07 March 2021

A look at Scotland’s other rapid league wins as Rangers clinch title early

07 March 2021

Rangers have wrapped up the Scottish Premiership title after nearest challengers and Old Firm rivals Celtic failed to win at Dundee United on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard’s side still have six games left to play.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some other early title wins in Scotland.


Brendan Rodgers’ Invincibles did not lose a single domestic match as Celtic cruised to an unbeaten treble. The league – the Hoops’ sixth in a row – was clinched with eight games to spare following a 5-0 thrashing of Hearts at Tynecastle on April 2 as Rodgers’ men celebrated Scotland’s earliest title triumph in 88 years.


Neil Lennon's Celtic won the title with seven games to spare (PA Archive)

Neil Lennon’s Celtic clinched the title on March 26 with a 5-1 away win against Partick Thistle. The title was sealed with seven games remaining as the Parkhead men ultimately finished 19 points ahead of Motherwell to make it three in a row. Attacking midfielder Kris Commons was the league’s top scorer with 27 goals.


Celtic secured their second title under Martin O’Neill with a 5-1 thrashing of Livingston on April 6. They finished on a record 103 points, 18 ahead of Alex McLeish’s Rangers. They were denied consecutive trebles with defeat to their Old Firm rivals in the Scottish Cup final.


Billy Dodds fires the title winning goal for Rangers in Perth (PA Archive)

Rangers won the title for the second successive year finishing 21 points ahead of nearest rivals Celtic. Dick Advocaat’s side clinched their second successive title as Billy Dodds’ double sealed a 2-0 win at St Johnstone on April 23. The Light Blues lost only two league games all season while Celtic struggled under John Barnes, who was replaced by director of football Kenny Dalglish during the season.


Colin Stein was the Rangers hero back in 1975 (PA Archive)

Rangers had to wait 10 years for their 35th title success but they had it wrapped up on March 29 as they ended Celtic’s run of nine consecutive championships. Colin Stein’s goal in a 1-1 draw against his former club Hibernian at Easter Road was enough to earn Rangers the point they needed.


Jock Stein's Hoops squad had the championship wrapped up by late March in 1970 (PA Archive)

Celtic’s domination of Scottish football under Jock Stein escalated with their fifth successive title when they finished 12 points clear of Rangers. They clinched the title with a goalless draw against Hearts at Tynecastle on March 28. Tommy Gemmell had a penalty saved to deny Celtic a win but the celebrations were not dampened. The Hoops lost the European Cup final against Feyenoord five weeks later.


Hibernian wrapped up their third championship on April 11 with a 4-0 win over Clyde at Shawfield. They ultimately finished 10 points ahead of runners-up Rangers, mainly thanks to their Famous Five front line. Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Turnbull accounted for 67 of the 78 goals they scored.


Bill Struth’s Rangers clinched the title with eight games to spare after a 1-1 draw with Falkirk on March 16. They had won 27 of their previous 29 games before the Ibrox stalemate and went on to finish 16 points ahead of Celtic, losing only once in 38 matches.


Hibernian famously won the Scottish Cup in 1902 before their 114-year wait to bring the trophy back to Leith. But they did not have long to go before their next piece of silverware. They won the league later that year, on December 20, with a 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill. The regular league season ended in January with other competitions, often more local, filling the void. They went on to win the league by six points from Dundee after 16 wins in 22 matches.

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