Champagne on ice

I’ve mentioned in recent weeks about other Scottish teams that have impressed me this season. One of those teams happened to be Hibs.

So it came as no surprise when they beat Celtic on Saturday lunchtime at Easter Road. It means that the title Champagne is on ice for at least another week now.

Before this match I warned that Neil Lennon wouldn’t want to be the manager to hand the title to Celtic. Aside from being a servant for almost 15 years at Celtic, his current job has it’s own demands such as a European place.

And that’s just what Hibs took another step closer to making a reality. By defeating Celtic, one of only three Scottish clubs to have done so this season so far, Hibs have put pressure on Rangers who today will host Hearts.

There was of course disappointment at the manor of this loss. Both teams had come out of the blocks and were sluugging it out.

Celtic struggled for composure in the final third of the park. As the match wore on, Hibs determination was shining through.

The previous week’s evidence of what Celtic can do when in the mood was absent in Leith. Take nothing away from Hibs though, it was a fine performance from start to finish.

They’ve come close to beating Celtic this season and have the fewest amount of league defeats next to Celtic. Now they finally got the victory they’d deserved.

Although not Celtic’s best game it was a good match. Certainly a good advert for the Scottish game.

A neutral would have enjoyed this one. A real end-to-end, fist fight of a match.

I was very impressed with Kristoffer Ajer in this game. He’s developing into a fine player.

Naturally I was disappointed with the result though. What it does set up is a fixture that the governing bodies and police had planned to avoid.

With Aberdeen beating Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon, the mathematical possibility of Celtic losing the title remains. Whether Rangers beat Hearts or not matters little at the stage.

So that means Celtic could clinch the title next Sunday in front of their home audience. That would be an unpleasant day for Rangers fans.

There is however, a slim chance the title could be decided before then. If Rangers got anything but a win today at Ibrox, the title could be clinched if Aberdeen lost to Hearts next Friday night.

Celtic won’t be looking at that though. They’ll be focusing on their own game.

A week ago Celtic wiped the floor with Rangers at Hampden to reach the Scottish Cup Final. Now they’ll want to do something similar to wrap up 7-in-a-row.

We know Police Scotland wanted this situation to be avoided. That has completely backfired now.

There’s no guarantee that Celtic will win of course. The unthinkable is always possible though.

It’s actually turned out how many Celtic fans wanted it. Now Brendan Rodgers must do what he’s failed to do since September 10th 2016 – beat Rangers at Celtic Park.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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