A Celtic State of Mind’s Decade of Dominance – League Match of the Decade (Round 2)

Since 2010, Celtic have won 8 league trophies, 5 Scottish Cups and 5 League Cups in what will be referred back to in history as the ‘Decade of Dominance’. With lots of glorious memories over the last 10 years, A Celtic State of Mind have decided to pull together an awards ceremony highlighting some of the best and worst of the last 10 years of Celtic.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting regular polls and articles looking for you to vote on your favourite goal, game, jersey, player and much more as we celebrate the Decade of Dominance. Having looked at some of the fantastic goals, we now move on to matches, and with so many games over the span of 10 years, we’ve split this category into 3 – Domestic, Cups and European.

Today we have the second semi final from the Domestic category, with some absolutely incredible games included, from title-winning encounters, amazing comebacks and demolitions of the other half of Glasgow.

Have we missed any out? Tweet us your favourite game and vote in our polls.

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SEMI FINAL # 2

Game 1

16 March 2013

Celtic 4 (Commons, Mulgrew, Hooper, Samaras)
Aberdeen 3 (Vernon, Magennis x2)

Smack bang in-between a last-16 Champions League tie with Juventus, Celtic took on second-placed Aberdeen and it took only 15 seconds for the Hoops to take the lead. Before some of the Parkhead faithful had even taken their seats, Kris Commons linked up with Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes to slot home low past Jamie Langfield in the Aberdeen net. It looked as though a repeat of the famous 9-0 victory could have been on the cards but it wasn’t to be.

Vernon equalised for the Dons just before the half-time break from the penalty spot, before Josh Magennis’ double early in the second half made it 3-1 with just over an hour gone. Looking down and out, the rage around Parkhead was clearly audible. Less than eight minutes later, however, Charlie Mulgrew pulled one back, with his deflected shot trickling past Langfield. It looked as though Aberdeen would hold on for a vital three points in their challenge for a European spot, but two minutes from time, Gary Hooper drew Celtic level, pouncing to slot home a rebound that had been cleared off the Aberdeen line. A draw would have been a fair result in a game that was certainly one for the neutrals, but then a moment of magic turned one point into three.

In the 94th minute, Kris Commons swung across a last-gasp free-kick which evaded most of the penalty box, was salvaged by Celtic striker Lassad, who headed the ball back into the box. Greek god Georgios Samaras won the race to the ball and used his genius to unleash an overhead kick, just out of Langfield’s reach and into the bottom left-hand corner. The comeback was complete and those inside Celtic Park certainly got value for money in what was an instant classic.

Game 2

2 January 2011

Rangers 0
Celtic 2 (Samaras x2)

On the 40th anniversary of the Ibrox Disaster, Celtic and Rangers met in a typically crucial Glasgow Derby. With respects paid before kick-off, it didn’t take long for the game to get tasty. Emilio Izaguirre cleared a Lee McCulloch header off the line with only five minutes gone, as the side from Govan looked to try and leapfrog Celtic into top spot. Celtic managed to hold on through to half-time.

Celtic were missing Brown, Hooper, Ki, Du Ri, Murphy, Kapo and Ljungberg, making Rangers favourites for the game, but that changed after a moment of magic just after the hour mark. Joe Ledley intercepted a pass from Richard Foster and played a first-time lob over the top of the Rangers defence and into the path of Samaras who was met around 30 yards from goal by the on-rushing Allan McGregor. Samaras calmly knocked the ball to the left and past McGregor before slotting home into the empty net from inside the penalty box; a complete howler from McGregor but a fantastically calm finish from the Greek god. A few minutes later, Samaras was at it again…

This time, Samaras led Jamie Ness a merry dance down the right-hand touchline before cutting into the box and being savagely brought down by Madjid Bougherra. Samaras dusted himself down and slotted the penalty home into the bottom right-hand corner, just out of the reach of McGregor. The Broamloan Road end erupted in delight as Celtic looked to have secured their first victory at Ibrox since Scott McDonald’s winner back in 2008.

Nicknamed Samaras Sunday, this occasion is one of the first that people remember when they think of Samaras’ time in the green-and-white and I was delighted to say it was my first visit to Ibrox and what a memory to have!

Game 3

2 April 2017

Hearts 0
Celtic 5 (Sinclair x3, Armstrong, Roberts)

Returning to the scene of Brendan Rodgers’ first league game in charge of Celtic 29 games later, the Bhoys crossed the M8 looking to secure the league title. Approaching this game unbeaten and with the League Cup in the bag, the dream of an invincible treble was fast becoming a reality.

Scott Sinclair deputised for Celtic once again upfront due to the absences of Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths and it was to be the Englishman who had scored the winner on the opening day at this ground, who was to wrap up the title in absolutely emphatic style. Sinclair cut in from the left-hand side, played a one-two with Paddy Roberts , then closed in on goal before lofting a shot high into the roof of the Hearts’ net, kick-starting the party in the Roseburn Stand end (well, some of it).

The same duo linked up once again, only four minutes later as Roberts slid in Sinclair, who managed to beat the offside trap to end up one-on-one. This time Sinclair cooly slotted past the goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner. Leading 2-0 at the break, Celtic could have easily coasted to a title-winning victory but instead they came out the blocks flying at the start of the second-half and Stuart Armstrong’s strike from the edge of the area made it 3, 10 minutes after the restart. That goal effectively killed the game and crowned Celtic as the champions of Scotland for the 6th season in-a-row.

Celtic were out to make a statement now, though, and, 5 minutes later, Paddy Roberts picked up a pass around 25 yards out, moved into the box only to be closed down by two Hearts defenders. That didn’t put off the dynamic winger, who shifted on to his left foot and curled an effort into the top left-hand corner; a goal that summed up his season. Sinclair was desperate to complete his hat-trick and, when he was brought down in the box with 5 minutes remaining, there was only ever going to be one outcome. Sinclair dusted himself down before slotting the penalty high into the roof of the Hearts’ net, completing the rout and engraving Celtic’s name onto the league title for the 48th time. An incredible way to secure the title and a game which really summed up the talents of the Invincible Treble season.

Game 4

15 May 2016

Celtic 7 (Tierney, Rogic, Lustig, Armstrong, Roberts, Christie, Aitchison)
Motherwell 0

Seven goals, seven different scorers and five league titles in-a-row – as a farewell for the departing Ronny Deila, it certainly wasn’t a bad way to sign off.

Celtic started the game like they owed something to the departing manager, and it was a player that Deila had developed in Kieran Tierney who opened the scoring. Two goals within five minutes from Tom Rogic and Mikael Lustig looked to set the Hoops on for a record score as they seemed to threaten from every attack. Somehow the score didn’t increase before the break despite the best efforts of Ryan Christie, who was playing as a ‘false nine’ in the absence of Leigh Griffiths.

It didn’t stay three for long, though, as Stuart Armstrong made it four with barely five minutes gone in the second-half with a succulent strike into the top corner… the question was now how many?

Paddy Roberts showed his class once again to make it five after some nice play from Stuart Armstrong, and five became six a mere minutes later when Ryan Christie got in on the act, drilling a shot past the helpless Motherwell goalkeeper. All that was left was for a moment of Celtic history to wrap the game up and this came in the form of 16-year-old Jack Aitchison, who picked up on an intercepted pass on the edge of the area and, with his first touch in professional football, slotted past the Motherwell goalkeeper to become Celtic’s youngest ever goalscorer. A
fantastic moment to wrap up a memorable day in the glorious Glasgow sunshine as Scott Brown lifted Celtic’s fifth consecutive league title aloft and Ronny Deila signed off in style.

Colin Watt

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