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Five of the Best- Watch the Celtic TV salute to the Double Winners

Halfway between the final of the Scottish Cup and the first pre-season friendly, away to Ayr United on July 5, Celtic TV has produced a brilliant reminder of how Brendan Rodgers delivered the double.

To say that it was a roller-coaster season would be a massive understatement, during the winter months there were some very dark days before the sunshine of May when two victories in Glasgow Derbies delivered trophies 117 and 118 to Scotland’s most successful club.

Just over a year ago Celtic fans were coming to terms with the appointment of Brendan Rodgers, after the previous 106 day gap between Neil Lennon leaving and the appointment of Ange Postecoglou the gap between managers was almost a blink of the eye.

The vast, vast majority of Celtic fans accepted Rodgers as the most suited candidate for the job, the actions of Peter Lawwell over the previous four years had lent an understanding to his decision in February to quit for Leicester. The CEO was happy to bank £9m and slot his mate in as Caretaker ahead of getting the job on a permanent basis.

Recruitment was a word that would be associated with the club throughout the season, there was no avoiding it.

After two brilliant transfer windows driven by Postecoglou his departure left Mark Lawwell firmly in charge with five sub-standard wingers and central defenders brought in to replace Jota and Carl Starfelt.

As the days ticked down in August supporters realised that they were getting fed a diet of projects, made worse by injuries to Reo Hatate and Cameron Carter-Vickers that would leave a gaping hole until the end of March and the business end of the season.

Reflecting the balance of the season only one of the highlighted matches was played before the end of February with three coming in a golden May fortnight that will be long remembered.

September 3, Glasgow Derby 1-0

The stage was set for the coronation of Micky Beale as a depleted Celtic went to Ibrox one point ahead in the SPFL Premiership.

Injuries to Hatate and Carter-Vickers were compounded by the loss of Stephen Welsh and Maik Nawrocki from central defence. Topping off the build up was the failure to score in the two previous matches, the League Cup exit at Kilmarnock and a tedious home draw with St Johnstone.

Rodgers has no option but to put his faith in Liam Scales and Gus Lagerbielke- they didn’t disappoint as the new look defensive pairing kept a clean sheet while Ibrox was silenced by a brilliant goal from Kyogo Furuhashi that decided the points, his sixth goal in the fixture in 2023.

The doubters in Rodgers had been won over, despite being handicapped by a dodgy transfer window he delivered another win at Ibrox with the added kudos of doing so with no Celtic fans inside Ibrox.

The visitors finished with a back four of Tony Ralston, Lagerbielke, Scales and Alexandro Bernabei.

What could possibly go wrong from then on?

Celtic: Hart, Alistair Johnston (Ralston 65′), Lagerbielke, Scales, Taylor (Bernabei 74′), O’Riley, McGregor, Turnbull ( Thiago Holm 66′), Abada (Hyunjun Yang 66′), Kyogo (Hyeongyu Oh 76′), Maeda

Subs: Palma, Kobayashi, Hyeokkyu Kwon, Bain,

February 25 Motherwell 3-1

Celtic kicked off at Fir Park five points behind in second place in the SPFL Premiership, the previous weekend points had been dropped at home to Kilmarnock.

The visitors produced virtually nothing in the first half, just before half-time Chris Erskine opened the scoring from the sort of move that Celtic had been unable to match.

At half time Adam Idah replaced Kyogo, the on loan Norwich striker headed a powerful equaliser, on the hour mark Carter-Vickers replaced Nawrocki.

It looked like another draw was on the cards but not for the last time Idah scored in the 90th minute with Luis Palma adding a third in stoppage time. Only five more points were dropped in the SPFL, both in matches involving John Beaton.

Celtic: Hart, Alistair Johnston, Nawrocki (Carter-Vickers 61′), Scales, Taylor, O’Riley, Tomoki (Paulo Bernardo 77′), McGregor, Kuhn (Hyunjun Yang 61′), Kyogo (Idah 45′), Maeda (Palma 84′)

Subs: Palma , Hyeongyu Oh, Bain, Kelly, Ralston

May 11, Glasgow Derby 2-1

Three points clear with three matches left to play no-one needed to have the stakes explained for the fourth and final SPL Derby Match.

Daizen Maeda was miraculously back in the Starting XI, reborn James Forrest was on the right wing with Matt O’Riley opening the scoring in the 35th minute with his third strike on goal.

Within two minutes later Maeda set up John Lundstram for one of the most celebrated goals of the season and it seemed like a heavy victory would clinch the title on the day.

It wasn’t to be however, Cyriel Dessers scrambled an equaliser, O’Riley missed a penalty but after 10 minutes of stoppage time the final whistle blew with Celtic six points clear with two matches to play.

Celtic: Hart, Johnston (Ralston 74′), Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor, O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate (Tomoki 80′), Forrest (Kuhn 72′), Kyogo (Idah 71′), Maeda

Subs: Palma, Nawrocki, Paulo Bernardo, Bain, Welsh

May 15 Kilmarnock away, 5-0

The title could have been won the previous night had Dundee held onto a 2-0 lead at Ibrox, it wasn’t to be with Celtic sent to their bogey ground of Rugby Park needing a point to clinch three in a row.

Idah replaced Kyogo in attack, opened the scoring with dominant Celtic 3-0 up after 35 minutes with further goals from Maeda and Forrest in front of the partying Chadwick Stand.

A double from O’Riley after the break buried the bogey ground theory, in arguably their best performance of the season Celtic clinched the title with the party moving from Ayrshire up the M77 to the waiting thousands at Celtic Park.

Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor, O’Riley (Paulo Bernardo 74′), McGregor (Tomoki 74′), Hatate, Forrest (Kuhn 62′), Idah (Kyogo 62′), Maeda (Palma 62′)

Subs: Nawrocki, Bain, Ralston, Welsh

May 25 Scottish Cup Final 1-0

There was still one trophy to be decided, a match that would set the tone for the summer.

Could Celtic finish the season with the double or would they have to settle for ‘just’ retaining the SPFL title?

This one looked like a game too many for most of the Celtic side, they dominated the first half but had lost their sparkle around goal, not helped by being denied a penalty when Ben Davies scythed through Kyogo as he prepared to shoot.

Extra-time looked likely but substitute Paulo Bernardo shrugged aside Nicky Raskin, made up 30 yards towards goal and shot, when Super Jack Butland fumbled Idah popped away the rebound and it was party time as the trophy count reached 118.

Celtic: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor, O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate (Paulo Bernardo 78′), Forrest (Kuhn 71′), Kyogo (Idah 62′), Maeda

Subs: Palma, Nawrocki, Tomoki, Bain, Ralston, Welsh

CLICK HERE for Keevins performs incredible u-turn on Rodgers as he accuses Celtic fans.

CLICK HERE for Santa Ponsa celebrates Celtic’s victory in the Glasgow Derby.

CLICK HERE for final SPFL Premiership table.

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