Forget Hazard: the Celtic ace who can enter the “realm of the greats” was Lennon’s true hero

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If anything summed up Celtic’s incredible season so far, it would be the Scottish Cup final on Sunday night.

This has been a horrible campaign for Neil Lennon and company. His work has been under constant pressure and did not receive the endorsement of his followers.

Drifting 13 points in the league and conceding goals at will, it wasn’t surprising when so many fans came to the outside of Parkhead to complain.

Fortunately, the enormous toxicity that has plagued the club this season can now certainly be extinguished, at least for a few days, as they celebrate a historic Scottish Cup victory.

They were 2-0 up and sailing at halftime, but Hearts bounced back and managed to take the game into extra time. Leigh Griffiths appeared with what appeared to be a winner, but then the Edinburgh team leveled again, this time through Josh Ginnelly.

It was a bad time for goalkeeper Conor Hazard, who rescued his team with two penalty saves in the resulting penalty shoot-out. The young goalkeeper had been shocking in regulation time, making a high-profile mistake by third, but once all was said and done, he was the hero and the man to get the applause.

How much is Ryan Christie worth?

£ 5m- £ 9m

£ 5m- £ 9m

£ 10m- £ 14m

£ 10m- £ 14m

£ 15 million plus

£ 15 million plus

However, the true Celtic hero was a field player, someone who ran Hearts irregularly all afternoon.

The man in question is Ryan Christie, someone the Hoops will be desperate to keep after he linked with a move to the English shores in preparation for the final.

The winger gave Celtic the lead in the first half with an impressive blow. 29 yards from goal, the Scotsman let fly with a beautiful curling shot that found Craig Gordon’s corner of the net.

Christie was a ball of unbridled energy, proving to be Lennon’s main source of creativity. He also earned top praise from former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill.

Talking to the BBC, he said: “Ryan Christie is a real quality player with the potential to step into that realm of greats like Henrik Larsson.”

He missed a penalty in the penalty shootout but, fortunately, it was not decisive. What he did do, however, was his performance in normal time.

It’s no wonder Christie has been linked to the Premier League.

And in other news, Lawwell MUST SELL “outstanding” Celtic ace with “dangerous episodes” …

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