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Scottish Premier League Champions 2011

Rangers Win league In 7 Minutes

Walter Smith lowered the drape on his 2nd spell as the Rangers manager with a domestic double as his side laid claim to their third Scottish Premier League title in succession after cruising to an emphatic 5-1 victory at Kilmarnock.

The Scottish champions understood a win would guarantee the silverware and add to the Co-operative Insurance Cup already safeguarded this term, regardless of occasions at Celtic Park, and this match was successfully over as a contest after no more than seven minutes.

Kyle Lafferty, who had netted in the last two title deciders, was on target once again this time around, assisting himself to a hat-trick, with Steven Naismith and Nikica Jelavic also on the scoresheet.

The win means the veteran manager Smith signs off with 10 championships, and an overall of 21 prizes, over his two spells at the Ibrox helm, as he now gives way for Ally McCoist to take over the reigns.

Smith named an unchanged side for the 5th time in a row for the visit to Rugby Park, while Kilmarnock were without Alexei Eremenko through suspension and drafted Mehdi Taouil into the side as his replacement.

Rangers required an early goal to settle the nerves and enjoyed the very best possible start to the game when they rose ahead with just 47 seconds on the clock. Steven Davis launched Lafferty and he lofted high over the reach of goalkeeper Cammy Bell and into the back of the net from the edge of the box.

The Ibrox side were celebrating again with 5 minutes gone. This time, Gregg Wylde played the ball to Naismith, who took a touch prior to lashing home. The 2nd goal caused a short second of confusion by the referre, as a man in suit and Walter Smith mask broke jumped the wall at the front of the stand to celebrate behind the goal line. 

When Jelavic set up Lafferty to sidefoot past the helpless Bell and declare his second of the day, the goals kept coming and the champions extended their lead further 2 minutes later on. Rangers could have contributed to their tally when Steven Whittaker raced down the best flank before choosing Naismith and he touched on for Jelavic, but his flick was deflected wide of target.

At the other end, Kilmarnock might have pulled a goal back when James Dayton tried his luck with a shot that goalkeeper Allan McGregor succeeded to obstruct. Only the woodwork avoided Walter Smith's guys from heading into the period with a larger advantage after Davis saw his ferocious strike crash off the post.

McGregor was called into action on the stroke of half-time and was once again up to the job, this time rejecting Craig Bryson. Rangers' start to the second half was nearly as remarkable as their explosive opening spell, as they notched up another 2 goals within 8 minutes of the restart.

Jelavic added to the goals haul after 49 minutes when he was tripped just outside the location by Manuel Pascali and brushed himself off to send a swerving free-kick into the leading corner.

Naismith then embarked on rising run prior to slotting into the course of Lafferty to stroke home and claim his hat-trick with 53 minutes gone. Kilmarnock did manage to pull a goal back after 65 minutes when Dayton's free-kick took a deflection off the wall and hit the post before finding the back of the net. Rangers hit the woodwork again when Naismith's shot bounced off the crossbar, before Lafferty swelled the rebound over.

The events had actually currently been under way for a long time, but most of Rugby Park emerged when the final whistle sounded and verified that Rangers had actually maintained their SPL crown. Celtic, on the other hand, beat Motherwell 4-0 but Rangers's outcome had already put the title beyond them.