Soccer Digest: Scottish League title goes to Celtic FC
“The crowd were magnificent again. I know I have said it so many times but they genuinely were the 12th man today, the way they sang and it filtered onto the pitch.”
Some pundits have suggested the gloss has been taken off Celtic’s title win by the financial problems at Rangers, but striker Kris Commons disagreed after the win at Kilmarnock when he was asked if his team had won the league by default.
“Not at all – and we’re looking to increase our winning margin,” said Commons. “The 10-point deduction for Rangers has made it wide open between first and second. Now we want to win the Double and maintain this form.
“The championship is everything we’ve been working towards since pre-season. To cap it off with a performance like that and win in style against Kilmarnock was fantastic.
“All eyes are now on Hearts in the semifinal of the Scottish Cup on Saturday. It’s the next big game for us and we can’t wait. Hopefully we can celebrate with a double at the end of the season.”
Like Mulgrew, Commons paid tribute to the Hoops fans. He said, “You can see what this means to them. We’ll do a helluva lot of celebrating before we get back in training on Monday with all eyes on the cup semifinal.”
Richard Dunne has opted not to travel to America to continue his recovery from a recent shoulder injury and will instead step up his rehab at Aston Villa.
The Irish defender underwent surgery after fracturing a collarbone and had been expected to travel to the Cleveland Browns, also owned by Villa chief Randy Lerner, for treatment.
“Richard didn’t go because he’s got a lot of football rehab to do and he would not get it out there, so we decided against it because he’s making quite good progress,” said Villa manager Alex McLeish.
“I think he’s kind of on schedule for the repair of the break, so we have to adhere to that. We can’t rush him back. But he’s training well.
“He’s not training with the team at the moment -- he’s training on his own but he feels good. He’s doing some running and strength work, strengthening of the shoulder area with light weights and things like that.”
Dunne remains on target to make a Premier League return with Villa ahead of the European Championships in Poland this summer.
Teenager Craig Forrester scored a wonder goal as St. Patrick’s Athletic hammered league champions Shamrock Rovers 5-1 in the Dublin derby on Friday night. Forrester and Christy Fagan scored two goals each as Rovers lost in the league for the first time this season.
Sligo went top of the table thanks to a 2-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds with Drogheda now joint second after a 1-0 victory at Monaghan United.
Dinny Corcoran scored Bohemian’s first goal of the season as they beat Cork City 1-0 at Dalymount Park. Derry drew 0-0 with UCD and Dundalk and Shelbourne shared the spoils at Oriel Park.
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