With no out and out striker in the team, the hoops had to line up with three up front, with Scott Sinclair initially leading the front line. There was also a very late change to the side with Stuart Armstrong being replaced before kick-off with Callum McGregor due to a calf injury.
Celtic started the game off brightly moving the ball about well and controlling possession. After equalling the Lisbon Lions fifty-year-old record Wednesday evening the hoops could go one better against the Jambos.
Hearts claimed for a penalty kick on the half hour mark which was dismissed by Bobby Madden. Celtic then broke, Sinclair who seemed to have switched to the left-hand side cut in and played a superb ball into Callum McGregor which appeared to rebound of his shin into Jack Hamilton’s net.
In the second half, Celtic started to carve open the Hearts defence with Forrest being slipped in only to be denied by a fantastic challenge by the Jambo’s Liam Smith. There was then a shout for a Celtic penalty with Sinclair trying to whip the ball across the face of goal. Hearts best chance of the match did come when Martin was picked out by El Ouriachi, the resulting shot was well-saved by the Celtic keeper Gordon.
After Liam Henderson’s introduction to the match Celtic went on to rapidly finish the game. Henderson slipped an exceptional ball through to the impressive Tierney which was then fired across the face of goal, it looked as if Hughes had put the ball into his own net only to be saved by Hamilton’s boot. Sinclair was instinctive and doubled the hoops advantage from two yards.
It was like a Déjà vu for the third goal which was so similar to the second except this time it was Patrick Robert’s who smashed the Ball into Hamilton’s net. Celtic then really sunk their teeth in and made it four after Jack Aitchison was fouled in the box. Sinclair took the resulting penalty to round oFf a special day in Celtic’s 129-year-old history.
Nobody would have thought after the low of the Scottish Cup Semi-Final in April that we go on in the next season to have Brendan Rodgers as manager – Champions League football, League Cup win and be twenty-two points clear at the end of January conquering a record of unbeaten runs done by the Lisbon Lions.
Oh how things can change!