Hibernian v Celtic: Neil Lennon's side seek 30th straight cup win

By Martin WattBBC Scotland
Celtic celebrate their League Cup final win last season
Celtic beat Aberdeen 1-0 to win last season's final under Brendan Rodgers
Scottish League Cup, semi-final: Hibernian v Celtic
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 2 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Twenty nine consecutive victories. An aggregate score of 90-9. Celtic's winning run in domestic knockout competitions is unprecedented in British football.

The treble treble winners have been unbeatable in cup ties since a penalty shootout defeat by Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2016 that marked the end of Ronny Deila's tenure.

As they bid to reach a fourth consecutive League Cup final with victory over Hibernian on Saturday, BBC Scotland examines their record run.

Lethal at both ends & home comfort

Potency at both ends of the pitch has been the bedrock of Celtic's cup-winning streak.

Their miserly defence has conceded just nine goals in 29 cup ties, racking up 22 clean sheets and losing more than one goal just twice.

Under Brendan Rodgers, they won the League Cup in 2016 without conceding a single goal and their run to last season's Scottish Cup final also came without being breached.

That defensive solidity has been complemented by an avalanche of goals in their favour. Celtic are averaging more than three per game, with 90 scored across the 29 games.

They have netted five times more on six occasions and 22 of their wins have come by more than a one-goal margin.

Home advantage has been a factor too. In their 17 ties played in a non-neutral venue - i.e. before the semi-final stage - 12 have been at Celtic Park, where they have not lost a domestic cup tie since February 2014.

Who has run them closest?

Celtic have only been taken beyond 90 minutes once in their 29-game cup-winning streak and it came against Championship club Dunfermline Athletic this season.

Still reeling from their Champions League exit at the hands of Cluj days before, Neil Lennon's side were rescued by a James Forrest strike six minutes from the end of extra-time.

Another tie on a knife-edge was the League Cup semi-final three years ago, when they could not make their dominance count against Rangers until Moussa Dembele's flick snatched victory in the 87th minute.

And, in that 2016-17 season, Celtic didn't lose a domestic game across league and cup. Tom Rogic struck in stoppage time to complete a 2-1 comeback win against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final as Celtic completed the first of their three trebles.

That was one of only three times they have fallen behind, most recently hitting back to beat Hearts in last season's treble-treble clinching success in the Scottish Cup showpiece.

Lennon League Cup jinx?

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon has never won the League Cup as Celtic manager

The League Cup is something of a bogey competition for Neil Lennon - it remains the only trophy he has yet to win as Celtic manager.

In his previous stint in charge, from 2010 to 2014, he suffered successive final defeats by Rangers and Kilmarnock.

Worse was to come as St Mirren, then in the Championship, stunned Celtic in the last four before his final season brought another huge upset, Greenock Morton winning 1-0 at Celtic Park in the last 16.

However, having returned to Celtic Park in February to replace Rodgers, Lennon successfully steered the Glasgow side to Scottish Cup success last term and is determined to land the elusive League Cup silverware.

Before Saturday's meeting with Hibs, Lennon said: "The players have had an amazing time in the cups over the last three seasons and there's real pride in them wanting to protect their record.

"The players are highly motivated to defend them and they're in great form."

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