Season 2011/12 has to be considered as one of the most unique in Celtic’s history. The Hoops started the season poorly, losing to St Johnstone, Rangers and Hearts, and drawing with Kilmarnock and Hibernian.
But despite this indifferent start, the Hoops, under manager Neil Lennon, went on a superb run of 17 Premier League wins in a row, to all but clinch the title. The run of wins seems to have been almost forgotten about, but it deserves to be remembered as it included some memorable moments.
When Celtic drew 0-0 with Hibernian on the 29th of October 2011, the Bhoys were 12 points behind Rangers in the league table. The chances of winning a first title in four years looked to be remote. Neil Lennon’s time as Celtic boss looked to be coming to an end. But it all changed a week later, with a massive win against Motherwell.
The Hoops fell behind to a Michael Higdon goal, but Anthony Stokes quickly levelled. With 10 minutes left, a winning goal was provided by Gary Hooper after great work by Pat McCourt. A 2-1 win was secured, and Celtic didn’t look back.
YouTube: Motherwell 1 Celtic 2 6th November 2011
There were some notable victories in the run. One of the most memorable wins with a 1-0 victory over Hearts on the 10th of December. Victor Wanyama scored the only goal of the game with a rocket shot, but the real hero of the hour was goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who saved an injury time penalty to ensure that the Bhoys kept the run going.
YouTube: Celtic 1 Hearts 0 – 2011
Arguably the most important game of the run came on the 28th of December, when Joe Ledley’s goal secured a 1-0 win over Rangers which took the Hoops to the top of the league table.
YouTube: Celtic 1-0 Rangers 28/12/11
It was hard to imagine only two months earlier but the Bhoys were back where the team belongs. At the top is where the team would stay for the rest of the season.
A 4-0 win over Hearts on the 8th February also deserves a mention. That victory moved the Hoops four points clear, as daylight began to emerge at the top of the league table.
YouTube: Hearts 0 Celtic 4 – 2012
That points tally increased a week later, when Rangers went into administration and were deducted 10 points. That shouldn’t take away from Celtic’s run of wins though. A team has to be very consistent to put together that run of form.
YouTube: Killie 0 Celtic 6 07/04/12
It is a pity that Rangers’ financial issues were the main talking point of the season. Celtic’s run of wins deserves to be fondly remembered. A similar run from this season’s Celtic side would surely help the Bhoys win the league.
The Celtic side of season 2011/22 really should have won the domestic treble. But looking back on it, the way the team overcame a slow start to win the league deserves to be celebrated. The 17 wins in a row paved the way for the first of nine league titles in a row, and the run should be remembered fondly.