Celtic complete the domestic treble as they thumped their city rivals 4-0 in front of over 130,000 fans at Hampden Park. The 2nd treble in 3 seasons cemented our place as the leading club in the country & Jock Stein as one of the top managers in world football at the time.
With a few big names missing from the starting line-up, Celtic surprisingly were not the clear favourites going into the match. Rangers had crushed Aberdeen 6-1 in the Semi final & with Jinky suspended & John Hughes injured, the media had Rangers edging the final.
In a blistering first half Celtic scored 3 goals with out reply. The first coming from our captain & leader Billy McNeill. After only 3 minutes Celtic took advantage of some poor marking in the box, a corner swung into the box was met perfectly by McNeil as he steered the ball into the corner of the net.
Rangers had chances but Fallon in goal kept Celtic in front. As the match approached half time Celtic scored 2 quickfire goals. Bobby Lennox made it 2-0 when he capitalised on some slack passing in the Rangers Midfield. With the Celtic fans still celebrating the 2nd Goal, George Connelly dispossessed John Greig on the edge of the rangers box, then rounded the keeper to make it 3-0.
With the match over as a contest Celtic continued to attack in the 2nd half, then on 76 minutes Steve Chalmers scored Celtics 4th goal. In a move that started from inside our own 6 yard box, Celtic swept from defence to attack in seconds.
McNeil headed a cross clear & within 4 passes Chalmers found himself in acres of space in the Rangers half, he advanced on the left wing, cutting into the box, bearing down on goal he had support from Lennox & Auld, but with the angle closing Chalmers clipped the ball with the outside of his right foot passed Martin in the Rangers goal & inside his near post.
As the Celtic players & fans celebrated the huge victory the rangers fans made their way for the exit, some trying to enter the field of play.
The cheek of the finish from Chalmers not only showed the confidence in that Celtic teams ability it also showed the gap in quality between both teams in the final.
To win the treble was reward for a fantastic performance, but to secure it so emphatically against our rivals made it more special.
Martin Donaldson is a Glasgow East End Bhoy, He made my first trip to Celtic Park in 1983 for a 0-0 draw with Brechin City & thankfully that never put him off going back. He now sits perched high in section 409 of the North Stand with his 2 kids making memories along the Celtic Way.
He loves picking out those matches from yester-year to find out much more about the legendary names & faces that have graced the Celtic Jersey over the years. He is a keen fundraiser for The Celtic Foundation & The British Heart Foundation as they both strive to make a difference and to change peoples lives all over the world.
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