CELTIC won their 46th title – and fourth in succession – on this date on May 1 2015.

Ronny Deila had replaced Neil Lennon in the Parkhead dug-out after the Northern Irishman had won three in a row before deaprting the champions.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, author Alex Gordon opens his book files to look at the club’s championship in his tribute publication, ’50 Flags Plus One’, the tome which celebrates Celtic’s first 51 untainted title successes.

Please enjoy another crowning glory in the club’s history.

TO MOST Celtic fans, Neil Lennon’s successor Ronny Deila was a bit of an unknown quantity when he arrived in the summer of 2014.

The managerial guessing game had been in full pelt after the Irishman, who had taken over in an interim capacity after Tony Mowbray had been sacked in March 2010 following a sequence of unacceptable results, culminating with a 4-0 loss against St Mirren in Paisley.

Lennon was given the job on a full-time basis at the end of the season – and two years later he celebrated the first of a hat-trick of titles.

Republic of Ireland legend Roy Keane, who had a short stint at the club during the reign of Gordon Strachan, appeared favourite for the post before the ‘mysterious’ Norwegian was unveiled on June 6 2014.

The crown was Deila’s priority and his focus was sharpened somewhat on the evening of March 4 the following year when the Hoops toppled to a 1-0 defeat from St Johnstone at Parkhead.

MAKING A POINT…Scott Brown has something to say to Danny Swanson who was St Johnstone’s matchwinner at Parkhead on the evening of March 4 2015.

Danny Swanson hit a shot that could have ended in the Gallowgate, but on this occasion it flew unerringly into Craig Gordon’s top corner for the matchwinning strike of a fairly drab confrontation.

However, the champions then embarked upon eight unbeaten league games with seven wins and one hiccup in a 1-1 draw in Inverness.

After the setback against the Perth club, Celtic faced four successive confrontations with Dundee United – two in the Scottish Cup, one in the League Cup Final and one in the league. Celtic drew 1-1 in the Cup at Tannadice and won 4-0 in the replay.

In between the ties, Deila picked up his first piece of silverware as goals from Kris Commons and James Forrest, who also fluffed a penalty-kick, overcame the Tayside threat in the League Cup Final. Rocker Rod Stewart smilingly handed over the trophy to skipper Scott Brown at the presentation.

It was the club’s first League Cup in six years and the fifteenth in the club’s history. Rounding off the quartet of challenges, there was a 3-0 success in the league in Glasgow.

THE EYES HAVE IT…Kris Commons and Nir Bitton celebrate the 2-0 League Cup Final triumph over Dundee United at Hampden – Ronny Deila’s first silverware as Celtic boss.

Ten points were picked up from a possible twelve in the league in April with quickfire games against St Mirren (2-0), Partick Thistle (2-0), Caley Thistle (1-1) and Kilmarnock (4-1) before they faced John Hughes’ Inverness outfit in the Scottish Cup semi-final on April 19.

Due to some diabolical refereeing from match official Steven McLean and his assistants, Celtic were prevented from the possibility of a two-goal lead at the interval while the Highlanders escaped having a player red-carded. Virgil van Dijk had already curled in a stunning free-kick by the time Leigh Griffiths sent a header hurtling towards the back of the net.

Josh Meekings clearly punched the ball off the line – pictorial evidence backed up what everyone had witnessed – except, of course, the officials. It was one of football’s great unfathomable decisions.

Nudging towards the hour mark, the whistler proved he had remembered to pack his red card when he flourished it towards Craig Gordon after a desperate challenge by the keeper on Marley Watkins who had led a breakaway from a misguided left-wing corner-kick from Kris Commons.

PICK IT OUT…Scott Brown runs away after netting beyond future team-mate Scott Bain as Celtic romp to a 5-0 success over Dundee at Parkhead on May 1 2015 – the title was sealed 24 hours later.

Lukasz Zaluska, who never looked comfortable in his spasmodic appearances, came on and his first act was to pick the ball out of the net after Greg Tansey slotted in the penalty-kick award. Edward Ofere stabbed Caley Thistle ahead, but that was cancelled out by a long-range free-kick from John Guidetti.

Celtic, it must be said, battled hard, but dreams of a domestic clean sweep in Deila’s first season were dismantled when David Raven popped up at the back post to steer home the winner with only three minutes of extra-time to play.

Three games later, Celtic won their forty-sixth championship and fourth in succession. On a Friday evening on May 1, the players were given the opportunity of moving eleven points ahead of Aberdeen who were due to play Dundee United at Tannadice the following afternoon.

Mathematicians were not required on this occasion. If Celtic beat Dundee and the Dons slipped up on Tayside, the championship would remain in the east end of Glasgow. Celtic concentrated on the job on hand.

They turned in a five-star performance with five goals to show for it in one of their finest ninety minutes of the campaign. It was a fitting extravaganza of skills and shooting power as the Dens Park side were wiped out.

MAKE MINE A DOUBLE…a delighted Ronny Deila with the Premiership and League Cup silverware which were won in his debut campaign as Celtic manager.

Leigh Griffiths scored with a neat header beyond future team-mate Scott Bain on the half-hour mark and Scott Brown added a second shortly afterwards with a superb finish following a speedy, intricate sweeping move which shredded the opposition.

Kris Commons thumped in a penalty-kick in the seventy-first minute after right-back Darnell Fisher had been floored, James Forrest slid in a right-footed angled drive six minutes later and, with the contest coming to a conclusion, Nir Bitton illuminated a darkening sky with an exquisite thirty-yard drive that cannoned in off Bain’s top left-hand upright.

Aberdeen lost 2-1 the following day and the title was officially the property of Celtic for another season and it was mission accomplished for Ronny Deila.

For the time being, anyway.

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