Celtic effectively put the Scottish Premiership title beyond the reach of Rangers after coming from behind to beat Hearts 4-1.

The victory put Celtic nine points and 22 goals ahead of Rangers, who have three games left starting with Sunday's Ibrox clash with Dundee United.

Only an unprecedented collapse could prevent Celtic officially confirming their 10th title in 11 seasons before or after their final two cinch Premiership games against Dundee United and Motherwell.

The Celtic Park crowd were not waiting to celebrate as they hailed the achievements of Ange Postecoglou and his players, who lost their first three away games of the campaign before embarking on an unbeaten league run that stands at 30 games.


Ellis Simms threatened to spoil the party when he fired Hearts into an early lead but Celtic turned the game around before half-time in controversial fashion through goals from Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi.

Matt O'Riley's goal midway through the second half put the game and the destiny of the title beyond doubt and substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis got in on the goalscoring act.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou hailed his side for the manner of their final surge towards the finishing line.

Postecoglou said: "I said to the boys before the game that there are many ways you can finish something off.

"You can collapse through the finishing tape or you can go through it at top speed, and that’s what we want to do. It’s what we’ve been doing all year.

"We’ll go hard on Wednesday and get back here and go hard again in the last game."

Nobody within the Celtic camp was declaring title victory but there was a celebratory feel to the post-match lap of honour.

"There is nothing wrong with enjoying the journey," Postecoglou said. "It’s not always just about the destination.

"I thought it was a top performance from the boys and for us that’s the greatest reward you can get, to see the joy that it brings other people.

"Whether that’s your own family and the people who love you, or the supporters who love this football club."

Kyogo Furuhashi put Celtic in front just before the break

Hearts started on the front foot and took the lead inside three minutes as Simms lashed home from 12 yards after Liam Boyce had helped on Alex Cochrane's cross. Carl Starfelt appealed for offside as he failed to cut out the flick-on but his trailing leg was probably playing Simms on.

The on-loan Everton forward had a chance to add to his tally but Josh Ginnelly's cross was inches too high and he could not get enough power on his header to beat Joe Hart.

Celtic pushed forward and Craig Gordon made an excellent stop from David Turnbull before saving Furuhashi's header. Turnbull then teed up O'Riley but the midfielder's effort was headed clear by Stephen Kingsley.

Despite the pressure, there was an audible anxiety among the home fans when moves broke down.

The home nerves calmed on the half-hour mark when Jota burst through the Hearts back line on the counter-attack and squared for Maeda to sweep home.

The visitors complained strongly to referee Don Robertson that Toby Sibbick had been fouled by Celtic skipper Callum McGregor when possession was turned over.

There were more arguments as Celtic went ahead seven minutes later.

Gordon scooped away Furuhashi's header after Jota had headed O'Riley's cross across the goal line but assistant referee Dougie Potter signalled for a goal. Television replays vindicated his decision.

Celtic could have moved clear before half-time but Gordon saved from O'Riley's free header.

Maeda failed to make the most of two chances early in the second half and O'Riley struck the inside of the post from 18 yards.

The tension reappeared as Hearts came back into the game and forced several set-pieces but the atmosphere was transformed in the 69th minute.

Jota was involved again, bringing down a high ball and feeding Greg Taylor's overlap. The left-back's deep cross was taken down by O'Riley and the midfielder side-footed the ball inside the far post.

Celtic Park went into celebratory mode and James Forrest and Reo Hatate came close to further extending the goal difference advantage before Giakoumakis fired home the fourth in the last minute following Forrest's cutback.

Dundee are all-but relegated to the Championship after they suffered a 2-0 defeat to St Mirren at The SMiSA Stadium.

The Buddies did not take long to open the scoring when Alex Grieve fired home in the fourth minute and Curtis Main's effort in the 55th minute was enough to earn victory.

Jack Fitzwater’s late strike rescued a point for Livingston as they drew 1-1 with St Johnstone at Tony Macaroni Arena.

The visitors took the lead in the 76th minute when Glenn Middleton was on hand to head home James Brown’s cross, but Fitzwater struck in stoppage time with a finish from inside the six-yard box.

Kevin van Veen’s penalty in the 68th minute helped Motherwell beat Ross County 1-0 for their first victory in four games.

Paul McGinn scored in the 83rd minute to earn Hibernian a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Easter Road.

The Dons opened the scoring in the 55th minute when Jonny Hayes delivered a ball to the back post and Declan Gallagher nodded to David Bates for the finish.

But Hibernian earned a point when James Scott headed a cross into the path of McGinn, who poked home from close range.