SPL review

Celtic bow out in style, Saints pip Caley

May 19, 2013

Celtic finished off their Scottish Premier League campaign in style with a convincing 4-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

Georgios Samaras scored to put Celtic two goals up against Dundee United
GettyImagesGeorgios Samaras scored to put Celtic two goals up against Dundee United

Kris Commons gave the champions the lead with a 30-yard free-kick in the 11th minute before Georgios Samaras helped himself to a double, the first with a deflected drive in the 17th minute and the second a header 10 minutes later.

Neil Lennon's side retained their grip on proceedings in the second half, but only added to their lead with five minutes remaining when substitute Anthony Stokes, on for Commons, made it 4-0, also with the help of a deflection.

It was a perfect warm-up for the Hoops ahead of next week's Scottish Cup final against Hibernian at Hampden where they will look to clinch the Double. For United boss Jackie McNamara it was confirmation of the problems he will have to solve for next season, most of which, on this evidence, lie in defence.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle were denied a Europa League place following their first Highland derby defeat of the season, a 1-0 reverse at Ross County.

Andre Hainault's well-executed volley two minutes before the break, coupled with St Johnstone's 2-0 win over Motherwell, saw Caley Thistle fall at the final hurdle in their quest to seal an unlikely European debut.

Inverness had not lost in five games against the Dingwall side this season but they were second best today after struggling to cope without several midfielders.

It was a cruel end to their most successful season, which also saw them lose a Scottish League Cup semi-final penalty shootout to Hearts.

Terry Butcher's side had not been out of the Scottish Premier League top three since November and had the chance to seal a European spot last weekend but blew a one-goal lead at home to Dundee United.

St Johnstone claimed third place and the final Europa League berth - after ending the season with a 2-0 victory over Motherwell.

Goals from Liam Craig and Nigel Hasselbaink secured the win against a Motherwell side who were already confirmed as SPL runners-up.

And the result meant Steve Lomas was able to deliver continental football for a second successive year after facing Turks Eskisehirspor last time.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report