Celtic thrash Hearts to win sixth consecutive Scottish title

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Celtic's Scott Sinclair scores their fifth goal with a penalty

Britain Football Soccer - Heart of Midlothian v Celtic - Scottish Premiership - Tynecastle - 2/4/17 Celtic's Scott Sinclair scores their fifth goal with a penalty Reuters / Russell Cheyne Livepic

(Reuters) - Celtic thrashed Hearts 5-0 away to win their 48th Scottish title on Sunday, with Scott Sinclair scoring a hat-trick as Brendan Rodgers's side claimed a sixth consecutive Premiership.

Hearts had lost only three at home so far this season, but were blown away by the runaway leaders, who took the lead through Sinclair after 24 minutes when he fired into the roof of the net from an acute angle after fine interplay with Patrick Roberts.

The forward doubled his tally three minutes later with a sharp finish to give Celtic a stranglehold on the match, before Stuart Armstrong and Roberts wrapped up victory with second-half efforts.

SPL top scorer Sinclair completed his hat-trick with a penalty in the 84th minute as Celtic moved up to 86 points after 30 matches, 25 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen, and 35 ahead of Glasgow rivals Rangers in third.

"I've grown up with the club - and to be responsible to give the supporters that joy is really humbling for me," Rodgers told Celtic's official website. (www.celticfc.net)

"We never get tired of trying to get better, and of trying to improve," he continued. "That's something we've tried to impose onto the players and their mentality, and we always have to look to be better."

Rodgers' side are still unbeaten having drawn just two matches and having already won the League Cup. They have a Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers coming up on April 23 so remain on course for the treble.

"To win the title without losing a game is, of course, a great achievement," added Rodgers.

(Reporting by Ed Dove; editing by Clare Lovell)