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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. Another fantastic achievement by our team yesterday against a club who despise us more than they do their city rivals.

     

     

    We needed a win yesterday and we got it.

     

     

    Naismith for all the great work he does off the pitch for homeless and those in poverty , is a vicious little runt on it. Does he play the same way against other teams or is his horrible style reserved for us? If Naismith gets into the Scotland squad for next season’s Euros , and plays , he will be sent off if he plays like he does against us.

     

     

    I watched the highlights of the St Mirren St Johnstone game , Steven McLean was the ref. . It was a perfect example of how we are reffed differently. St Johnstone player Kerr received a straight red from McLean for a very reckless challenge which was similar to the one on Klimala but not as wild. Also McLean’s decision not to send off Morelos last week should have seen him put on ‘gardening leave for a few weeks’ .

  2. I thought Billy Dodds and Liam Mcleod were pretty good on Sunday, if anything they sounded pro Celtic .IMO

  3. Well done Celtic, well done the players, well done the manager and support staff. History made.

     

     

    The microcosm that is CQN typifies a spectrum of our support. Some happy, some never happy and some happy in the moment.

     

    12 trophies up for grabs…all taken.

     

     

    In most walks of life this buys you some chips in the game. Proven track record etc..

     

     

    Not for some. Sad to see some moving on despite actual outcomes achieved. A quadruple treble… I repeat a quadruple treble brought over the line by a guy who wants to be here.

     

     

    It’s not been an easy watch this season but I will give some leeway to Neil at this point. It can be changed and it can be overcome. Nothing is won (except the SC) at this point.

     

     

    The infighting in here has saddened me. Usual suspects always at the centre. Can you not accept another opinion and counteract it with your own? I’d respect you more! Cut the abuse and personal digs please.

     

     

    I’ve not been on much of late but I wish you all a happy as it can get Christmas and a better New Year!

  4. Philcool

     

     

    Yes just the 2 hands 😀

     

    No replay, so no stain on Beatons reputation this allows commentators to say he had a good game, he then gets further important fixtures and more chances to influence future Celtic games to out detriment. Very crafty.

  5. Tontine Tim @11:07

     

     

    Love your posts on old Celtic games but I’m afraid the one referred to above is bollocks. The fact that RM, his Mrs and kids are so feted by the Church is an embarrassment and utterly shameful imho but hey ho, right wing Catholic conservatives will approve, just ask our board… (-:

     

     

    Now back to the footy, absolutely brilliant achievement by Neil and the bhoys. As the badge on my old scarf says: “Proud to be a Tim”!

     

     

    HH

  6. Well done to Neil Francis Lennon and our Bhoys. History makers and now immortality.

     

    Very well done to whoever organised the Quadruple Treble Electronic billboard at Anniesland Cross yesterday. It was much appreciated by the many huns in Anniesland, Knightswood, Drumchapel and Bearsden, on their commute yesterday I’m sure 😂🍀💚💪✊

  7. JVR

     

    Hope you are well J.

     

    I probably despise Hearts more than I despise any of our Glasgow City rivals. Probably 2 years of living and working with them in Reekie, and the many attacks by their support around Gorgie.

     

    In Embra, I was always the Glesgae, Fenian Bassa to them. Naismith is totally suited to them, and their vile fan base.

     

    Four huge games coming up for us and the huns.

     

    Here We Go to 10 In A Row.

  8. I am STILL a happy auld Celtic Man…

     

    The QUAD SQUAD got there in the end despite the thuggery of the Mini Huns and the Hun MIB.

     

    I would say that when Celtic win games and Trophies, what we as Celtic supporters tend to forget now and then IS the Thuggery of other teams against us….Aided and Abetted by the Hun MIB.

     

    Our Bhoys are NOT allowed a level playing field almost every time the go up against Scuddish opposition, and so the Celtic Bhoys are usually playing against much more than 11 Opponents….

     

     

    Maybe its just as well that I wasnt good enough to play for Glasgow Celtic FC…..I would be Sent Aff in every game ?

     

    HH.

  9. For many years Ive had Huns call me ” Paranoid”…

     

    Ive ALWAYS replied with…” Your right….but its JUSTIFIBLE PARANOIA”…….That usually shuts them up !

     

     

    I then would provide them with numerous examples….That really shuts them up !

     

    LOL

     

    HH to ALL the Good guys.

  10. IF….?

     

    IF after receiving a Pass Back from one of his own players…or maybe an over hit pass from a Celtic player, Craig Gordon the Hertz Goalie has the ball at his feet and Scott Brown is far up the pitch and decides to try and close Gordon down….Craig Gordon then ” NUTMEGS” Scott Brown and clears the ball upfield….

     

     

    Would that ” scenario” be viewed as being “DISRESPECTFUL”, by certain Chumps ?

     

    Of course it wouldnt…it would be replayed on TV over and over again, with those Hun Chumps laughing long and hard.

     

    FACT !

     

     

    HH.

  11. Henry Joy

     

    Some brilliant music posted by you overnight. You managed to feature 3 of my heroes in life. James Connolly, John MacLean and David Bowie. Love that track Five Years. Amazing. Thank you.

  12. Big Jimmy

     

    Is it not very disrespectful to me and millions in Scotland, who work long hard shifts and pay our taxes to keep the economy going, to see parasites like McCann, evade paying taxes through an EBT scheme. Disrespectful is too mild a word for my feelings towards that wee gimp.

  13. Lennon dedicating Sunday’s win to Lawwell & the board in return for letting him keep his job demonstrates just how disconnected our inept management team are from the support. Not good enough for Bolton, not good enough for Hibs, but cheap enough and obedient enough to agree to whatever our board dictate. In February 2019, we had the fittest, the best coached and the most motivated, hungry squad in Scotland. The speed of the decline in standards under his leadership is frightening. We have slumped from Champions League possibles to Europa League cannon fodder. We have downsized from Dembele to Ajeti, from Tierney to Taylor, from Forster to Hazard. We all can see it, but our management apparently see nothing wrong.

     

    The irony is that the last time Lennon showed any backbone in dealing with this board was to send them packing following our derisory bids for John McGinn. Now he has the audacity to dedicate the hard work of others to that same board of charlatans. Anyone with any self awareness of their own glaring limitations would bow out gracefully. But no, not our current incumbent…he lacks the dignity needed to put the club first, for him its all about the personal glory of being this self-proclaimed ‘unique band of one’. Go figure…