Celtic have been dumped out of the Scottish League Cup following an extra time penalty from Morton’s Dougie Imrie on Wednesday night to crush any chance of Neil Lennon securing his first domestic treble as Celtic manager.
Morton’s victory over Celtic (their first at Celtic Park since 1971), is another in a list of massive cup shocks for the Parkhead side, with the Greenock side currently sit second bottom of the SPFL championship.
Despite making five changes ahead of the League Cup tie, Celtic quickly gained a stranglehold and took the game to Morton. Teemu Pukki had the first clear cut chance on goal but Nicolas Caraux denied the Finnish striker and the Morton keeper was again on hand to save a 25 yard free kick from Charlie Mulgrew.
On the half hour mark Nir Biton, who was making his first start for Celtic, saw his volley sail inches over the bar.
Morton’s game plan looked to be to sit back and frustrate Celtic, it was working a treat also as Lennon’s side found it tough in the final third.
Celtic’s dominance continued into the second half, with Tomas Rogic forcing Caraux into a save. But with the game nearing its conclusion and still not breakthrough, Celtic brought on Anthony Stokes.
Despite bringing on the club’s top scorer this season, it was Mulgrew who went close on two occasions in the dying minutes of the game, but Morton’s luck and resolute defending held out to take the tie to extra time.
After holding out for the 90 minutes against an onslaught from the home side, Morton were awarded a penalty after referee Bobby Madden penalised – somewhat harshly – Efe Ambrose for handball after the Nigerian defender slipped. Dougie Imrie converted the resulting penalty to give the Greenock side an unlikely lead.
With Celtic heading out of the League Cup, Celtic pushed forward committing all their players and should have equalised in the final minute of the first period of extra time. Virgil van Dijk latched onto a Commons cross at the back post, but the Dutch defender failed to hit the target.
Into the second period of extra time and again Van Dijk came close, this time having a shot cleared off the line and Mikael Lustig saw an effort go inches wide of the Morton goal.
With seconds remaining, Lustig had a shot come back off the post and with that Celtic’s last chance of taking the game to penalties.
As the final whistle sounded, the Morton players joined their fans in celebrating what is arguably the club’s greatest victory in recent memory and the first victory at Celtic Park since 1971.