Friday 22 September 2017

Undefeated Celtic join glory game's elite club

Celtic's Effe Ambrose backflips after his side lifted the Trophy at the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photo credit: Craig Watson/PA Wire
Celtic's Effe Ambrose backflips after his side lifted the Trophy at the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photo credit: Craig Watson/PA Wire

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Celtic's feat in going through a league season unbeaten has earned them a place in an elite club.

PRESTON 1888-89

The original Invincibles were unbeaten throughout the inaugural season of the Football League and won the FA Cup without conceding a goal. They had to cope with a cholera epidemic, low gates because of rumours Jack the Ripper was touring Lancashire and financial problems to remain undefeated in 22 games. There was also controversy after an alcohol-fuelled incident at a railway station which involved a barmaid.

STEAUA BUCHAREST 1987-89

The Romanians achieved the feat in two successive campaigns following their European Cup triumph in 1986. Steaua went 104 league games unbeaten in a run stretching over three seasons.

MILAN 1991-92

Fabio Capello's side went unbeaten during one of Serie A's peak years as the top league in Europe. Marco van Basten scored 25 goals as they beat Juventus to the title by eight points, with Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard key players.

ARSENAL 2003-04

Kolo Toure came on towards the end of Celtic's win over Hearts to round off his second unbeaten league season, with his first coming with Arsene Wenger's Invincibles. Their football was truly sublime, with Thierry Henry outstanding and Toure delivering a major contribution alongside the likes of Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira and Edu. The Gunners won 26 games out of 38 and finished 11 points above Chelsea, but Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson was not overly impressed, claiming his rivals had "too many draws". United lost nine games.

JUVENTUS 2011-12

Antonio Conte's side brought the Serie A title back to Turin following a nine-year absence after winning 23 games and drawing 15. They needed to be relentless as Milan finished just four points adrift.

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