Scottish champions Celtic beat Heart of Midlothian 4-3 on penalties in the Scottish Cup final on Sunday to clinch an unprecedented fourth successive domestic treble and ease some of the pressure on beleaguered manager Neil Lennon.
The 2019-20 Scottish Cup final was postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ended the Premiership season early with Celtic declared league champions.
They also won the League Cup last December after beating arch-rivals Rangers 1-0 in the final.
The result could give Celtic a kickstart in their current campaign where they lie second in the Premiership standings — 16 points behind Rangers with three games in hand — while they were dumped out of the League Cup by Ross County last month.
Lennon has been under pressure due to their mixed start and he dedicated the “monumental achievement” to the board who had backed him earlier this month despite their poor run of form.
“I would like to dedicate it to (director) Dermot Desmond, (chief executive) Peter Lawwell and the board for their unwavering support,” Lennon told BBC.
“It’s a very special moment for me on a personal basis. I’ve been here 20 years and I think I’m the first person to do it (win the treble) as a manager and a player.
“Trophies aren’t easy to win, that’s 12 in a row and you’ll never see that again. The weight of all this expectation has gone… We’re out of the League Cup, and now we can just focus on the league and cup again.”
In Sunday’s final at Hampden Park, a Ryan Christie goal and an Odsonne Edouard penalty gave Celtic a first half lead before Hearts bounced back with second half strikes from Liam Boyce and Stephen Kingsley.
Leigh Griffiths put Celtic in the lead in the first half of extra time before Josh Ginnelly stabbed home an equaliser to make it 3-3 to force penalties.
Celtic’s Conor Hazard was the hero in the shootout after making two saves before Christopher Ajer sealed victory with the final spot-kick.