Match Report: Celtic 3-1 Hearts22 June 2023
Robbie Neilson made six changes for the trip to Glasgow’s East End as Orestis Kiomourtzoglou, Nathaniel Atkinson, Andy Halliday, Cammy Devlin, Alan Forrest and Toby Sibbick came into the starting XI.
The Jambos took a shock lead after just six minutes. A smart break down the left saw Andy Halliday cross for Ginnelly to head home and after originally being disallowed for offside, a VAR check confirmed Ginnelly was in fact on onside, so the men in maroon were ahead.
The home side levelled after 25 minutes when Kyogo Furuhashi was sent through the middle and squared for Daizen Maeda, who bundled the ball home at the back post and once again after originally being disallowed for an offside against Kyogo, the goal was given and parity was restored.
Hearts were dealt a blow in the final minute of the half as Josh Ginnelly was unable to continue and was replaced by Yutaro Oda.
In truth, it had been an opening 45 of few opportunities, as Hearts had restricted the league leaders to very little, but Celtic did almost complete a first-half comeback in stoppage time when Jota tried his luck from distance, only for his effort to come back off the post, with perhaps the slightest of touches from Zander Clark.
It was Hearts who had the final chance of the half after good play down the right, the ball was cutback for Forrest, who’s low strike was well saved by Joe Hart.
Half time: Celtic 1-1 Hearts
The home side completed the comeback on the hour mark as Aaron Mooy slipped in Kyogo and he lifted the ball over Clark and into the back of the net.
The Jam Tarts were forced into another change as Oda was unable to continue and was replaced by Garang Kuol on 65 minutes.
Hearts huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser, but Celtic secured the three points six minutes from time when Sead Haksabanovic cut in off the left wing and curled a perfect finish into the top corner past Zander Clark.
The sides meet again at Tynecastle on Saturday in the Scottish Cup quarter-final.
Celtic: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Bernabei, McGregor ©, Mooy, O’Riley, Abada, Maeda, Kyogo
Subs: Bain, Johnston, Haksabanovic, Turnbull, Jota, Kobayashi, Oh, Iwata, Hatate
Hearts: Clark ©, Grant, Kio, Atkinson, Devlin (Smith, 70), Rowles, Halliday (Kingsley, 70), Forrest (McKay, 70), Sibbick, Ginnelly (Oda, 44), Hill
Subs: Stewart, Smith, Kingsley, McKay, Neilson, Tait, Kuol, Oda (Kuol, 65)