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. I know there are plenty of contenders at BBC Scotland for who hates Celtic the most but, imo, English is in a class of his own.



    How they couldn’t bring themselves to even mention the Final, never mind the historic nature of the victory is beyond belief. I have to pay a licence for such bitterness. How many EBT’s, who haven’t paid their due taxes, do they employ?

  2. Fighhtinng for Survival.



    Only Love can BREAK Yer HEART.





    THE OLDE belts of Celtic are Impossible tae Stop.



    AMAZing Celtic.

  3. Reading back… Utterly amazed there’s not more professionally employed in the game!!… And how on earth did all those useless players win 12 trophys in a row….. Can’t figure it out……… Or maybe we just need a keeper that keeps the ball out of the net!!!… And soothe the defenders….. Maybe…

  4. glendalystonsils on

    CELTIC MAC on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 8:35 PM



    I thought the very same thing , a superb and clever design incorporating the cups and star into the 4 leaf clover .





    Even the huns must be impressed ………..well , maybe no!

  5. Apologies to whoever posted, can’t remember who, wondered why the Hun ref booked Naismith for fouling Broony and then still allowed Hearts to take the corner. He had no option I think as the ball was out of play until the corner is taken.

  6. I have no doubt that the opportunity for Lenny to win the Treble as the Celtic Manager played its part in the Board supporting him, twice publicly, despite the evidence results wise in the four tournaments he has been in charge, this season. Lenny acknowledged that fact by publicly thanking both our major owner and CEO. Given that we have no option but to revert back to that football truism best exemplified by the great Jock Stein, and take it one game at a time.


    Believing, and if that stops


    Hoping, and if that runs out





    Earlier I’d suggested Declan or Cedric Kipre (the ex-Well bruiser)


    Since leaving Well, he had a decent year at Wigan only to languish on the Baggies bench.


    Partner w Jullien at minimal cost.

  8. glendalystonsils



    A terrific tribute to a fantastic achievement.


    When I was a youngster I used to look back into the Celtic history, in wonder at the Celtic of the first twenty years of the 20th century. Big Jock eclipsed that but the youngsters of tomorrow will look back to the history of first two decades of this century with the same wonder as I had then, and have even now. Over and over.

  9. Am I the only one convinced we were denied a stone wall penalty, first half of extra time, cross from the right, Berra handball, Laxalt was screaming for a penalty, so was I in my living room. The lack of a replay only convinced me more. The BBC editors were at it yesterday. Anyone remember?

  10. Sid, I noticed that, I’ve since rewound it, and it is a clear handball. No mention of it in commentary and no second look at it then or since.

  11. *CQN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2020-21*





    To complete the Quadruple Treble with the last kick of the ball will be long remembered as yet another Celtic Magical Moment. Of course, we really shouldn’t have had our hearts put through the wringer (yet again) as we were in complete control of the game at half time. But what a rollercoaster of emotions for the following hour and a half which ultimately gave us a game that few of us will ever forget.


    So, we did it. A feat that no other club will EVER do. No need for the usual “well, not in my lifetime” add-on. No other club will EVER do it. Ever!


    Apart from one player who I thought was pretty flawless throughout, most of the others had moments of brilliance and moments of disaster in equal measure. So, it’s not surprising that the votes have been well spread out.


    As always, a big thank you to the 71 who emailed me with their choices of 3 top performers. The votes cast for each player (with my own choices asterisked) are as follows –


    Hazard: 26


    Ajer*: 61


    Jullien: 1


    Duffy: 1


    Taylor: 4


    Christie*: 12


    Brown*: 52


    Turnbull: 16


    McGregor: 19


    Elyounoussi: 1


    Edouard: 3


    Rogic: 0


    Frimpong: 0


    Laxalt: 0


    Johnston: 2


    Griffiths: 13


    Soro: 0



    So, the players receiving points for the Hearts game are –


    Ajer – 5 points (and back to back Man Of The Match awards)


    Brown – 4 points


    Hazard – 3 points


    McGregor – 2 points


    Turnbull – 1 point



    And the overall table is now –


    1st – Laxalt – 49 points


    2nd – Christie and McGregor – 44 points


    4th – Ajer – 37 points


    5th – Frimpong – 35 points


    6th – Brown – 29 points


    7th – Elyounoussi – 23 points


    8th – Rogic – 19 points


    9th – Duffy – 17 points


    10th – Ntcham – 16 points


    11th – Turnbull – 14 points


    12th – Edouard – 13 points


    13th – Bitton and Griffiths – 12 points


    15th – Taylor – 11 points


    16th – Barkas – 9 points


    17th – Ajeti – 8 points


    18th – Elhamed and Soro – 7 points


    20th – Forrest, Jullien and Klimala – 5 points


    23rd – Bain and Welsh – 4 points


    25th – Hazard – 3 points


    26th – Bolingoli, Dembele, Henderson and Johnston – 0 points



    And on we go to Wednesday’s 6pm kick off at home to John Hughes’ Ross County. The first of 4 league games in 10 days which will hopefully generate a total of at least 300 emails to keep this old man busy 😉


    Hail Hail

  12. Hello again all you young rebels.



    What a weekend, and what a club, so proud to be a supporter.


    The rebel peninsula was packed on Sunday at our Christmas party


    with fantastic entertainment from our bhoy from Derry.


    Then a early morning watch the final in our wee gypsy caravan.


    People on the site must have thought murder was being committed,


    with the jumping and screaming going on lol.


    Took me a while to get my keyboard skills going when I got back, but


    not often you get a Quadruple hangover is it ?


    Not read back much so hope the blog has been a happy place…hmmm.


    H.H. Mick

  13. The Hanoverians in Dingwall deserve to be pitied for what they are, subservient Unionist dogs. Prima nocta is no concern to us Celts. Put der hun rat to the sword.


    Let John Hughes suffer his 30 pieces of silver every step of the way.


    Ave Ave


    4 x 3

  14. thier opinion is worthless



    the blessed Martin (who was my MOM on sunday for the comments alone)









    Dec 20


    Neil McCann…. basement dweller Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joyFace with tears of joyFace with tears of joyFace with tears of joy

  15. HENRY JOY on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 9:05 PM


    ‘For those not a Murdoch Tory Sky subscriber ….





    Vatican Media Update’








    Would it be insensitive to mention that Rupert Murdoch is a Papal Knight?

  16. O.K. only read back a bit, two questions.


    Whats happened with GFTB ?


    has anyone at our club got the balls to address that scandalous


    slur against our club from that little cellar dweller McCann ?


    H.H. Mick

  17. the boy across the street from me was on the celtic books as a goalkeeper for 3 seasons past, he got let go, however when i talked to him he sadi that Woods is a most excellent goalie coach, he aslo spoke very very highly of Craig Gordon

  18. Theoriginalsadiesbhoy,



    Craig Halkett Hearts — firstly too slow. Secondly from the dark side —-the deep dark side.



    On BBC Scotland. It had a no Catholics policy at Queen Margaret Drive as told to me by a well known Executive Producer. Of course that has changed big time over the years —unfortunately not the Sports dept. where the grip is still order of the day.



    During the cardigans CL failures they were guests to watch opponents play at weekend on satellite —- an offer never extended to any other club especially the uppity Tim’s.



    They still retain in the sports dept a hatred for Celtic and employ many EBT tax cheats from the Ibrox club. Kenny McIntyre and co, Richard Gordon etc work for an org that is fighting to keep taxpayers funding —- yet use it to employ EBT tax cheats ( as contractors so to minimise tax ). It is corruption as there is no level playing field in the selection of these tax cheats. The selection process is a checklist that always come out with an ex Rangers player , tax cheat and results in the hatred we witnessed from McCann and Dodds is the outcome.



    BBC Scotland is not fir for purpose.

  19. ERNIE LYNCH on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 10:25 PM


    HENRY JOY on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 9:05 PM


    ‘For those not a Murdoch Tory Sky subscriber ….


    Vatican Media Update’


    Would it be insensitive to mention that Rupert Murdoch is a Papal Knight




    You remind me of Napoleon’s emissary (story of).

  20. ERNIE LYNCH on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 10:25 PM


    HENRY JOY on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 9:05 PM



    Would it be insensitive to mention that Rupert Murdoch is a Papal Knight



    *He got it as a token of gratitude for the charitable works carried out by his Glasgow born ben affleck wife. She was made a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.



    Their 3 weans, are also of the one, true, holy and apostolic faith.

  21. LUCKY CODY on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 10:49 PM




    Richard Gordon isn’t a hun.



    No idea how he slipped through the net right enough, but he’s not a hun.

  22. Doc



    Thanks, raises my suspicions the whole BBC production team is in on it. The things our club have to put up with, its sport but not as we know it.


    Makes it sweeter but when is enough, enough?

  23. ps.



    eden mill pop p shop in silverburn has the 9 in a row gift pack if anyone wants to get me it for christmas.

  24. Ernie Lynch,



    I know that he is a Dons fan. Still his program is infested with EBT tax cheats—- so who takes them on and the responsibility of a fair selection process. Currently the criteria for hire is Hun, EBT recipient and anti Celtic.



    He has taken the hun side of the argument a few times —- one for the watching. Not as bad a English.