Hearts deny Celtic on final day to secure point
Hearts and Celtic battled out a goalless draw at Celtic Park, the first since March 1998.
With Europa League football already guaranteed next season Hearts went into the match with only pride to play for but Celtic knew that anything less than a win could mean the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title would be making its way to Ibrox.
In the end thanks to a 3-0 win at Tanadice it was indeed Rangers who lifted the trophy.
Csaba Laszlo made two changes from the side that defeated Dundee United at Tynecastle last week with both Ruben Palazuelos and Bruno Aguiar missing out. Marius Zaliukas reclaimed his place in defence with David Templeton making his first full start for the Jambos.
The Jambos started well, as did Celtic. However when news of Kyle Lafferty putting Rangers ahead at Tanadice filtered around the stadium the carnival atmosphere turned flat.
Scott Brown almost fired Celtic ahead on 21 minutes with a shot on goal from just inside the box, Marian Kello saved well and as the ball fell into the path of Scott McDonald the Australian could only rocket the ball over the bar.
Kello was a busy man again a few minutes later when Aiden McGeady fizzed the ball low towards the bottom corner. Kello though got the slightest of hands on it and pushed it onto the post.
Hearts were playing some neat football and were content with passing the ball around. In what was his last game for Hearts Christos Karipidis was keen to push up the park and caused Artur Boruc cause for concern on 31 minutes with a long range effort, the Celtic keeper however managing to keep it out.
Calum Elliot had the chance to really spoil the party on the stroke of half time after one of Outgoing captain Robbie Neilson's trademark long throws. Elliot hooked the ball towards Boruc who seemed to get the ball caught under his body but Templeton was denied on the line by Caldwell's intervention.
The second half continued in much the same vain as the first and then yet again news came through that Rangers were 3-0 up at Tanadice. This was the news that really killed that match and the game was played at almost walking pace.
Hearts introduced young Lithuanian prospect Arvydas Novikovas to the action on 60 minutes and gave manager Csaba Laszlo and the small amount of Hearts fans the chance to see with the youngster could do.
Novikovas found David Obua with space and only one defender to beat. The Ugandan controlled the ball initially but got it caught under his feet and was unable to test Boruc.
Shaun Maloney came closest for Celtic on 78 Minutes with a glancing header but much the same as last week against Dundee United, Marian Kello matched him all the way and ensured that he would keep a clean sheet.
As the game petered out it was a welcome chance to reflect on a great season for the boys in maroon. While Hearts bid a fond farewell to cup winners Neilson and Karipidis they look ahead to next season with great anticipation. One thing is for definite though the Gorgie boys are most definitely going to Europe.
Celtic: Boruc; Hinkel, O'dea, Caldwell, Loovens; McGeady, Hartley, Brown (Flood 82), Nakamura; McDonald (Maloney 69), Samaras (Vennegoor of Hesselink 45). Subs not used: Brown, Crossas Conroy, Naylor.
Hearts: Kello; Neilson, Zaliukas (J Stewart 80), Jonsson, Wallace; Templeton (Novikovas 51), M Stewart, Karipidis, Mrowiec, Obua; Elliot (Nade 61). Subs not used: Balogh; Tullberg, J Thomson, C Thomson. Booked: Mrowiec.
Referee: Craig Thomson
Top man: Marian Kello
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