Why Brown started, World Record bookended


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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  1. Ok folks – what are the odds of Reporting Shortbread photoshopping the Scottish Cup Final – so far not mentioned in the intro – that might have found a funny shaped carrot to spend 5 minutes on!

  2. 107 out of 129.



    cracker quiz for the old memory banks, spelling let me down on some, and some obscure names in some years.



    have a go



    Can you name the top goalscorers for Celtic FC by season?


    by PenguinsMeercats



    1,686Plays Quiz not verified by Sporcle




    Rate 5 starsRate 4 starsRate 3 starsRate 2 starsRate 1 star 1 5


    Also try: Non-European Celtic FC Players





  3. !!BADA BING!! on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 2:33 PM



    Ratface McCann, should be banned from Celtic Park.



    *should have been sine died after he almost caused a riot on May 2 1999.

  4. Earlier I decided to post something about McCann but I was beaten to it by another Portonian St Stivs. Before I go any further may I say I have a great fondness for Portonians, even travelled in the past on the Number One bus to most games, but there is one Portonian I have no love for whatsoever. The wee tax dodger as St Stivs pointed out is the one disrespectful to all of us who pay our taxes. Secondly if Messi or any other class player took a penalty as Edouard did yesterday would the wee taker of thirty silver pieces have thought it disrespectful.



    And, what about his comment about Ajer. So it is wrong to celebrate the action that won the quadruple treble. Did not hear him calling out Slippy G when he went OTT at Celtic Park not so long ago. Grow up man. Your reactions were because we had just world history.

  5. Congrats to Lenny and the squad on their record breaking victory and critical comment can wait for another day. Great for a number of players in the squad who probably are winning silverware for the first time in their careers at this level. Griff doing his Gerd Muller act again, this lad is some goalador. Leigh can you please get yourself right and back into the team again.



    Naismith commits a foul in the Hoops penalty box and despite being booked ref allows Hearts corner instead of a free out to Celtic? i find this bizarre. Young Mikey a real hero the way he stepped up to put his penalty kick away with such confidence.

  6. Absolutely nothing about a worldwide sporting achievement on BBC Scotland, rancid hun organisation

  7. BBC Scotland, hang your head in shame. Disgraceful not mentioning history being made 24 hours earlier.

  8. Scottish football club achieves a world first



    Not a peep on Reporting Scotland



    And to think we have to pay for this blatant bias

  9. Just passed the 60 email mark so thank you so much. And there’s now only 1 of our starting XI that’s waiting on his first vote. Could you be the one to sort that out? ;-) cqnpoty@gmail.com


    Results out just after 10.00pm.

  10. prestonpans bhoys on

    I’m pretty sure that even Hertz fans would be unhappy with Reporting Scotland’s lack of coverage. They would like to be praised for making the final so exciting

  11. Not really surprised at the comments critical of Craig Gordon’s reaction to Eddie’s penalty. Either of two schools, one those who have never forgiven the big goalie for having the audacity to come for a corner against Celtic back in the day, or two and this is the more likely, those poor souls of a more sensitive nature.




  12. Scaniel


    Very kind, although undeserved.


    Great result yesterday, glad you could enjoy it with your grandson. Hope all well with you and yours, and of course all of the animals. Best wishes.



  13. Huns may very well drop a couple of points in their next two games,Hibees,then a freezing midweek in Perth.They also have a very dodgy January.Of course it all means nothing if we don’t gub them,but the chance is there.

  14. No sportsound at 6 bells from the national broadcaster….Bryan Burnett is on….any reason why sportsound not on tonight!

  15. Bhoy joe



    My guess is its christmas week.:-)


    Or goin by their tv arm


    They are just scunnered


    The old bbc,waiting to be told what to say.



    Head was bit woolly leavin for work this morn at 6.15am

  16. I like Declan Gallagher, but he’s at his level playing for Livingston and Motherwell. He’s prone to more mistakes than our current lot, and that’s saying something, so not for me, por cierto.



    Took my grandson to boxing,I stayed in the car.Radio turned on 810 mw and Bryan Burnett in charge of proceedings.Sad,sportsound was not on,as I was waiting on the congratulations and the warmest of wishes being extended to Celtic FC on their record breaking achievement,still Tuesday beckons and all at the station I presume will be in wholesome praise for the team based in Glasgow’s East end…..but….

  18. Our central defence is so poor that I would consider offering Declan Gallagher (Motherwell) and Craig Halkett (Hearts) a two year deal starting on 1 January. They were great together at Livi. Por Cierto, I note your concerns but these two were a very good partnership.

  19. bournesouprecipe



    The quadruple symbol design is worthy of MadMen.


    A combination of both the Celtic Cross and the Four Leaf (over and over) Clover.


    Simple, Brilliant.


    Simply Brilliant.




  20. 67 European Cup Winners on



    Big apologies for late response – work is a nuisance



    We agree again – this is becoming a habit !!



    You will believe the Manager has earned the right to carry on


    Difficult today to argue against that



    But yesterday’s win aside one of our biggest highlights this season was St Mirren scoring in the 90th minute


    We have had little to cheer


    So I continue with my thoughts from the Huns defeat – we need to change the Manager


    A legend yes – but as a team we are not at our best – the manager has to be responsible for that



    But i bow to the cheer that he has earned his chance to carry on


    The price we pay is the loss of history – 10


    Without assuming you lack arithmetical skills – it will take us 10 or more years to do it again


    A chance lost



    Forever Celtic