the heart of an on-field, post-whistle shoving match.

Here’s the winner.