Hearts 1-2 Celtic: 2019 Scottish Cup final – as it happened

Hearts put in a shift and took the lead at Hampden, but Odsonne Edouard scored twice as Celtic bounced back to secure the treble Treble

And that brings this MBM to a close. Commiserations to Hearts - who put so much into this final, but whose seven-year wait for silverware goes on - and to their boss Craig Levein, still to win a trophy in his 38-year professional career. So close but yet so far. But congratulations to Celtic, who simply can’t stop winning trophies: that’s nine major Scottish competitions in a row now ... an unprecedented treble Treble! It’s one heck of an achievement, and one that’ll no doubt be toasted with the odd treble nippy sweetie in the east end of Glasgow tonight. Sláinte! A quadruple treble next year? You wouldn’t bet against it, the way they’ve been carrying on of late. Thanks for reading this MBM; enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Here’s a very dejected Craig Levein, whose pauses for so long between sentences that viewers just tuning in to BBC Scotland could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled across the transmission of a Harold Pinter play. “It was competitive. We tried as hard as we could to win the match. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do that, either for ourselves or for our supporters. We played the same way as we played at Celtic Park last week. And it did work, we frustrated Celtic for long periods and broke quickly when we regained possession. But we’re playing a good side and we did lose moments of concentration. You could count them on one hand, but that’s what cost us. ”

Report’s in! Alan Campbell was our man witnessing history at Hampden Park this afternoon. Here’s his take on events!

A treble treble, though! Lennon’s right, we’ll not be seeing this sort of thing again any time soon. Next on Celtic’s wish-list: the completion of a nine-in-a-row title sequence for the second time in the club’s long and storied history. No biggie.

The prize-giving ceremony. It’s pleasingly quick. No faffing around, as Hearts go up to collect their runners-up medals, poor old Craig Levein still pot-free. Then Celtic go up and lift their cup. Captain Scott Brown shares the job with Mikael Lustig ... some reward for the defender, whose long header upfield it was that sent Odsonne Edouard clean through for the winner! The cup’s hoisted by the entire team - yay, yay, yay for each member - but particularly big cheers for the two-goal hero Edouard, the unused 16-year-old sub Karamoko Dembele, and of course the manager Neil Lennon, who teases the crowd by holding back for a beat before lifting the famous trophy into the Glasgow sky!

Celtic’s Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig celebrate with the trophy after winning the Scottish Cup
Celtic’s Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig celebrate with the trophy after winning the Scottish Cup Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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And here’s the caretaker manager Neil Lennon. “It’s emotional. It’s probably the most emotional I’ve ever felt at this club. You’ll never see this again. It’s all about them. I hadf to whip them a bit at half-time because we didn’t turn up in the first half. And then ... we said if Hearts score, we’d come again. And we needed Hearts to score to get our energy levels up. And the response from then on was brilliant. I said Hearts wouldn’t let us off easy, and it was a very good final. Edouard is a superstar now. That’s nine trophies out of nine. It is remarkable. They have done the club so proud.” So will he get the job full time? “It’s a bit too early to start talking about that, it’s not about me.”

Now a word with Celtic’s two-goal match-winning hero Odsonne Edouard! “I am very happy to score today. But more important is the team.” Was he nervous when taking the penalty? “No. I am not nervous. I am never nervous! When I take the penalty, I know I score the penalty! It is a very good atmosphere today. With the fans, I win the treble one more time, and I am very happy for this.”

Neil Lennon crumples to the floor, on the verge of tears, before gathering himself and racing down the touchline in celebration. Uche Ikpeazu and Scott Brown briefly go nose to nose, in a full and frank exchange of views, but it all seems to quieten down quickly enough. Brown then talks to BBC Scotland: “It’s phenomenal. Hearts gave us a great game. But our quality, yet again! For the fans it’s phenomenal. And that’s people saying we’ve had a poor season! We’ve done the treble yet again, the third one in a row, and now we push on next season. If we turn up, we win the game.”

FULL TIME: Hearts 1-2 Celtic

Half a chance for Hickey to hit one from the edge of the box. But he hesitates, is closed down, and the whistle goes! Celtic have won the 2019 Scottish Cup! It’s their third Scottish Cup in a row ... their ninth domestic trophy in a row ... and along with the league and League Cup, it means they’ve won the treble Treble!

90 min +4: Ikpeazu, to the right of the D, turns on a sixpence but can’t get a shot away. Celtic clear. Hearts come back at them. Hickey curls in from the right and Berra wins a header, but in looking for the top right of the goal, can only find the top right of the stand.

90 min +3: Another minute passes. Hearts can’t keep hold of possession. Celtic are 120 seconds away from yet another Treble!

90 min +2: Hearts have thrown everyone forward. Mulraney whips in high from the right. Berra goes up with Bain at the far post, and clumps the keeper upside the head. Bain needs no second invitation: down he goes for treatment, and the clock ticks on in Celtic’s favour.

90 min +1: Bain is booked for time-wasting. It’s only the two keepers who have been booked this afternoon. When did that last happen in a match, never mind a cup final?

90 min: Celtic play the corner short but give up possession quickly. Hearts hoick the ball upfield, but lose it in the midfield. A throw for Celtic, which becomes a big production, but who can blame them? There will be five added minutes. Can Hearts salvage their Scottish Cup dream?

89 min: Before the corner can be taken, Hayes is replaced by Bitton. Celtic take their own sweet time over the substitution in the classic game-management style.

88 min: Hearts are throwing everything at this, desperation having kicked in since going behind. Ikpeazu is shoved over by Brown, giving Hearts another chance to load the box. The free kick leads to a game of head tennis, but Celtic eventually clear and Sinclair zips down the left, cutting inside and sending a low shot that’s deflected out for a corner.

86 min: Mulreaney curls a delicious hanging cross in from the left. Ikpeazu rises on the penalty spot but he’s crowded out of it by three Celtic defenders and can’t connect. The ball sails out harmlessly for a goal kick.

85 min: The free kick, just to the right of the Celtic box, is whipped in. Berra sends an unconvincing header goalwards. There’s no real danger, but Bain takes no chances and tips over. Nothing comes of the resulting set piece, though.

84 min: Hearts come back at Celtic. Djoum finds a bit of space down the right and is bowled over by Sinclair from behind. That’s clumsy and a chance for Hearts to hit back immediately.

GOAL! Hearts 1-2 Celtic (Edouard 82)

But this match might not be going to extra time! Out of nothing, Edouard is sent clear down the middle! A long Lustig header isn’t cleared by Berra, who hesitates fatally. The ball flies through to the striker, who draws Zlamal and whips a shot past the keeper and into the net from the edge of the box! Out of absolutely nothing!

Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard celebrates scoring their second.
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard celebrates scoring their second. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
The reverse angle
The reverse angle Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

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81 min: Hearts use up their last substitute. Haring makes way for Bozanic. They’ll get one more if this match goes to extra time, though.

79 min: Here comes the big man! Hearts replace Maclean with Uche Ikpeazu. He wasn’t deemed fit enough to start ... but is he fit enough to make a telling contribution to this cup final?

78 min: McGregor trundles a cross down the corridor of uncertainty from the left. It’s just a yard ahead of Forrest and Edouard in the centre, who can’t bundle home. So close to the perfect cross.

77 min: This is being played at 110mph now, and passes aren’t sticking. Both sides are betraying some nerves, as they arrive at the business end of this final. The tension at Hampden is palpable.

75 min: Hearts make their first switch, replacing Clare with Wighton.

74 min: Hayes whips a lovely cross into the mixer from the left, but with plenty of green-and-white shirts lurking, Souttar rises to blam a header clear. Fine play all round.

72 min: And now Celtic make their second change. Johnston - who scored twice against Hearts last weekend, but has been quiet today - makes way for Sinclair.

70 min: The first change of the afternoon. Celtic, who haven’t been able to establish their usual dominance in midfield, replace Rogic with Ntcham.

68 min: Haring meets the corner, free, eight yards out. He’s got to work Bain at the very least, but powers his header well over the bar. A glorious chance for Hearts wasted.

67 min: Maclean wins a long ball on the edge of the Celtic box, but Clare can’t get onto the knockdown. But Celtic can only half-clear, and Clare is soon winning a corner down the right off Simunovic.

65 min: Djoum is booked for a fairly agricultural block on Hayes.

64 min: That’s a fine response by Celtic, who came straight back at Hearts from the moment they fell behind. Hampden is bouncing as a result. Both teams will think they can go on to win this now.

GOAL! Hearts 1-1 Celtic (Edouard 62 pen)

Edouard whips the penalty into the bottom left. Zlamal guessed correctly, and got a good hand to the ball, but didn’t keep it out. He probably should have done better, though Edourard will argue that he got enough power on his kick anyway. Whatever: Celtic have drawn level in short order!

Edouard tucks the ball away.
Edouard tucks the ball away. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard celebrates scoring his side’s first goal
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard celebrates scoring his side’s first goal Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

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Penalty for Celtic!

61 min: Edouard bursts into the Celtic box on the left! Zlamal comes out rashly, and takes the striker out with a slide tackle! The referee points at the spot. Zlamal is then booked for wasting time as Edouard waits to take the spot kick.

59 min: A free kick for Celtic out on the right. The champions load the box. McGregor flies it over everyone and out on the left for a goal kick.

57 min: Celtic have a job on their hands now. Hearts have won their last three Scottish Cup finals. And only one team since 2004 has lost a Scottish Cup final after scoring first. On the plus side for Celtic, that was Aberdeen two years ago, and the Hoops were the beneficiaries. Brown dribbles into the Hearts box from the right and pulls back for Edouard, who can’t connect. The ball deflects off Rogic and harmlessly through to Zlamal.

55 min: That was a fine goal, a mixture of sassy and scrappy. Hickey’s pass in from the left to Djoum, as he burst through a couple of Celtic players, was exquisite. Djoum did so well to make himself some space for a shot, even if what resulted wasn’t too great. But Clare’s sense of what was around him was magnificent, and Edwards forced his opportunity home with great feeling. The Hearts faithful are giving it plenty.

GOAL! Hearts 1-0 Celtic (Edwards 53)

They’re not groaning now! Hickey, just 16, bursts in from the left. He lays off to Djoum, who drops a shoulder to the left of the D. A shanked shot ends up with Clare on the penalty spot. Clare is surrounded, but notices Edwards behind him, so backheels ... and Edwards slams home from ten yards! Hampden erupts!

Ryan Edwards slots home.
Ryan Edwards slots home. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Cue wild scenes.
Cue wild scenes. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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51 min: Some space for Smith to attack down the right ... but he’s forced to check back and the ball ends up at the feet of Zlamal in the Hearts goal. Their fans groan in great frustration.

49 min: Then Celtic break upfield, and Hayes again pops up, this time firing a long-distance shot over the bar from distance.

48 min: This is gloriously open. It’s as though both managers have released the handbrake at half-time, telling their players to go for it. Mulraney makes good down the left and crosses; with three Hearts men in the middle, Hayes does very well to win the header and clear.

47 min: Hearts go up the other end. Some more pinball, and for a second it looks as though the ball will find its way to Clare, alone in an absurd amount of space on the edge of the Celtic box. Celtic are able to clear, though.

Here come the teams again! Celtic are sent out early, forced to wait until Hearts deign to turn up. Neither manager has made a half-time change. The Jambos get the second half underway, but Celtic are soon enough on the attack. Hayes crosses from the left. The ball nearly finds Edouard six yards out, but Souttar has it at his feet. He’s not exactly sure what to do with it, though, facing his own goal. He’s lucky to see his eventual hack away pinball off Rogic and out for a goal kick.

Half-time entertainment ... in lieu of goals at Hampden.

HALF TIME: Hearts 0-0 Celtic

The whistle goes for half time. Neither goalkeeper has had any serious work to do. Hearts will be a lot happier with this state of affairs than Celtic. Neil Lennon stomps off down the tunnel, perhaps with a view to delivering a full and frank team-talk. Craig Levein will presumably ask his troops for more of the same; their gameplan is working well.

Neil Lennon looks on with Craig Levein behind him.
Neil Lennon looks on with Craig Levein behind him. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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44 min: And then Smith makes himself busy down the right, earning a corner. From the set piece, Smith earns a throw, which is flung into the mixer. The danger to Celtic, such as it is, ends when Berra shapes to shoot but slips, allowing the ball to be blootered clear.

42 min: Hearts are keeping Celtic pretty quiet. The game is similarly subdued.

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40 min: A minute’s applause by the Hearts fans in tribute to fan Alex Currie, who died aged just 39 after suffering a stroke while watching his son playing football. A lovely tribute. Incidentally, Celtic are wearing 5 and 9 on their shorts, in memory of departed legends Billy McNeill and Stevie Chalmers, who wore those numbers in the 1967 European Cup final.

38 min: Hickey continues to patrol the left flank in a progressive manner. He nearly releases Mulraney down the wing, but the pass doesn’t quite come off. He’s looked scarily accomplished going forward for such a young player.

36 min: The game continues in a bitty, fractured manner. Hearts are quite happy to pootle along. Celtic are getting a little agitated, trying to force it whenever they get the ball and giving up possession hastily. It’s not much of a spectacle at the moment.

34 min: Simunovic bowls Mulraney over near the centre circle. Another opportunity for Hearts to gather themselves and reduce the overall temperature. It takes a good while for them to take the free kick. On the touchline, Neil Lennon wears a furrowed brow. It’s not quite going to plan, Celtic unable to play the game at their own pace.

32 min: A long throw by Smith from the right. A little bit of head tennis in the Celtic area ends when Clare weakly eyebrows an effort into the arms of Bain. Hearts will be pretty pleased with the way this has gone so far, on balance.

31 min: Hearts take a little bit of the sting from the game, faffing around over a throw. Smart game-management, given the way the last ten minutes have panned out.

29 min: Forrest drives down the Celtic right but loses possession. The ball’s quickly whipped back upfield, Mulraney charging along the Hearts left. He crosses, and Ajer doesn’t deal with it in a particularly convincing fashion. Maclean gets a head to the loose ball, but there’s neither power nor direction to his header and Bain claims with a yawn.

28 min: Now Forrest probes down the right and crosses. Souttar heads this one away. Hearts are hanging on a bit.

Odsonne Edouard in action with Hearts’ Michael Smith.
Odsonne Edouard in action with Hearts’ Michael Smith. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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27 min: Hayes once again makes good down the left. His long, deep cross finds Forrest, just inside the box on the right. He tries to cleverly guide a curler into the bottom left, but Souttar hoicks clear.

26 min: A cute McGregor backheel releases Hayes down the left. A low, hard cross nearly finds Edouard coming in at the near post, but Berra is positioned well and slams clear just in time.

25 min: Celtic are beginning to ask serious questions now. Forrest nearly breaks clear again down the right but is ushered out of play. So much for that move, but there’s a real sense that Celtic have moved up through the gears.

23 min: A let-off for Hearts here, as Johnston dinks a pass down the inside-left channel for Edouard. He’s clear! His attempted chip over Zlamal is clawed away, but as the ball breaks loose, the flag goes up for offside. That didn’t look a great decision, with the inexperienced Hickey playing Edouard onside from the left-back position. But Hearts breathe again.

21 min: Celtic haven’t been on the rack, exactly, but they’ve been pressed back. Suddenly they break, though, McGregor sending Rogic into acres of space down the right. Rogic shuttles the ball further down the channel to Edouard, who enters the box and shoots. But Berra blocks it for a corner, from which nothing occurs. A reminder to Hearts, though, that Celtic can spring into action in short order, and committing too many men upfield is always asking for trouble.

19 min: Hearts are disrupting Celtic’s flow right now, pressing and harrying. On a couple of occasions already, Bain has been panicked into sending clearances out of play. Most un-Celtic. At the moment, a Hearts shock is no pipe dream. Could it be a first career trinket for their boss? “Craig Levein was manager of Dundee United in 2009-10 when the tangerines won their second Scottish Cup, but left halfway through the season to take the Scotland job,” writes Simon McMahon. “Assistant Peter Houston (reluctantly) took over at Tannadice and led United to Scottish Cup glory at Hampden. Still, I’m sure the thrill of a last minute winner against Liechtenstein, and a 0-0 draw in Lithuania more than made up for it, eh?”

17 min: A Smith hoick into the Celtic box from the right causes some momentary bother. Celtic deal with it, but only after a fashion. Hearts are flinging in the crosses from both flanks, and asking a few questions of the champions. It’s a decent start.

16 min: Hickey’s confidence is growing. First he has a shot from distance that’s smothered by Bain. Then when the keeper slams a kick upfield, Hickey traps with his back to goal and turns away from the attention of Forrest in one smooth movement, clearing upfield. He’s 16!

15 min: Hickey’s well up the field again. He slips a pass down the left flank for Mulraney, who hooks a delicious hanging cross into the area. Haring goes up for it, but Hayes does extremely well to rise above the Hearts man and head clear.

Celtic’s Jonny Hayes in the thick of things
Celtic’s Jonny Hayes in the thick of things Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

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13 min: Celtic knock it around the back again. Patient stuff. Eventually the ball’s worked left to McGregor, but he can’t find Johnston with a through-ball down the channel. Zlamal gathers. A quiet period of play, but Hampden continues to rock.

11 min: It’s a nice, open, end-to-end start. The 16-year-old Hickey, betraying no nerves, progresses down the left. He flicks the ball to Mulraney, who reaches the byline and whips low into the box. Simunovic does very well to hook clear while under pressure from Maclean.

9 min: One corner leads to another, and the second comes to nothing. Zlamal claims easily enough.

8 min: Forrest, standing still, suddenly turns on the jets and nearly burns his way past Souttar on the right. He’s forced to settle for a corner, but was so close to getting away there.

6 min: Celtic suddenly spring into life, and Johnston and Hayes work well down the left. Hayes fizzes a low cross into the mixer, forcing Souttar, facing his own goal, to slam the ball behind, wide left of goal, just, for a corner. The resulting set piece comes to nothing, but hearts were in Hearts mouths for a second there.

4 min: There were quite a few fireworks, flames and smoke bombs during the pre-match show. The smoke is only just clearing. Fans having a good old squint to see what the hell’s going on. Why do the authorities bother with all this pre-match nonsense? Is there a fan living anywhere, one fan, who enjoys or actively wants it?

2 min: Clare and Djoum combine well down the left. Eventually the ball’s whipped into the middle. Edwards has made a run from deep, and connects 12 yards out, but the ball flies harmlessly wide left. Early promise for the underdogs.

And we’re off! Celtic get proceedings underway, and stroke it around the back for a bit. All a bit overly hectic in the early exchanges, as the rain falls in the Scottish style.

The teams are out! It’s a dreich day at Hampden. No summer sun for the cup final. But that’s not put the dampeners on the atmosphere. The champions will sport their storied green and white hoops, but for the pre-match pleasantries they’re wearing white tracksuit tops emblazoned with the names of club legends Billy McNeill and Stevie Chalmers, the captain and match-winner of the Lisbon Lions, who both passed recently. Hearts will be in their equally famous maroon. Meanwhile, jings, crivens, help ma boab, here’s Maw Broon Luke Forrester. “With John ‘Soapy’ Souttar in defence, it’s a bit of surprise that Hearts haven’t fielded the rest of their strongest formation, which would be Fat Bob in goal, Wee Eck as wing-back and Oor Wullie hi’self as the number 10.” We’ll be off in a minute.

Two great Scottish icons.
Two great Scottish icons. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Should Celtic hold onto the famous old trophy this afternoon, it’ll be the 39th time they’ll have won the competition. They’re already well clear of Rangers. Hearts would be lifting the cup for the ninth time, and that would nudge them closer to Victorian amateur sensations Queen’s Park.

38: Celtic
33: Rangers
10: Queen’s Park
8: Heart of Midlothian
7: Aberdeen
3: Vale of Leven, Clyde, St Mirren, Kilmarnock, Hibernian
2: Renton, Third Lanark, Falkirk, Dunfermline Athletic, Motherwell, Dundee United
1: Dumbarton, St Bernard’s, Dundee, Partick Thistle, Greenock Morton, Airdrieonians, East Fife, St Johnstone, Inverness Caledonian Thistle

The famous old pot.
The famous old pot. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

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And now it’s Neil Lennon’s turn. “I think this is a great place to be, on the cusp of something very special. So the players need to forget about what comes afterwards, and enjoy the game. Obviously it’s a great occasion but we have to play.” Was Kieran Tierney close to fitness? “Yes and no. He felt OK, but the longer the session went on he began to struggle. So it’s a real shame for him because he’s given us everything again. He’s an important player obviously, but we’ve got a great deputy in Johnny Hayes to fill in. Mikey Johnston is a great talent and he showed all his talent last week. We want him to do that again. He’s a goal threat, he can break the lines, and he’s got good pace about him.” And will young Dembele get a run-out if things are going well? “We’re not here for sentiment, we’re here to win a cup final. But we’ll see how the game goes.”

Hearts boss Craig Levein speaks. “Aaron Hickey has had a really good season, culminating in coming off the bench against Aberdeen and then starting at Celtic Park last week. In both of those games he was unflappable and I was really impressed by his composure. There’s no doubt he’s in the team because Ben Garuccio is injured - he’s probably out until November and obviously we’re desperately disappointed for Ben - but when one door closes another opens, and Aaron has an opportunity. Uche Ikpeazu is injury free, but he’s not done a lot of training. And the way he plays the game is 100 miles an hour from the moment he puts his foot on the grass! So I didn’t want to have him in the team, see him do well, then have to take him off after 45 minutes or so. I think he’ll have a bigger impact coming off the bench, but we shall see. The incentive for us is to win a trophy. Whether that stops Celtic or not is irrelevant. The intention today is to go home to Edinburgh with the cup.”

A tale of two 16-year-olds here at Hampden today. Hearts name Aaron Hickey at left-back; he’ll be up against the Scottish player of the year James Forrest. Meanwhile on the Celtic bench: young Karamoko Dembele. The diminutive winger - he’s only five foot three - made his debut for the Hoops last weekend in the league against Hearts, so he’s already picked up one title-winners’ medal. By contrast, Hearts manager Craig Levein, in the game since 1981, hasn’t won a single piece of silverware in his entire career, either as a player or manager. Life’s not meant to be fair, is it.

Celtic’s Karamoko Dembele and Heart of Midlothian’s Aaron Hickey do battle last week, combined age 32.
Celtic’s Karamoko Dembele and Heart of Midlothian’s Aaron Hickey do battle last week, combined age 32. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

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The teams

Hearts: Zlamal, Michael Smith, Souttar, Berra, Hickey, Haring, Djoum, Edwards, Clare, MacLean, Mulraney.
Subs: Shaughnessy, Bozanic, Doyle, Wighton, Ikpeazu, Cochrane, Burns.

Celtic: Bain, Lustig, Simunovic, Ajer, Hayes, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Rogic, Johnston, Edouard.
Subs: Toljan, Bitton, Sinclair, Ntcham, De Vries, Benkovic, Dembele.

Referee: William Collum.

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Preamble

Heart of Midlothian and Celtic last met each other in the Scottish Cup final 63 years ago. Celtic sent out an unfamiliar team at Hampden Park that day in April 1956, without the injured Jock Stein and Bobby Collins. Hearts by contrast were in fine fettle, and could name the famous attacking Terrible Trio of Alfie Conn, Willie Bauld and Jimmy Wardhaugh, plus Dave Mackay at the back, middle and everywhere, and the Golden Vision of Alex Young on the wing. They ran out easy 3-1 winners, Ian Crawford scoring two and Conn the third, and were paraded around Edinburgh on an open-top Scottish Omnibus emblazoned with the bespoke logo Hearts Are Trumps.

And Hearts were trumps back then. The 1956 Scottish Cup win came at the start of a golden age during the late fifties and early sixties in which the Jambos won the League twice, came runner up twice, and lifted the League Cup on four occasions.

But times change, and it’s Celtic who always produce the winning card these days. Since Hibs pipped Rangers to win their first Scottish Cup in 114 years back in 2016, Celtic have won every single major domestic honour available. That’s eight on the bounce. If today they become the first side to win three consecutive Scottish Cups since Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen pulled it off during their eighties pomp, they’ll win their third domestic treble in a row. This is unprecedented behaviour. Record-obliterating. Homeric.

By their own recent standards, Celtic haven’t been playing that well of late. Goalless draws with Livingston and Hibs, narrow victories over Kilmarnock and today’s opponents Hearts, and a no-show at Ibrox. But in the main they’ve still been getting results. They still wrapped up the league, they’re still the best team in Scotland, they’ve still only lost once in 14 matches, and they go into this final as hot favourites.

Hearts by contrast are on a run of five without a win, losing the last three of their league campaign. A sixth-place finish in the league wasn’t what Tynecastle was dreaming of when they topped the Premiership in the first few months of the season. And they’ve lost four times to Celtic since beating them at home way back in August, a run that includes a 3-0 loss in the League Cup semi at Hampden. Still, an early-season win is a win is a win, and Hearts will hope their physicality can disrupt Celtic’s flow once again.

Will Celtic seal the Treble Treble? Or can Hearts make their life a mess by taking the Scottish Cup back to Tynecastle for the first time since thrashing Hibs 5-1 in 2012? We’re about to find out. It’s the 134th Scottish Cup final! It’s on!

Kick off: 3pm BST, with extra time and penalties to come if necessary.

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