It was a long way from pretty in the torrential Glasgow rain, but Neil Lennon's Celtic fought their way to a tenth successive domestic trophy, as they edged out Rangers by a goal to nil to claim the 2019 Scottish League Cup.
The Hoops have been allergic to failure in recent seasons, and even up against it with a numerical disadvantage for much of the second half, they were able to weather the storm, with Christopher Jullien's opener on the hour mark ultimately sparking some incredible scenes on the full-time whistle.
The Old Firm has been a generous fixture as far as the Hoops are concerned in recent seasons but this one was far from straightforward - made all the more complicated by the omission of their talisman Odsonne Edouard from the starting XI.
The former PSG striker had netted 13 goals in 25 appearances this season heading in, but a continued struggle with injury meant he was only fit enough for the bench, with makeshift striker Lewis Morgan coming in instead.
Édouard doesn't start- a big blow for #Celtic He is the focal point of the team and our style of play very much revolves around him. Surprised in his absence, Morgan gets the nod over Griffiths.— Brian McNally (@McNallyMirror) December 8, 2019
Not getting why folk think that's a bad team. It's as solid as it gets from Forster through to midfield. If Morgan doesn't cut it, look at the options we have. Calm down troops and get the rosaries out to count the score.— Eamonn Maguire (@eamonnthewakes) December 8, 2019
Can't wait for the "never doubted him" tweets when Morgan scores.— Flynn, C.J (@eightsixonesix) December 8, 2019
Missing the outlet of their target man and up against a side fired up and hell-bent on ending an eight-year run without a major trophy, the Hoops found themselves under the cosh.
They needed a big performance from on-loan Southampton man Fraser Forster to keep the scores level in the early stages - and the big man was all too happy to suffice.
It was all rangers, big forster was the difference for us, what a game he had. #CELRAN— Mikey (@mikey181283) December 8, 2019
Fraser Forster should probably be England’s #1 again.— Evan (@EvanMcFarlane) December 8, 2019
In truth it was a pretty drab first half, one that mirrored the dreary conditions, although it was dominated by Steven Gerrard's Gers who really should have been in front.
The usually-prolific Alfredo Morelos, who has yet to score against Celtic, found himself particularly at fault.
HALF-TIME: Rangers 0-0 Celtic— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) December 8, 2019
All level at the interval. Rangers dominating the half but unable to find the opening goal. pic.twitter.com/pnELMZXA5m
I’d be surprised if Morelos managed to finish his dinner today.— Adam (@adam_major1) December 8, 2019
Cannot believe we didn't score ANY of those chances. Actually lost count of how many we've had. All its going to take is for Celtic to get a typical lucky shot (probably in the last minute!) and we'll regret all of those misses. 臘♀️— Jen (@jmarti201) December 8, 2019
What was that about a lucky Celtic goal that would make Rangers regret all their misses..?
After 15 goalless minutes to start the second half, it would indeed be the Hoops who would find the breakthrough - albeit very much against the run of play, and in contentious fashion.
The colossal Jullien was on hand to turn in Mikey Johnston's free-kick, but there was more than a hint of offside about the finish. If only Scottish football had VAR...
Difficult to tell from different angles but BT Sport ref says Jullien's winner was offside. Interesting to hear what the managers think of it.— Roger Hannah (@Hannahnaman) December 8, 2019
- 16 attempts on goal— Graeme Clark (@20Graeme09) December 8, 2019
- 7 attempts on target
- 64% possession
- 11 corners
- Celtic down to 10 men
= ZERO GOALS
And to top it off Jullien goal offside.
Alfredo Morelos:— Celtic Soccer Show (@CelticSoccrShow) December 8, 2019
▫️ 7 shots
▫️ 0 goals
▫️ 1 shot
▫️ 1 goal
Finally we put an end to the debate of who the better striker is. pic.twitter.com/ts29mlsjHj
A game that had been simmering then very much reached boiling point.
First, former Manchester City defender Jeremie Frimpong brought down Morelos in the Celtic box, resulting in a penalty and a red card for the young defender, who has impressed in his first season at Parkhead.
The Rangers hysteria didn't last too long, however. Normal penalty-taker, captain James Tavernier, made the bold decision to leave the resulting penalty to Morelos, who, as previously mentioned, hadn't yet scored against Celtic.
What could go wrong?
Jeremie Frimpong sees red!— Fitba on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2019
Fraser Forster SAVES the penalty
It's all kicking off pic.twitter.com/v0T5IEIeHc
Forster: The Great Wall— Oldfirmfacts (@Oldfirmfacts1) December 8, 2019
Morelos: The Great LOL
Will Alfredo Morelos ever score against Celtic? pic.twitter.com/xnV0zo3gIe— Pie and Bovril gbsct (@pieandbov) December 8, 2019
I'm not saying that Celtic were a tad fortunate to win that but the highlights will appear on Crimewatch. #RANCEL— poc (@peteoconn) December 8, 2019