Our Celtic team showed their unbelievable winning mentality again on Sunday, beating Rangers in the Scottish League Cup final by a 1-0 margin, despite not playing at their best.
It was undoubtedly a backs-to-the-wall performance, with Neil Lennon’s men creating just a couple of chances throughout the 90 minutes and having to withstand heavy pressure from the Ibrox side.
Fraser Forster and Christopher Jullien were the heroes of the day; the former making a string of stunning saves, including from a penalty, and the latter netting the unlikely winning from a set-piece cross.
When the full-time whistle called an end to a gruelling 90 minutes, there were scenes of wild celebration on the pitch and in the stands, with some fantastic images captured by photographers.
Here are three of our favourites from the day…
Frimpong all smiles
One of the most disappointing periods of play during the win came when Jeremie Frimpong was sent off by referee Willie Collum for hauling down Alfredo Morelos in the box.
The Colombian would go on to miss it, of course, thanks to Forster, but it left Celtic having to protect a lead with just ten men. Far from ideal circumstances.
It was also a shame for Frimpong, who I thought had a stellar match up to that point. He had been our best player in the first half, so to see him upset at receiving red in his first cup final wasn’t great.
After the match though he was his usual cheery self, right at the heart of the celebrations in front of a buoyant Hoops support.
I expect that smile will be hard to wipe off his face.
Jullien savours success
Where would we be without the big man this season? Jullien has undoubtedly been one of Lennon’s best signings this season and fully deserves all the plaudits coming his way.
His cup final winner, coupled with his resolute defensive display, marked him out as one of our top performers. If not for Forster, he’d have been a shoe-in to win our man of the match award.
He’s only scored three goals this season but two of them have been especially massive – with today’s pipping his effort against Lazio in the Europa League as the most important.
The Scottish League Cup is the first senior major honour he’s won in his career and hopefully won’t be his last.
The defender savoured every moment of the cup success after the final whistle and in this photo you can see the joy and passion on his face.
The captain looks up to Forster
The team were dead on their feet come the final whistle. Having chased the ball for much of the game and having had to protect a lead with just ten men, players like Kristoffer Ajer and Jullien were visibly knackered.
So was Forster, who required treatment in the box in the final moments, apparently suffering from fatigue.
At the final whistle, the goalkeeper was mobbed by his teammates, with captain Scott Brown quick to embrace him and let him know exactly what he just achieved.
Forster’s performance will go down in Celtic folklore. If you’re Peter Lawwell right now, surely you’re on the phone as soon as possible to figure out how to sign him permanently from Southampton?