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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    You are of course 100% correct DD. I wonder IF McCann and others thought that Kents ” Gun to the Head” celebration at Celtic Park was ” Respectful”, and/or Morelos with his ” Cut Throat Gesture” in the same game ?



    It seems that Celtic had several Bill Boards across Glesga celebrating the history Makers.


    HH Mate.

  2. Talk Radio Nazis subject to Ofcom shutdown? Tried to tune in to the Nazi scum this morning and no reception. BBC news ignoring thus far.




    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 😂🍀💚💪✊





    Now that will be a sight to behold. I hope it’s still up when I get home for a camera shoot.


    Big mad Christmas tree and a Celtic billboard, what’s not to like.


    ( It will make a welcome change from all that UB shi@e at Anniesland )



    Cheers and HH.

  4. Greenpinata


    See BSR’s post at 3.03pm yesterday.


    Anniesland is Green & White 💪✊🍀💚

  5. SAINT STIVS on 21ST DECEMBER 2020 6:38 PM


    107 out of 129.



    cracker quiz for the old memory banks.





    Wow, I’m impressed. That is a brilliant score. I would wager, only TT on here would better that.




  6. DD,



    Got it, just reading back.


    Pity the Esquire isn’t open, or is it ?



    I bet you would know some of the bhoys who travelled to Helensburgh for the match..


    Rightly or wrongly they enjoyed the game with a pint.


    Pity they didn’t cancel the trains home .😁




  7. I see there is still uncertainty over new immigration rules post-Brexit for Scottish football. I suspect we’re going to be shafted. Clubs in England have already reached agreement with the Home Office for a points-based system whereby players will be judged on international appearances, the league they are coming from etc. If this applies in a similar way in Scotland our chances of signing another Van Dijk will be zero. English clubs can afford to buy international players from the big leagues – Scotland can’t.



    On top of that, because of the limitations on bringing in young talent from abroad English clubs are now targeting Scotland in a bigger way. We’re going to have to fight harder just to sign youth players and it’ll be a harder job keeping them.



    Obviously Scottish independence is the only way to bring in rules that benefit Scottish clubs. ;)

  8. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    From last night – most of us know Richard Gordon is not a Hun, but he’s certainly ‘on message’ lest he be Jim dis-Spenced with.



    Ditto token Tims like Bonner and McLeod. Soup takers of the highest order.



    You need only look at what happened to Micheal Stewart to see how tax-payer funded BBC Scoddland deals dissent.

  9. Chavez


    The Scots were bought and sold for English gold in 1707 ffs


    Not a fcuk has been given since.


    Scotland is nothing more than a name only.


    Ave Ave


    IV x III

  10. John McGinn chose to sign for Aston Villa. Nobody forced him to do that, he made a choice.



  11. ART OF WAR on 22ND DECEMBER 2020 12:24 AM



    Agree with those sentiments.



    Merry Christmas 🍀

  12. CHAVEZ on 22ND DECEMBER 2020 8:08 AM



    I can’t see how a hard border between Scotland ( EU member ? ) and England ( non EU member ) with massive tail backs at Gretna ( making Dover look like a Sunday outing ) , will help us attract or keep young, ambitious and fashion conscious players.



    The increased taxation they would inevitably pay would also be a mega deterent.



    ” Independence ” would not be beneficial for Celtic FC.



    Cheers and HH.

  13. Once we are an independent country and the British broadcasting corporation becomes the Scottish broadcasting corporation things will no doubt improve. No more anti-celtic bias. The SBC will be crawling with tims.



    In other matters, Gerrard will be hoping that we play the same defence that we played against hearts. Hearts looked threating almost every time they attacked.

  14. Good morning cqn from a dry but crisp Garngad



    Still Quadrophenian’s no matter what the biased BBC doesn’t say.



    D :)



    Yes,and which wee jealous,”Basement dweller”deserves to have his Haw Maws booted today.Step forward,Charlie Nicholas.


    “Lenny is no legend,neither is Martin O Neil.Only 2 legends,Jock Stein,and Brendan Rodgers”.


    Oooft,I think Martin touched a nerve .

  16. TURKEYBHOY on 22ND DECEMBER 2020 10:34 AM




    Yes,and which wee jealous,”Basement dweller”deserves to have his Haw Maws booted today.Step forward,Charlie Nicholas.


    “Lenny is no legend,neither is Martin O Neil.Only 2 legends,Jock Stein,and Brendan Rodgers”.


    Oooft,I think Martin touched a nerve .






    Only the two? No space for legends like Willie Maley, Jimmy McGrory and Billy McNeil does Nicholas know anything about Celtic history?

  17. Friesdorfer,



    Agree McGinn made a choice —— weeks after he agreed to come to Celtic after the Rodgers home visit.



    Lawwell dragged his heels and allowed Villa to enter the fray and with no acceptable offer from Celtic he signed on. Of course a last minute panic by Lawwell realising the folly of his bluffing and undermining of the manager was not successful. Of course then the narrative is fed to happy clappers ( guess by whom ) that he had a choice. McGinn had waited weeks on Celtic and was well within his rights after the shabby game played by Lawwell.



    Lawwell 100% screwed up the McGinn signing and the Atalanta RB at Leicester. He knew what he was doing —- he was at war with Rodgers and by middle of summer was briefing against Rodgers to the media. I can’t imagine a CEO of any other UK PLC briefing against their most high profile and important colleague. Then again I cannot imagine any other PLC appointing their most important employee in the shower—- how utterly banal.



    There is one man responsible for this shambles and frittering away the cash advantage we had —- our very own bonus incentivised CEO.



    Desmonds role in all of this is more complex —- however at the end of the day the disadvantages outweigh the advantages with each passing year. Change will have to come and hopefully the planning is underway for this investment of the heart.



    Lawwell is finished whichever way you look at it. He has destroyed Celtic from within.

  18. onenightinlisbon on

    Nicholas, Bonnar, McLeod, Walker, Commons – all forget where they came from and what playing for Celtic allowed them to achieve. Lowest of the low.

  19. LUCKY CODY on 22ND DECEMBER 2020 11:15 AM



    Zactly. You will not convince the PL mob on here .Wood for trees .It’s like trying to tell huns david murray skint them and robbed them’ they just don’t or won’t accept the facts.



    Yeah,of course,but the behaviour of these prats do deserve all the flak coming their way.