Celtic ended a run of six away matches without a win as they warmed up for the Scottish Cup final with a comprehensive 4-0 defeat of Dundee United at Tannadice today.
With places in next weekend's showpiece final up for grabs a strong Celtic side impressed from the start as the champions brought down the curtain on a successful Scottish Premier League campaign. Kris Commons opened the scoring in the 11th minute through a long-range free-kick that took a slight deflection before Georgios Samaras added another in the 17th minute.
Samaras had an effort ruled out for offside before he headed in a third in the 27th minute as Celtic dominated. Celtic continued their onslaught in the second half and Gary Hooper thought he had added a fourth in the 53rd minute but his effort was also chalked off after the striker had strayed offside.
Substitute Anthony Stokes put the icing on the cake for Celtic in the 85th minute when he tried his luck from distance, and for the third time in the match, United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak was beaten by a deflection.
The result and performance will give the Hoops a boost as they bid to complete a domestic double against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final next Sunday at Hampden.
Elsewhere, Inverness Caledonian Thistle lost out on an historic first foray into European competition following a 1-0 defeat in the Highland derby against Ross County.
Canadian international Andre Hainault's first half volley was enough to deny Terry Butcher's side third place as goals from Liam Craig and Nigel Hasselbaink saw St Johnstone defeat Motherwell 2-0 and leapfrog Inverness into the European spots.