First team

Match Report: Celtic 0-2 Hearts

16 December 2023

First half strikes from Lawrence Shankland and Stephen Kingsley saw Hearts become the first Scottish side to take three points from Celtic Park since January 2021.


Steven Naismith made four changes for the trip to Glasgow’s east end as Jorge Grant, Nathaniel Atkinson, Alan Forrest and Aidan Denholm all came into the starting XI. 


It was a confident start from the men in maroon, who were showing plenty of bravery when in possession.


Zander Clark would’ve been expecting a busy afternoon, and he was called into action for the first time after 10 minutes, when beating away Greg Taylor’s long-range volley.


The Jambos hit the front after 15 minutes. A clever corner kick routine saw Lawrence Shankland find space at the back post and he powered his header past Joe Hart to open the scoring.


Hearts continued to play with confidence, and they doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Nathaniel Atkinson was fouled 25-yards from goal and up stepped Stephen Kingsley to expertly curl the ball over the Celtic wall and into the top corner.


Celtic continued to dominate possession, however they weren't slicing Hearts open and many of their chances in the first half came from distance, resulting in routine saves for Clark.


Half-time: Celtic 0-2 Hearts


The men in maroon would’ve been ready for a Celtic onslaught in the second half and the home side should really have pulled one back immediately after the restart. Kyogo Furuhashi peeled away at the back post to meet Palma’s floated cross, but he mistimed his shot as Hearts survived a big scare.


Palma was looking the likeliest to carve open the Hearts backline and he continued to face up Nathaniel Atkinson with the aim of cutting inside and getting a shot away, the Aussie dealt with him well however and Palma was replaced on the hour mark after curling a shot from distance straight into the arms of Clark.


Celtic continued to huff and puff with little success and it was the Jambos who began to look a threat on the break as the game headed into the final 25 minutes. Neat play involving substitute Kenneth Vargas saw Grant curl an effort just wide.


The home support were growing frustrated and another chance came and went on 75 minutes when Celtic sub James Forrest got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Oh, but his effort was high and wide.


There was a competitive Hearts debut for 18-year-old Macaulay Tait late on as he replaced the impressive Grant. 


It must’ve felt like a long second half for the travelling Jambos, but after the four minutes of second half stoppage time were over, they were able to celebrate a result that will live long in the memory as the Jambos returned to third spot in the cinch Premiership.


Celtic: Hart, A. Johnston (Ralston, 46), Taylor (Forrest, 71), Scales, Palma (Bernabei, 62), Furuhashi, Turnbull (Oh, 46), Carter-Vickers, O’Riley, McGregor, M.Johnston (Maeda, 46)


Subs: Bain, Oh, Kwon, Bernabei, Bernardo, Maeda, Forrest, Ralston, Welsh


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley (Sibbick, 46), Baningime, Grant (Tait, 85), Shankland, Atkinson (Halkett, 90+1), Rowles, Forrest (McKay, 65), Cochrane, Denholm (Vargas, 65)


Subs: Gordon, Halkett, Haring, Oda, McKay, Sibbick, Tait, Tagawa, Vargas