Celtic players were ecstatic after winning the Scottish Premier League title in dramatic fashion with a 1-0 win at Dundee United on Thursday.

Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was the Parkhead side's hero, scoring the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute. However, Celtic would still have lifted their 42nd Scottish league title even if they had lost, after Aberdeen won 2-0 at home to Rangers.

Celtic captain Stephen McManus was ecstatic with the victory - especially after the Parkhead side had been written off at the start of April when they trailed Rangers by six points having played two more games.

He said: "It's a great feeling. We didn't lack motivation to do win tonight and make sure we won it off our own backs.

"Six or seven weeks ago everyone wrote us off but we also believed we could still win it and it's great to prove them all wrong."

Tommy will be looking down on us tonight and it was great to be able to win it for him. I was thinking about him during the game as he meant so much to everyone at Celtic
Aiden McGeady dedicates Celtic's title win to Tommy Burns.

Aiden McGeady was one of many players who dedicated the win to coach Tommy Burns, who died last week: " ."

And goalscorer Vennegoor of Hesselink said: "It's a great feeling for me and a great day for the club. It didn't really matter who scored but it's always nice to score the goal which wins the league."

Both Celtic and Rangers had started their matches level on 86 points, although Celtic had a goal advantage of four. Rangers' misery was confounded by the sending off of Nacho Novo for a horrific tackle on on Stuart Duff.

The Spaniard will now miss the Scottish Cup final on Saturday against Queen of the South - with Rangers hoping to complete a domestic cup double. Rangers manager Walter Smith was understandably disappointed to have missed out on the league title.

He said: "Despite all the talk about goal difference before the game we knew how hard it would be. Aberdeen always lift their game against Rangers and we were just aiming to win.

"All season we've struggled to handle our games after the big European games and that has been a big factor. Nacho was just a bit too excited and we could have done without the sending-off ahead of the cup final."