The colour of this match was of an entirely different stripe but it served to illustrate that years may change so football adheres to certainties, two of which carried a seasonal chill for Partick Thistle.
The first of these is the hardy annual that accompanied all Thistle's SPFL Premiership matches in 2013. That is, a team can not win if it does not score. The second is that a team can not even draw a game if it allows international midfield players to adjust their body, move the ball on to their stronger foot and shoot unchallenged from the edge of the area.
Joe Ledley did just that 39 minutes in to this contest, accepting both a square pass from Efe Ambrose and a collective invitation from the Thistle defence to drill the ball past Scott Fox to first foot the visitors' net with the familiar shape of a match ball. Thus was the game decided and all of Thistle's sunniness despatched with one swing of the Welshman's left foot.
Their frustration at losing a match into which they poured so much effort and fine play would surely have been exacerbated by any reflection on immediate times past. They had just to look at a first period to see where the seeds of another defeat were sown. Alan Archibald's side were, particularly during a fine spell in the first half, more than competitive, regularly enterprising and occasionally menacing. Predictably, perhaps even inevitably, the scoring of a goal was beyond them.
Any possibility that Thistle might celebrate a goal was denied by the combined efforts of the mischievous sprites that beset the wretched. They had no luck, faced a goalkeeper in confident form and lacked that edge of conviction that wounds opponents in front of goal.
Thistle had three good, headed opportunities in the first half and a ball kicked off the line in the second. They left Celtic Park with plaudits but no points and, with Ross County's victory in Inverness, are now fully engaged in a fight over who faces play-off football in May.
Their conquerors extended an unbeaten run to 19 and equalled a clean sheet domestic record of seven matches but both these achievements would have been shattered if Thistle had shrugged off the spectre of profligacy that has haunted them this season. The first half dropped three chances on to the heads of their players. All were smuggled to safely, with differing degrees of ease, by Fraser Forster. Christie Elliott's diving effort was the most menacing of this treble but the goalkeeper saved brilliantly at his left-hand post and also dealt, with more comfort, with two efforts from James Craigen.
These chances preceded Ledley's goal but Thistle had opportunities to draw level in the second half. Their best came when substitute Steven Lawless had his shot kicked off the line by Adam Matthews and when Elliot and Ledley clashed in the box with Archibald claiming that a penalty should have been awarded.
Celtic, in contrast, were relatively innocuous. Teemu Pukki's early header was touched over by Fox, who also saved well from the Finn in the second half, but the Thistle goalkeeper was hardly under siege with a smart stop from a Kris Commons free kick the best of his other endeavours. The hosts tended to play in front of a well-organised Thistle and, while Ledley was conspicuous with his hard work and crisp passing, there was never a surfeit of chances.
Thistle were more vibrant, brighter than a restrained Celtic. There was no apparent danger at the point of the champions' attack with Pukki, despite two dramatic interventions, looking for confidence that only regular goals will bring.
James Forrest, too, is in a rut where his runs end in disappointment rather than with a spectacular goal or deft cross. The winger is a game changer at his best but was mostly a spectator. Georgios Samaras, a second-half substitute, looked as interested as Liberace at the Miss World swimsuit heat.
With the Celtic defence unsettled by Lyle Taylor, making his debut on loan from Sheffield United, running into the spaces vacated by the full-backs, this was an afternoon that tested the champions.
Thistle were brilliantly served by the industrious Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, apparently a Celtic target, who was composed in defence and enterprising in attack. It was his marvellous cross that created that opening at the back post for Elliott. Stuart Bannigan, too, was strong and technically astute in midfield.
But it was not enough. Celtic won the Glasgow derby. This victory, though, was met with a chorus of disapproval that would have spooked the ghosts of New Years past who are accustomed to all such inner- city Ne'erday triumphs attracting a different noise.