CELTIC clinched their eighth successive title EXACTLY three years ago as they overcame Aberdeen 3-0 at Pittodrie on May 4 2019.
At one stage in a tumultuous campaign it looked as though the Parkhead club were about to sensationally implode when Brendan Rodgers announced he would be leaving to take over Leicester City on February 26.
The dramatic exit of the Irishman, who had won seven successive trophies following his arrival in the summer of 2016, left the Hoops hierachy with a massive problem, especially with a crucial league encounter due against Hearts at Tynecastle 24 hours later.
JUST GR-EIGHT…the Celtic players celebrate their flag-clinching 3-0 triumph at Pittodrie.
Neil Lennon, who had left Hibs the previous month, answered the SOS to take over in an interim capacity until the end of the season.
A stoppage-time goal from Odsonne Edouard gave the team a 2-1 victory in Edinburgh and, eight games later, Celtic clinched their eighth championship in a row in the north east.
In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, author Alex Gordon opens the files on his fifteenth Celtic tribute book, ‘50 flags Plus One‘, to reveal another tense and thrilling crescendo to a nailbiting campaign.
NEIL LENNON admitted his Celtic players give him the “heebie-jeebies” – but he also paid tributes to his eight-in-a-row champions after their 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
The Hoops only needed one point from their remaining three fixtures to make certain of yet another consecutive crown, but they did it in style with a 3-0 trouncing of Aberdeen at Pittodrie this afternoon.
Mikael Lustig scored with a brilliant diving header just before the interval to send the Parkhead glory squad on their way to another triumph.
PRIZE GUYS…Jozo Simunovic celebrates his goal with Mikael Lustig, Timothy Weah and Tom Rogic.
Jozo Simunovic headed in a Billy McNeill-like effort from a Callum McGregor left-wing corner-kick for the second while Odsonne Edouard rolled in the third in the fading moments.
Amazingly, it was Croatian defender Simunovic’s second goal in a week after scoring only two in his previous four years as a first-teamer.
It was the visitors’ sixth consecutive win at Pittodrie and they have now claimed seven goals at a tough venue in this campaign following their 4-3 victory on Boxing Day.
HEADMASTER…Jozo Simunovic rises above Scott McKenna to head in the second goal.
Lennon said: “The players were fantastic today. They give me the heebie-jeebies sometimes with the way they play and take chances.
“We needed the opening goal because Aberdeen had had some great chances early on.
“I have to pay tribute to Brendan. He has to get a huge amount of credit. This title success is down to the foundations he laid here. I was lucky enough to carry it on.
“It’s been really tough. It’s been the toughest piece of management for me. I know from the outside people think it looks easy.
“But it’s basically been coming in on your own and picking up. There was a lot of discontent around the club.
“It’s a real privilege for me to be here as interim manager, or as any manager.”
EIGHT IN A ROW…and No.8 Scott Brown celebrates with the fans.
Lennon also paid tribute to his rock-solid rearguard who claimed another clean sheet during an unbeaten domestic campaign in 2019.
He added: “With all the emotions of what happened this week with Billy McNeill’s funeral we had to keep calm. There was a lot of negativity around us and a lot of fake news.
“But the players have kept their focus really well.
“Scott Bain has been unbelievable since I came in. He made another world class save today.
TITLE PARTY…the Celtic players enjoy their flag success at Pittodrie.
“Simunovic and Ajer have formed a great partnership. Lustig has been a great player for this club for a long, long time and Tierney is a Celtic great already.
“It’s a great moment for the players and the supporters.”
The remarkable treble treble was accomplished when a double from Edouard handed Celtic a comeback 2-1 victory in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden on the iconic date of May 25.