CELTIC 5 ST MIRREN 0 (March 7, 2020)
NO-ONE realised they were witnessing Celtic’s final goal of the season when Callum McGregor calmly slotted a penalty-kick behind St Mirren keeper Vaclav Hladky for the champions’ fifth in the fading moments at Parkhead on Saturday, March 7.
The victory left Neil Lennon’s men only five wins from eight games to make certain of their ninth successive title.
However, a few days later, with the Hoops leading the Premiership by 13 points, football went into cold storage due to the coronavirus pandemic. The historic decision was made on Monday, May 18 2020 that it was unsafe to continue playing and the SPFL bosses made the inevitable decision to award the crown to the Parkhead men.
THE LAST HURRAH…Callum McGregor strokes in the final goal in the 5-0win over St Mirren.
There was no doubt in the minds of the fans who turned up in the east end of Glasgow for the encounter against the Paisley Saints that they were watching the champions-elect. It really was only a matter of time that Lennon’s men would cement the 51st flag in the club’s glorious history – and equal the nine-in-a-row feat of Jock Stein’s great team from 1966 to 1974.
Leigh Griffiths stole the spotlight on the premature conclusion to the campaign with a blistering hat-trick, taking his goal tally to 11 for the term with eight of them coming after the turn of the year.
Odsonne Edouard rolled in his 28th strike of the programme as the champions showed their class, superiority and quality.
The final curtain may have come down early, but there was never a debate where the championship was heading. Celtic kicked off the league campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of St Jonstone on August 3 – and remained on top until the enforced halt in mid-March.
The team that beat St Mirren 5-0 was: Forster; Bitton, Jullien, Ajer (sub: Elhamed 81); Forrest, Brown, McGregor, Rogic (sub: Christie 73), Taylor; Edouard (sub: Elyounoussi 76), Griffiths.
THE SIGN OF THINGS TO COME…Scott Brown carries the 2018/19 Premiership trophy as he walks onto the pitch for the opening league game of the season against St Johnstone on Saturday, August 3 2019.
THE FIRST OF MANY…Mikey Johnston guides in the opening goal of the Premiership season against the Perth Saints.
GOOD CHRISTIE…midfielder Ryan Christie takes a bow as he celebrates his hat-trick in the 7-0 hammering of Saints. New Bhoy Hatem Abd Elhamed adds his congratulations.
BACK WITH A BANG…Leigh Griffiths joined in the seven-goal romp.
WELCOME BACK…fans’ favourite Fraser Forster saves a penalty-kick against Hearts, but Connor Washington followed up to score. It didn’t matter in the end, Celtic netted three of their own.
HIT MAN…Vakoun Issouf Bayo made a rare start in the 3-1 win over Hearts at Parkhead.
NICE AND EASY DOES IT…Odsonne Edouard slips the ball past Allan McGregor for the first goal in the 2-0 win at Ibrox in September.
SLIDE RULE…James Forrest tucks the ball into the Hamilton Accies net for the only goal of the game. Mohamed Elyounoussi, on loan from Southampton, set up the opportunity.
FULL-BACK IN FULL FLOW…on-loan Austrian defender Mortiz Bauer races past Hibs winger Glenn Middleton.
HEAD BHOY…Ryan Christie outjumps the Hibs defence to glance in the equaliser at Easter Road in September.
LAP OF HONOUR…Ryan Christie races towards less-than-enthusiatic Hibs fans in the 1-1 draw. Odsonne Edouard is about to add some support.
JINKING JEREMIE…Dutch sensation Jeremie Frimpong eases away from Ross County’s Michael Gardyne during the Hoops’ 6-0 victory in October.
THAT’S MY BHOY…Neil Lennon shares the joy with Callum McGregor.
DIDN’T HE DO WELL…Odsonne Edouard is congratulated by Callum McGregor and James Forrest after netting in the 2-0 triumph over Motherwell in November.
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT…Odsonne Edouard gets a hug from a joyful Jeremie Frimpong after his second goal against the Fir Park side.
CAPTAIN’S PART…Scott Brown celebrates a goal in the 4-0 win over Livingston on November 23. Odsonne Edouard is about to join in.
GLORY BHOYS…Scott Brown is congratulated by Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor after his last-gasp winner against Hamilton Accies on December 4.
HIB HIB HOORAY…Jeremie Frimpong is overjoyed at his first Parkhead strike as he nets in the 2-0 win over the Edinburgh outfit on December 15.
FRENCH CONNECTION…Olivier Ntcham and Odsonne Edouard celebrate in the 2-0 success over Hearts at Tynecastle on December 18.
THE FIGHTING IRISH…Neil Lennon shows his determination at Tynecastle.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H…Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis, watched by Scott Brown and his team-mate Lewis Ferguson, can’t keep out Christopher Jullien’s opener in the Hoops’ 2-1 victory at Parkhead on December 21.
IN WITH A SHOUT…James Forrest yells with delight after scoring against St Mirren in the 2-1 triumph in Paisley on Boxing Day.
SHINING EXAMPLE…Christopher Jullien is all aglow after scoring in the 3-1 success over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on January 22.
SMILES BETTER…Leigh Griffiths and Greg Taylor share the joy after the striker’s goal in the 3-0 victory over St Johnstone in Perth on January 29.
FREE’N’EASY…Odsonne Edouard fires home a deadball effort in the 4-1 victory at Hamilton on February 2.
HIGH AND MIGHTY…Odsonne Edouard leaps into the air in delight after scoring in the 4-0 romp against Motherwell at Fir Park on February 5.
THREE CHEERS…Kristoffer Ajer, Christopher Jullien and Fraser Forster come off the Parkhead pitch after the 5-0 hammering of Hearts on February 12.
FRENCH FANCY…super striker Odsonne Edouard shows some slick footwork as he rifles in the third goal in the 5-0 success over St Mirren on March 7.
SIGNING OFF IN STYLE…Leigh Griffiths is triumphant as he scores the second goal of his hat-trick in the 5-0 win over the Paisley Saints. Not a bad way to say an impromptu farewell to another successful campaign for Scotland’s title kings.