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Rangers win Scottish Premier League title
Updated: 2005-05-23 09:15

Rangers won an unlikely Scottish Premier League title Sunday, beating Hibernian 1-0 while rival Celtic gave up two late goals to lose to Motherwell 2-1.

Celtic was leading 1-0 and had its second straight title nearly guaranteed with only two minutes remaining, but Scott McDonald scored in the 88th and 90th minutes to defeat Celtic and hand the championship trophy to Rangers.

"I don't think it has sunk in yet," Rangers manager Alex McLeish said. "It's a bit surprising in that it wasn't in our hands."

Chris Sutton gave Celtic the lead in the 29th minute, but with the game drawing to a close, McDonald beat Celtic goalkeeper Rob Douglas on the edge of the box with a swerving shot. He then raced down the right flank before cutting back inside and shooting past Douglas for the winner.

"It's great in a way but it's hard for Celtic," McDonald said. "It must be terrible for them but it was all about us in the end."

Rangers striker Nacho Novo scored in the 59th minute at Hibernian to lift the club over crosstown rival Celtic — 93 points to 92.

"In many aspects, it has been a memorable season but the way it twisted at the end, it wasn't to be," Celtic manager Martin O'Neill said.

In the only other game Sunday, Aberdeen topped Hearts 2-0. Richie Byrne scored in the 45th and Derek Adams netted in the 49th, but it wasn't enough to qualify for the UEFA Cup ahead of Hibernian, which advances on goal differential.

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