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The process of winning a league title is a marathon, not a sprint.

For Ange Postecoglou, his team have had to work hard over the course of the season in order to retain their Scottish Premiership title, taking part in some decisive games which have shaped their success.

In light of this, here are six fixtures which were important in this season’s title-winning league campaign.

1. Celtic 4-0 Rangers – September 3 2022

What better place to start than the day the Hoops put down a marker in this season’s first Glasgow Derby? Coming into this game, Celtic were just two points clear of their rivals and were looking to extend that lead.

They managed to achieve this in spectacular fashion. A first-half double from Liel Abada and a spectacular Jota chip had them in full control of proceedings and their lead was extended late into the second half when David Turnbull latched onto a slack pass from Jon McLaughlin in the Rangers goal. Celtic were in the mood that day and Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men had no response to give.

This result moved them five points clear of the Ibrox side with a far superior goal difference, a position which they remained in for the rest of the season. A statement win and the first of many this season.

2. St Johnstone 1-2 Celtic – October 8 2022

Your strength of character when facing adversity is vital when competing for trophies and that was certainly the case in this match.

Celtic looked to be on their way to another league victory following Andrew Considine’s own goal in the first half. However, they were on the verge of dropping points when Alex Mitchell equalised for St Johnstone in the 93rd minute, despite having numerous chances to put the game to bed in both halves.

Celtic needed a goal, and with two additional minutes left to play, they found a way. Following good work by James McCarthy, Alexandro Bernabei crossed the ball into the direction of Giorgos Giakoumakis, who made no mistake with his finish in the opposition box.

In a season full of late goals, this was perhaps one of the most iconic and its importance over the course of the campaign should not be forgotten.

READ MORE: Has former Celtic star Bobo Balde gone off the grid?

3. Hearts 3-4 Celtic – October 22 2022

This fixture will be remembered as the first Celtic game involving VAR in Scotland and what a spectacle it was.

In perhaps the most up-and-down game of the season, the visitors took the lead through James Forrest before the Jambos were awarded a penalty after a video review in first-half stoppage time, which Lawrence Shankland converted. Directly following this, Celtic were denied what looked to be a stonewall handball in the box from Michael Smith, which only added to the mayhem which surrounded this manic encounter.

The home side took the lead through Shankland before Celtic would turn the game on its head with two quick goals from Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda. Another penalty would be awarded to the home side, which again was scored by Shankland to secure his hat-trick, tying the score at 3-3. However, an unlikely scorer was to save the day for Celtic, as Greg Taylor slid the ball into Craig Gordon’s net to win the game.

4. Aberdeen 0-1 Celtic - December 12 2022

Following the resumption of the league after the World Cup break, Celtic travelled to Pittodrie looking to keep their impressive run of form in the league going.

They faced a rigid Aberdeen side under the management of Jim Goodwin, who had set up to contain the visitors from playing their expansive style of play. His plan was working, albeit with a bit of good luck on the day, but that luck ran out in the 87th minute when captain Callum McGregor took matters into his own hands.

Following a lay-off from Forrest at the edge of the box, McGregor expertly drilled the ball into the back of the net, securing a well-deserved victory for Celtic at a traditionally tough venue.

5. Rangers 2-2 Celtic – January 2 2023

It is unusual for a draw to make its way onto a list of the best results over the course of the campaign but in hindsight, it is potentially more important than some of the wins this season.

Rangers, now under new boss Michael Beale, had started well since coming back from the winter break and saw this game as an opportunity to make a dent in Celtic’s nine-point lead at Ibrox.

Postecoglou's side started the better of the two sides, with Maeda scoring early to put the champions in front. However, the away side were staring at defeat following a Ryan Kent strike and a James Tavernier penalty in the second half. The pressure was on and Celtic needed someone to step up.

That man was Kyogo Furuhashi, who scored his first Glasgow Derby goal following a ricochet into his path which was helped on by fellow striker Giakoumakis. In doing so, Kyogo had managed to stop Rangers from closing the gap and solidified Celtic’s strong position in the league, closing the door on a potential comeback for his opponents.

READ MORE: The Celtic numbers: How Hoops annihilated Aberdeen

6. Celtic 3-2 Rangers – April 8 2023

Any hope whatsoever of the Ibrox club sparking a revival was effectively extinguished on this day, as Celtic again came out on top after another Glasgow Derby victory.

Kyogo added to his growing list of goals with a double either side of Tavernier’s impressive free-kick just before half-time. Jota made it 3-1 with his interception of a loose John Souttar back-pass, rounding Allan McGregor before finishing from an acute angle.

A late goal from Tavernier made the affair a tense one but Celtic stayed resolute and secured both the victory and, effectively, the title at the final whistle.

This piece is an extract from the latest Celtic Digest newsletter, which is emailed out every weekday evening with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from The Celtic Way team.

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