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CELTIC beat Dundee United [...]; MONTH BY MOUTH.

MAY

CELTIC beat Dundee United 4-1 and with a game still in hand over Rangers they are in the SPL driving seat but, once again, Inverness prove to be their bogey team.

Lennon's men produce a dismal display at the worst possible time against a Caley side which revels in their underdog status. A Charlie Mulgrew OG, followed by goals from Grant Munro, left, and Shane Sutherland give Terry Butcher's men a famous 3-2 win which puts the fate of the title firmly in Rangers' hands. A furious Lennon said: "We made basic mistakes.

The first goal was down to lazy defending and poor defending also cost us the third goal. It's not anything to do with nerves, it's people not doing their jobs."

The SPL trophy is now Rangers' to lose and they respond by hammering Hearts 4-0 at Ibrox in Craig Whyte's first game as the club's new owner. Smith said: "If you go for a job interview and it's a job you really want, you'll be nervous. If you go for a league title and have a couple of games to win, you'll be nervous. We've lost one and won two in the last three years so the boys have experienced it. But they still get nervous and it's the same for me."

Celtic push the defending champions all the way by winning their final three games but Rangers are now rampant and after beating Dundee United 2-0 they crush Killie 5-1 to ensure Smith's second stint at Ibrox ends on a high.

Lennon said: "I would like to congratulate Rangers and pay personal tribute to Walter. He has been a great ambassador for Rangers and Scottish football."

Smith lauded his players and said: "We've had to ask a lot of them and had to play them in different positions and we've maybe not had the fluency of play but we've been a very difficult team to overcome and it is to their credit that this has happened."

May 15, SPL Table Rangers P38 W30 D3 L5 Pts 93 Celtic P38 W29 D5 L4 Pts 92
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 17, 2011
Words:349
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