League Trophy back at Celtic Park, Dunfermline’s display, Sutton’s last laugh

PERHAPS no Celtic team ever has been as motivated to win the league as Martin O’Neill’s side in the season after Seville.

Cheated in the League Cup Final by a disgraceful offside call against John Hartson, the Scottish Cup campaign ended up at Inverness as the focus was very much on the UEFA Cup run and the quarter final with Liverpool. And we all know what happened in Seville then the Sunday that followed when the league was lost on goal difference at Kilmarnock despite Celtic winning 4-0.

Dunfermline, in somewhat dubious circumstances, were apparently already ‘on the beach’ and lost 6-1 at Ibrox. After that happened big Sutton gave us a hint if what was to come in his post playing career as a fearless and outspoken pundit.

Clearly Sutton and his teammates were hurt that they’d won nothing and that an inferior Rangers side had somehow walked off with a Treble. And in the season that followed they were determined to right a wrong.

On this day in 2004 Celtic brought the Premier League trophy back to Celtic Park, having wrapped up the title against Kilmarnock a few weeks earlier. Form since that game had dipped as Martin O’Neill rested many first team regulars and Aberdeen took advantage recording a 2-1 win over the newly crowned Champions at Celtic Park 3 days after the title was won.

A one each draw at Tynecastle against Hearts followed before Celtic got their hands on the trophy on this day. Ironically enough the visitors were Dunfermline and they managed to do what they found impossible a year earlier at Ibrox and put up a fight – indeed they won the game 2-1. Jimmy’s team could try when it suited them.

It was a better outcome six days later when the Rangers were back at Celtic Park for another humping that season and who scored the only goal of the game?  It was Celtic’s fifth straight win over ‘Champions’ Rangers that season – four having happened since the New Year.

It’s called having the last laugh. Something Chris Sutton is very good at. And the Scottish Cup was won later that month, before it was time to say farewell to Sutton’s striking partner, the King of Kings.

And a reminder that BT Sport 1 are showing highlights from four pretty special Champions League matches from Celtic Park tomorrow evening at 7pm. Full details below…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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