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Why Brown started, World Record bookended

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Under any normal circumstances, a run of consecutive trophy wins would end with defeat, but at this time, with seasons overlapping, Celtic’s four consecutive trebles was bookended by a dramatic Scottish Cup win against Hearts.  It was fitting to be able to celebrate a world record, instead of lamenting a defeat.  Our run came to an end on a joyous occasion.

As predicted, Neil Lennon returned Scott Brown to the starting line-up ahead of Ismaila Soro and Ryan Christie replaced Jeremie Frimpong at right mid, but Conor Hazard kept his place in goal for his third consecutive (and in total) start for the club.

The captain has his critics but football managers have a habit of choosing their trusted old guard and the reasons why were laid bare on the Hampden turf.  Football is not all about your ability to play; it is also about your ability to cope, your fortitude against intimidation, pain and rules being bent against you.

With the score still 0-0, Steven Naismith stamped on the prostrate Scott Brown.  Referee John Beaton should have red carded the Hearts striker, instead, he awarded a foul, which led to a moment of Instant Karma, as Ryan Christie curled an inch perfect strike from outside the box into Craig Gordon’s top corner.

Naismith was later booked for striking Scott Brown off the ball as Hearts prepared to take a corner kick.  Brown would not allow him near Conor Hazard, as Hearts second goal happened as Naismith elbowed Hazard in the ribs at a corner kick, disabling the ‘keeper’s attempt to make what would have been an easy catch.

The naive among you might expect players and the referee to just go out and do their thing, but as you saw yesterday, refs sometimes take a lax view on Celtic players being stamped on, and despite the ref and a fifth official on the goal line, apparently referees do not always watch out for fouls on the goalkeeper.

What you get from Scott Brown is someone who did not shrink or hide when stamped on and made sure his keeper was protected, despite the blind spots of the attending referees.  That at 5’ 8”, he won the header in the first period of extra time that led to Celtic’s third goal, is incidental to his contribution on the day.  If you watch the highlights over, do not miss his goal celebration in the direction of Naismith.

John Beaton booked six Hearts players, who were happy to kick their way through the game, and awarded Celtic a penalty, but Steven Naismith was the real referee on the day, he decided what was and was not permissible.  For days like these, you need an experienced leader.  This is why Scott played.

Cup finals are for winning and when it mattered, Leigh Griffiths, Callum McGregor, Mikey Johnston, Conor Hazard and Kristofer Ajer had what it takes to bring the trophy home.  What took place in the preceding 120 minutes of action was as dramatic as seen in the previous 134 finals.

Christie’s opener was as good a Cup Final goal you could hope to see.  It was from the classic Christie-low-percentage-shot distance, we have watched so many go high and wide, but this one found the sweet spot.  Odsonne Eduard’s penalty dink after Berra’s volleyball block sent us on our way, or so we thought.

Celtic’s utter domination by halftime was replaced by lethargy at the break, Hearts worked the ball into a dangerous crossing position, no defender was able to block the cross or meet the ball as it dropped in front of goal.  Liam Boyce did the necessary.

It could easily have been 2-2 before Hearts made it level, courtesy of Naismith’s foul, the Celtic defence was in disarray.  Confidence is a fragile commodity at the moment.   After the leveller, Callum McGregor pushed higher up field and Celtic regained some control of the game.  They created several good chances, all of which fell to Odsonne Edouard.  Whatever ails the striker, it has not passed.  Hearts had a chance to win the game near the end of 90 minutes but, on that occasion, Ginnelly panicked.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.  You know that we are in trouble when Leigh Griffiths gets the call.  Post-match, Neil Lennon called him a “footballing genius”.  Yet again, he was the sugar in our tea.  He got a foot on Scott Brown’s header from a corner but Craig Gordon blocked.  No one in the game is faster onto a rebound inside the six-yard box than Griffiths, surely now Celtic would hold on?

Conor Hazard came for and missed the cross that brought Hearts level in the second period of extra-time.  These mistakes can damage a career but the day was not finished for the young Irishman.

Leigh Griffiths and Callum McGregor convince me they know what to do with a penalty kick.  Ryan Christie is better from >20 yards than 12.  I would also allow Odsonne Eduard to retire from penalty duty, as his non-Panenka record is poor and keepers will now anticipate the chip.

Mikey Johnston has the temperament and technique to cope with these scenarios, while Kristofer Ajer’s decisive kick would have taken Craig Gordon into the net with it, had the keeper got in the way.

With each team down to two penalties left, Hearts were ahead.  Conor Hazard twice threw himself across the goal to save.  Celtic’s performance was error strewn and anything but pretty, but there was unrelenting joy at another world record for this magnificent football club.

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272 Comments

  1. glendalystonsils on

    Not sure I buy the bit about confidence being behind defensive blunders Paul .

     

    Concentration , understanding , clearly defined roles and good communication are essentials which should

     

    be present independently . Confidence would quickly be restored by the good defending and clean sheets which would result from these qualities being coached into the defence . Unfortunately , this does not seem to be the case .

     

    Our chance of winning every game up to and including Jan 2nd must be around 30%.

  2. SCANIEL on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 1:25 PM

     

    ……………..

     

    Its best if I take a Train or a Bus…with a TOILET !

     

    I couildnt travel by car without one.

     

     

    I am so happy to read about the other Big Jimmy….The one with the Brains and good looks.

     

     

    Horses, ponies and donkeys are my favourite animals…and Cats and Dogs….but I love all animals except reptiles, insects…..they give me the Heebie Jeebies…..Just like some of my auld Burds.

     

    LOL

     

    Stay safe and hopefully I can travel down when this Covid crap is over.

     

    HH Mate.

  3. SFTB @ 2:25

     

    I would go along with most of that. Unfortunately, when we go 2 goals in front, Brown tends to get the cigar out, and we then start to fall apart. It happened in the semi- final against Aberdeen, and we were lucky to survive that. He gets tired and is too slow to cover our ponderous centerbacks when long balls over the top leave them exposed with both our full backs caught far upfield. We tend to invite pressure and are the architects of our own downfall by giving the ball away instead of keeping the ball moving with an early pass. McGregor and Christy have been particularly guilty of this recently. We also give away a ridiculous number of needless free kicks, even allowing for the pernicious MIB factor. Tavernier and Barisic are both very able at free kicks, both direct and indirect, so we must plan to combat this.

     

     

    Before the Sevco game, we need to have an absolutely solid engine room, hunting down the opposition in packs. I honestly don’t think we have time to do it, because our fitness levels have fallen off a cliff. This was epitomized yesterday when Rogic ( not the fleetest ) dribbled to the edge of the byline and six yard box, looked up, and Griff was the sole Celt in the box. Where was everybody else? 30 yards further back with their tongues hanging out.

     

     

    It should now be obvious to everyone that Eddie, talented as he is, is wasted playing up front on his own. He is not the best at playing with his back to goal, and will be flattened by Goldson every time on Jan 2. Playing Eddy on his own against Sevco will be as much use to us as Mikey Johnston 2 seasons ago.

     

     

    We need to sort this out starting on Wednesday. Looking at Brown limping, I think at least one midfield selection issue will be taken out of our hands.

  4. WEEBOBBYCOLLINS on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 1:42 PM

     

    Big Jimmy…how’s the wee man?

     

    …..

     

    He seems to be okay, and happy enough…He tried to trip up the Tesco delivery Guy 30 minutes ago. I had to grab hold of the Tesco Guy to stop him falling…

     

    Beaton gave Rocky the Cat a Yellow card…just cos The Rocky Bhoy is a Tim !

     

     

    ………….

     

    PETEC…

     

    Cheers mate. Yes…The QUAD SQUAD will get the Bad Guys in the end.

     

    HH

  5. Didn’t realise until watched the video from Celtic tweet

     

    How much of an impact the leg injury (knee) Broonie was struggling with

  6. An Excellent article Today by Paul.

     

     

    I reckoned Scott was Finished.

     

     

    Oh my Goodness Gracious he was Capitano & More.

     

     

    Brilliant Celtic.

  7. Naismith sent afff for transgressing the normal rules of fitba’ – result Celtic have easier path to victory and domination of a game.

     

     

    Didn’t happen due to sleekit hun officiating and sleekit hun commentators failing to call the sleekitry oooot.

     

     

    Fat Charlie not sent off for obvious foul – result, fragile huns play 10 against a motivated DUFC 11 – result , potential dropped points which favours Celtic.

     

     

    HHH.

  8. Garngad to Croy on

    Cheers Turkeybhoy

     

     

    It took me all day ( and a large slice of poetic licence) and I’d like to thank Niall J at the Celtic star for the inspiration.

     

     

    https://thecelticstar.com/the-men-behind-kris-ajer/

     

     

    Hazzard, Mikey, Griff ,Calum

     

    Came to blow away Wee Huns

     

    But every man must stand behind

     

    The men behind Chris Ajer

     

     

    On the rugged pitch of Hampden

     

    On a dark December Day

     

    Jam Tarts players came marauding

     

    Kicking any Tims that play.

     

     

    Get the ball out wide to Christie

     

    Watch it curl into the net

     

    Penalty for Odsonne Edouard

     

    Dinked it o’er, his auld Pals head !

     

     

    I’m away to work on the dance moves !

  9. bhoywithseethrougheyes on

    Genuine question, is there a process that would see naismith punished retrospectively?

     

    Scandalous stamp and an elbow to broonies coupon surely the runt cant get away with it.

     

    Beaton has previous with the old blind eye when our players are assaulted, and its becoming a common theme in our games. Would hope the club would call this out publicly and no more behind the scenes, keeping our powder dry approach. Call the dirty basas out Celtic.

  10. Naismith left the pitch dejected,hurt,angry and above all a LOSER.Makes me feel happy that the wee cheat got his runners up medal,a reminder of a great CELTIC victory.

     

    Still Celtic.

  11. Magnificent achievement which will most likely never be equalled. Well done to all, past and present who contributed.

     

     

    Well done to Neil Lennon, treble winner as player and a manager.

     

     

    Now for the bad…

     

     

    We were brutal from half time onwards. We are shockingly bad at the back – I’ve absolutely no idea how we consistently pack our penalty area but can’t clear our lines and concede against unmarked players.

     

     

    I’m going to soak yesterday up because the reality is that the rest of the current season is shaping up to be a disaster.

  12. Ah well looks like SB will be put for Wednesday.

     

     

    Should satisfy some.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    BTW I thought he played well yesterday so will see how eceryone else copes.

     

     

    BBTW

     

     

    BBC Scotland are still bigotted arseholes. Couldnt do enough to undermine us.

     

     

    Billy Dodds – played for Celtic & Hearts ?

     

    Naw

  13. BHOYJOEBELFAST- I would punch him till my arm fell off….

     

     

    Any kids tuning in,violence is bad….

  14. Re Craig Gordon

     

    When he saved Ryan,s penalty ,I thought he was very dignified no over reaction just kept his head down and walked calmly away. I’m sure he was angry that Edouard made him look silly and re-acted but I’m sure he regrets that today. HH

  15. Bada:

     

    When I look at the munchkins from Wizard of Oz naihope looks like part of the cast.Off to the boxing club with my grandson.

     

    Still Celtic

  16. GFTB on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 8:12 AM

     

     

    HT 12.09am

     

     

    No offence meant at all and I will do as you ask

     

     

    DB 7.41am

     

     

    Apologies …

     

     

    Seems without even realising I rile some Celtic fans up the wrong way …

     

     

    So I will remove myself from CQN, no point if my posts seem to attract more grief than they are ever intended

     

     

    Cheers GFTB

     

     

    __________________________________________________________________

     

     

    GFTB – there are a few posters on here who should remove themselves from this blog – but you are not one of the – I know you are for the current management set up and therefore probably in the minority – but so what – pro Neil Lennon posts keep the blog ticking over – so keep posting for Neil’s sake☘️

  17. SFTB said:

     

     

    ” It is not disloyal to want a better version of Celtic just don;t get addicted to the negative side as it can drain the enjoyment out of you.”

     

     

    So very true.

  18. TURKEYBHOY on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 3:03 PM

     

    In England the hop,skip,and jump,penalties are lauded,as is the Panenka.

     

    —–

     

    It’s a stupid Scottish thing to make up for a lack of ability. We heard the same crap years ago when Craig Bellamy would look one way and pass the other. I thought it was a ridiculous reaction from Gordon, who is full of himself.

     

     

    As for that we dick Naismith, he’s played us a few times previously when he should have been red carded.

  19. FAIRHILL BHOY on 20TH DECEMBER 2020 11:30 PM

     

     

    Fantastic achievement today but changes nothing

     

     

    __________________________________________________

     

     

    well maybe a wee change – as was mentioned earlier it changes the record books for ever –

     

     

    and the of course the mood in Sevconia last night would definitely have changed🍀🍀🍀🍀

  20. Conor Hazard enjoyed the plaudits for yesterday’s Scottish Cup final win after the Celtic goalkeeper saved two penalties in the shootout.

     

     

    Teammates and manager Neil Lennon applauded the rookie’s showing after he kept out two Hearts spot-kicks to help secure his side’s victory after a 3-3 result in extra-time. But it was a classy message of support from FIFA’s official twitter account that became the latest post of applause.

     

     

     

     

    The account shared the post, saying: “Conor Hazard began December as @CelticFC’s 3rd-choice keeper. Yesterday he saved two penalties to inspire a come-from-behind #ScottishCupFinal shootout victory and seal an unprecedented quadruple treble 🤯

     

     

    “Some #MondayMotivation from Celtic’s history-making youngster”.

     

     

    The tweet racked up more than 600 likes and shares in a short space of time.

     

     

    Hazard, 22, was picked from the start ahead of £5million man Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain. His only previous experience in the Hoops first-team came in their previous two matches against Lille and Kilmarnock, both victories at Celtic Park.

  21. Truly, Alice through the looking glass.

     

    The BBC has been forced to defend its coverage of the Scottish Cup Final on Sunday after a section of Hearts fans accused the national broadcaster of bias towards winners Celtic.

     

     

    The BBC has hit back at those claims as they defended McLeod and Dodds’ narrations during one of the greatest Scottish Cup Finals in recent years.

     

     

    A spokesperson said: “Our extensive live coverage of this exciting final was fair to both sides.”

  22. Delighted with the achievement on Sunday.

     

    This success, after the most sustained attack on all things Celtic in my lifetime,makes it all the more enjoyable.

     

    Attacks on NL, Browns fitness, the Club as a whole for any reason,ex players adding comments without justification,and of course Officials being selective in who they punish.

     

    In real terms yesterday’s quadruple treble exceeds 10 in a row by some margin,despite the importance this has attracted.

     

    The clamour from.the uninitiated to drop.Brown was thankfully ignored,as Naismith would have suckered Soro.into a sending off

     

    That said I did not see Turnbull,controlling the game either and I thought he tired,as did Taylor,who did not impress either.

     

    Lastly,game should have been.out of sight,4 chances squandered by Eddie I dont know if we can afford to play him hoping he will turn up, and whilst I enjoyed the penalty,it was a risk.for all of us,but an experiment for him,as the severity of the consequences I think is lost to him.

     

    Going into pens I remembered Gordon never great,so was praying,and it worked.

     

    A Great Day.

  23. JIMMYNOTPAUL on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 5:57 PM

     

    Truly, Alice through the looking glass.

     

     

     

     

    The BBC has been forced to defend its coverage of the Scottish Cup Final on Sunday after a section of Hearts fans accused the national broadcaster of bias towards winners Celtic.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The BBC has hit back at those claims as they defended McLeod and Dodds’ narrations during one of the greatest Scottish Cup Finals in recent years.

     

     

    A spokesperson said: “Here listen, we are all hurtin here, Our extensive live coverage of this exciting final was as unbiased as we could pretend to be, but people must appreciate we all wanted celtic beat, we were all hearts supporters on the day, we gave it our best shot but we were ulimately let down by beaton not sticking to the script, how does Brown stay on the pitch for his continual bating of the innnocent hearts players, poor goalkeeping by the ex celtic player, and the most iffy penalty ever given, well how do you think Neil feels ? how does Doddsy feel ? how did Stevie Thompson feel having to replay all of that last night, how do you think our supporters at BBC Scotland feel having to watch those highights, so no more throwing accusations at us, we are after all the people”

  24. Wee Nasty has a hunned-up pass to do as much as he pleases.

     

    He’s the wee whiney-voiced currant of choice for scoddish foo’ball……..

     

    …….I suspect he has a Level of cover from the PR Mastodon of choice for huns and recovering huns.

     

     

    I’d like to hear the Club rewfrence at least the fouls on young Connor and the ugly, sleekit stamp on Broony.

  25. Pat on clyde “Naesmith is just a thug”

     

     

    Alex Rae “but broony get away with stuff aw the time”

     

     

    pay back your ebt, tax cheat.