Celtic 4-1 Inverness CT: Second half goals blitz helps Hoops secure SPL crown

Gary Hooper claimed his 26th and 27th goal of the season to help confirm the destination of the Scottish title, with Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras also on the scoresheet

A double from Gary Hooper and goals from Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras helped Celtic secure the SPL crown with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Inverness CT.

Despite Aaron Doran's late consolation, the victory confirmed the Glasgow giants as champions with four games remaining and a Scottish Cup final against Hibernian in their sights.

The Parkhead side made only one alteration to the side that defeated Dundee United at Hampden Park in the semi-final of that competition, with goal hero Anthony Stokes starting in place of Emilio Izaguirre.

Terry Butcher made one change to the side that played out a goalless draw at home to St Johnstone, with Daniel Devine making way for Gary Warren, while long-term injury victim Chris Hogg found a place on the bench.

Most of the early play was in the middle of the park, with neither keeper having much in the way of shots at goal to deal with in the opening stages. Billy McKay threatened for Inverness, while Kris Commons' effort was easily saved by Antonio Reguero.

The first real chance came the way of James Forrest with 20 minutes gone. After the visitors had failed to properly clear a Commons strike at goal, the young winger took aim from the edge of the area but his shot sailed wide of goal.

In the closing stages of the half Celtic continued to press forward, with Stokes called offside as he rolled the ball into the net.

Celtic started the second half in the same vain in which they finished the first, with Commons having a shot blocked before Hooper fired the rebound over the bar.

Lennon's side should have taken the lead with 11 minutes of the second period gone when Efe Ambrose rose unchallenged to meet a Commons corner, but the Nigerian could only direct his header over the bar.

On the hour mark they deservedly took the lead when Commons cut inside from the left and played a ball through the Inverness defence that found Hooper, who turned and slotted into the bottom corner.

Six minutes later the Parkhead party got into full swing as Mikael Lustig made his way down the right-hand side and located Ledley on the edge of the area, who doubled the lead with a placed shot.

The home side bagged a third almost immediately as Inverness failed to clear the lines, allowing Commons to direct a pass from the left wing to Hooper, who flicked the ball through his own legs and past Reguero for his second of the game.

With only two minutes left, substitute Samaras got in on the act, cutting in from the left-hand side and smashing the ball into the back of the net.

Deep into injury time the visitors did get a goal back after a mistake from Ambrose allowed Doran to nip in and poke the ball past Fraser Forster for a consolation, but that would not stop Celtic's title party.