A Celtic State of Mind’s Decade of Dominance – League Match of the Decade

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 first semi final from the Domestic category, with some absolutely incredible games included, from title-winning games, 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.

Listen to the latest episode of the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind with DECLAN MCCONVILLE here:

SEMI FINAL # 1

Game 1

6 November 2010

Celtic 9 (Stokes x3, Hooper x3, Ledley, McCourt, Magennis og)
Aberdeen 0

46,000 witnessed Celtic nearly hitting double figures in this league match at home to Aberdeen, despite the fact it took Celtic 26 minutes to take the lead. Stokes opened the scoring with a penalty following Paul Hartley’s red card for deliberate handball, soon the flood gates opened. Within 7 minutes, Gary Hooper had added a double before Celtic were awarded another penalty which Stokes then slotted away. By this point, Celtic were also down to ten men after defender Thomas Rogne was sent off for a last-man offence. Four up at half-time and it didn’t take Celtic long to stretch their lead. A four-goal flurry in the space of 13 minutes started when Josh Magennis deflected a cross past Langfield. It was almost instantly followed up by Hooper grabbing his hat-trick, a trademark Joe Ledley strike and another hat-trick goal for Anthony Stokes.

The cries around Celtic Park were, “We want 10. We want 10,” and for long spells it looked like 10 was on the cards. Celtic made it 9 with 5 minutes to go as substitute Paddy McCourt slotted home Celtic’s third penalty of the game.

Unsurprisingly, referee Alan Muir didn’t add on any additional time and 9 was not to be 10, despite Stokes’ efforts to grab a fourth. A resounding victory and a joy for the fans in attendance, which also included a certain Henrik Larsson!

Game 2

10 September 2016

Celtic 5 (Dembele x3, Sinclair, Armstrong)
Rangers 1 (Garner)

For the first time in the league since 2011, (or ever?) Celtic lined up to face Rangers with the eyes of the football world looking on, waiting to see how they would match up. Celtic, the current champions, had won the previous five titles in-a-row but the last match between the two saw Rangers win on penalties in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Rangers had bolstered their squad with the signings of Joey Barton, Philippe Senderos and Niko Kranjčar. Meanwhile, Celtic under new manager Brendan Rodgers had added Kolo Toure, Scott Sinclair and 19-year-old Moussa Dembele, to deputise for the injured Leigh Griffiths.

There was an edgy start to the game with Nir Bitton picking up an early yellow card, and Kranjčar joined him in the book soon after. However, just after the hour mark, a corner from new signing Scott Sinclair found the aforementioned Moussa Dembele, who powered a header past Foderingham and into the net. One soon became two when, eight minutes later, an interception from Nir Bitton led to the Israeli sliding a ball through for Dembele. The young Frenchman went one-on-one with Senderos, who he sent hot-dogs, before dinking the ball with the outside of his foot past the onrushing Foderingham. The 55,000 Celtic faithfuls had been screaming for him to pass to the unmarked Sinclair, but those cries soon turned to screams of joy as the ball sailed into the corner of the net.

New Rangers striker, Joey Garner, goal-poached a Kenny Miller effort just before half-time to give the blue half some belief, however, that didn’t last long as Scott Sinclair broke the offside trap and slotted home to put the lead back to two. A hilarious red card for Philippe Senderos with 15 minutes to go summed up how the afternoon was going for Mark Warburton’s side as any crumbs of hope soon disappeared. Moussa Dembele went on to complete his perfect hat-trick, this time with a left-footed shot from close range after a pinpoint cross from Mika Lustig floated over the head of Barton and found Dembele. He had the composure to flash a left-foot shot across Foderingham to become the first Celtic player in nearly 40 years to score a hat-trick in this fixture.

Stuart Armstrong wrapped up the scoring in injury time and the demolition was complete. The team from Govan disappeared back across the city with their tails between their legs as the green half of Glasgow partied long into the night!

Game 3

27 April 2019

Celtic 1 (Simunovic)
Kilmarnock 0

Only days before this game, Celtic lost a true legend in Lisbon Lions Captain, Billy McNeill.

McNeill, who had been suffering from dementia, was an ambassador for the club until the final few months of his life and his loss left a gaping hole around the place. Outside, the statue dedicated to the great man was surrounded by tributes from all over the football world – jerseys, scarfs, flowers… all in memory of one of football’s greatest men.

The atmosphere was extremely emotional inside the ground, as tributes were paid throughout the afternoon. A bigger tribute, though, could not have been forecast in the way that this transpired. Wearing the number that McNeill had symbolised throughout his 822 games for the club, defender Jozo Simunovic was to pay the ultimate tribute to Cesar. With 67 minutes elapsed in the game, Simunovic leaped highest to nod home a Callum McGregor cross and put the Celts in front. It was only then that the realisation of what had happened kicked in… Celtic’s number 5, scoring in the 67th minute on the day where we had attended to pay our tributes to the greatest ever Celtic captain.

It’s safe to say, King Billy was clearly shining down on the sunny Paradise pitch that day, with a big smile on his face!

Game 4

27 February 2019

Hearts 1 (Bozanic)
Celtic 2 (Forrest, Edouard)

Barely 24 hours after it was announced that Brendan Rodgers and his backroom team had uplifted their gear and ran down the M6 to Leicester City, Celtic travelled across the M8 for a potentially title-deciding tie at Tynecastle. Interim manager, Neil Lennon, alongside his makeshift coaching staff of John Kennedy and Damian Duff were left with the task of trying to pull together a shell-shocked squad who had just lost the manager who had led them to 7 straight trophies.

Hearts flew out of the blocks, backed by the impressive home support and striker Uche Ikpeazu was causing all sorts of trouble for the Celtic rearguard. It was actually Hearts’ dominance that lead to the opening goal… for Celtic. A Hearts free kick was cleared by Ewan Henderson, wide to the on-running Scott Sinclair. Soon with a three-on-two opportunity, Sinclair slid in Oliver Burke, who in turn repeated the favour, sliding the ball across to the on-running James Forrest, who left goalkeeper Zlamal with no chance as he tapped into the empty net. From defence to attack in four passes and the Celts were one up.

Just before half-time, Hearts were reduced to 10 men, when a challenge from Jamie Brandon on Jeremy Toljan was deemed worthy of a straight red. Into the second-half and, despite being a man down, Hearts grew in confidence and that confidence was rewarded when they were given a penalty following some sloppy play in the defence leading to Ikpeazu being brought down. Bozanic levelled the scores and it looked for long spells that the Jambos would hold on for the deserved point.

Then, in the dying moments of the game, substitute Odsonne Edouard found himself on the end of a beautifully floated cross from the captain, Scott Brown. No more than eight yards out, Edouard guided the ball with his foot into the back of the net, causing absolute scenes with the fans behind the goal. After an arduous 24 hours, the fans and players were able to come together to celebrate and remember the key thing – no matter who is in charge, no matter where we are, when we believe in each other and believe in Celtic, we can be successful.

Over and Over, we will follow you.

Colin Watt

Watch Sophie Millar’s stunning rendition of ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly’:

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