CELTIC were looking for a fourth successive League Cup Final triumph when they lined up against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit at Hampden on Sunday, December 8 2019.
In 2016, goals from Tom Rogic, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele (pen) blew away Aberdeen 3-0 in a one-sided encounter. A year later, it was Betfred specialist Forrest – who also scored in the 2-0 win over Dundee United in the 2016 shoot-out in the same competition – who opened the scoring against a stubborn Motherwell side before Dembele rolled in another spot-kick.
And it was down to Ryan Christie to claim the only goal of the game against Derek McInnes’ Dons in 2018 when he rattled in a volley that smashed into the net via the crossbar leaving Joe Lewis helpless.
All eyes were on the national stadium when the first prize of an eventful campaign was up for grabs. The man of the moment was £7million French central defender Christopher Jullien who turned in a deft Christie left-wing free-kick for the only goal of the confrontation on the hour mark.
The drama didn’t end with that strike, though. Three minutes later, referee Willie Collum deemed a challenge by Jeremie Frimpong on Alfredo Morelos as punishable by the award of a penalty-kick and a red card. Justice was done when Fraser Forster swooped to his right to push away the Colombian’s effort.
Neil Lennon’s side, a man short for more than half-an-hour with six minutes of stoppage-time added on, held out to win the silverware.
CQN‘s ace lensmen were at the national stadium to capture the action. Here is the pick of the pics.
BRING IT ON: The Celtic starting line-up: Back row (left to right): Fraser Forster, James Forrest, Kristoffer Ajer, Christopher Jullien, Mohamed Elyounoussi; Front row: Ryan Christie, Callum McGregor, Scott Brown, Lewis Morgan, Jermie Frimpong and Jonny Hayes.
SMOKY HUDDLE…the pre-match build-up leaves the huddle looking like an image from Victorian London.
HEADS I WIN…Kristoffer Ajer outjumps Joe Aribo to clear the danger.
NOW YOU SEE ME…Mohamed Elyounoussi gives James Tavernier the slip.
THUMBS UP…Scott Brown shows he’s in control.
PAIN IN THE GRASS…Kristoffer Ajer is not asking Alfredo Morelos to swap jerseys at full-time.
PAIN IN THE NECK…Ryan Jack feels the challenge of a determined Mohamed Elyounoussi.
AIR RAID…Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien launch an assault on the Ibrox rearguard.
CRUNCH…Jeremie Frimpong and defender Borna Barisic go for a loose ball.
COME ON 22, YOU’RE NUMBER’S UP…Odsonne Edouard who made a massive impact as a 59th-minute substitute for Lewis Morgan.
TWO-WAY TUSSLE…Odsonne Edouard and Filip Helander contest a through pass.
SEEING RED…Jeremie Frimpong prepares to take his leave of proceedings following referee Willie Collum’s decision to banish him and award a penalty-kick. Ryan Jack looks pleased.
HERO AND ZERO…Alfredo Morelos slams in the penalty-kick as Fraser Forster moves to his right.
WAIT FOR IT…time is suspended at the national stadium as the ball heads for the target.
BEAT IT…Fraser Forster gets down well to push the ball to safety as Scott Brown races in to offer assistance.
SO CLOSE…Mikey Johnston slips as he knocks the ball beyond the stranded Allan McGregor, Unfortunately, the effort was just wide of the target.
WHAM…Scott Brown wallops in a right-foot drive with Filip Helander desperately trying to block.
WHOOPEE…Scott Brown can’t contain his joy at full-time with Ryan Jack not quite so ecstatic.
DUTCH TREAT…Jeremie Frimpong yells for joy as he joins in the celebrations.
HANDS UP IF YOU’RE HAPPY…Scott Brown and Jonny Hayes accept the acclaim of the Celtic fans.
HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Scott Brown leads the celebrations with a little help from Jeremie Frimpong, Ryan Christie, Kristoffer Ajer and Callum McGregor.
PEEK-A-BOO…Scott Brown rises to the occasion.
NEXT: TRES BIEN, JULLIEN (Part Two)