Rangers rolls to third straight SPL title

Rangers’ Steven Naismith celebrates with the Scottish Premier League 2010/2011 season winner’s...

Rangers’ Steven Naismith celebrates with the Scottish Premier League 2010/2011 season winner’s trophy after their soccer match victory against Kilmarnock in Scotland May 15, 2011. REUTERS/David Moir

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, Last Updated: 4:11 AM ET

 

Rangers secured its third straight Scottish Premier League title on Sunday with a 5-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Walter Smith's side wasted little time in seizing the advantage as Kyle Lafferty scored in the opening minute of the game and Steven Naismith doubled the lead a few minutes later.

Lafferty then tallied his second goal of the match after just eight minutes to give the visitors a commanding 3-0 lead.

Nikica Jelavic scored his 16th goal of the season in the 49th minute to extend the lead, while Lafferty completed his hat trick four minutes later before the home side pulled a goal back through James Dayton.

Rangers entered Sunday's match one point clear of second-place Celtic, but the early barrage of goals took any suspense out of the match early and it also helped to send Smith out in style as he will step down as Rangers manager now that the season is over.

Celtic 4, Motherwell 0

Glasgow, Scotland - Celtic did its part on Sunday in earning a 4-0 win over Motherwell at Parkhead, but Rangers held on to the top spot in the league with a win of its own.

Celtic needed a loss or a draw from Rangers to have any chance at clinching the title, but the Hoops put in a strong performance anyway as first-half goals from Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras put the club on its way to a fourth win in five games.

Shaun Maloney added a third goal early in the second half and Patrick McCourt capped the scoring 20 minutes from time, leaving Celtic one point back of Rangers.

Motherwell ends the season on a six-game winless streak.

Dundee United 2, Hearts 1

Dundee, Scotland - Jon Daly's goal in the 71st minute handed Dundee United a 2-1 win over Hearts at Tannadice Park on Sunday, giving United three wins from its last five games.

David Goodwillie's 17th goal of the season put the hosts in front after 22 minutes, but his opener was canceled out on the half-hour mark by Gary Glen for Hearts.

Daly then tallied the winner in the second half, leaving Hearts without a win in its final eight games of the season.

 


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