Match Report: Hearts 3-4 Celtic

22 October 2022

JTs boss Robbie Neilson made several changes to the side that slipped to defeat at Aberdeen: the returning Cammy Devlin was restored to the midfield after serving his two-match suspension, whilst Josh Ginnelly was handed a leading spot in the maroon attack as Lawrence Shankland dropped to the bench.
It was the Jambos who fashioned the first clear-cut chance after seven minutes; Michael Smith jigged his way up the right side before whipping a teasing cross across the face of goal – Barrie McKay pounced on it but could only force a diving stop from Joe Hart at the first time of asking.
Hearts kept up the pressure. Orestis Kio showed some dogged grit to take the ball from Alexandro Bernabei before easing off to Robert Snodgrass on the edge of the area. The veteran midfielder showed nice footwork as he danced through a sea of Celtic shirts before forcing another stop from Hart.
Against the run of play, Celtic then took the lead. A searching cross from Anthony Ralston bounced off a sliding Kio – allowing a lurking James Forrest to nod past Craig Gordon with fourteen minutes played.
Michael Smith was at the heart of events moments later, drilling a fine ball down on the head of Humphrys – who took a touch before sending a powerful effort behind goal with a deflection as the boys in maroon kept up the chase.
As the half drew to a close, Humphrys himself was forced off on the 39th minute after pulling up during a Celtic attack. After a brief consultation with the physio, he was subbed off in place of Lawrence Shankland.
With VAR making its headline inducing debut at Tynecastle – it seemed fitting that it played a key role in Hearts’ equaliser just before the end of the first half. Cammy Devlin was chopped down in the box by Cameron Carter-Vickers, with referee Nick Walsh initially waving away the claims.
After a long wait, and a check of the screen, a penalty was awarded. Lawrence Shankland was the man charged with burying it – and so he did with icy precision, sending Joe Hart the wrong way to give Hearts a deserved equaliser going into the break.
The half was barely a few minutes old when Hearts raced into a dramatic lead. The JTs piled the pressure on Celtic straight from kick-off, pressing them high up the park. Josh Ginnelly drove at Celtic down the right before playing a daisy-cutter across the deck to Shankland in the middle. Under pressure from Carter-Vickers, he showed determination to hold off his man and squeeze the ball under Hart.
The twists in the tale just kept coming though, and Celtic pulled the game to level terms after 54 minutes. Aaron Mooy placed a corner into the box before Giorgos Giakoumakis leapt to head Celtic back into a 2-2 tie.
Within minutes, Celtic would take back the lead. A surging move up the park came to a conclusion after Daizen Maeda was quickest to slam home Craig Gordon’s parried save on the rebound. 3-2 to the visitors.
Remarkably, the goals just kept coming, and in such quick succession – this time for the Jambos! Lawrence Shankland once again was the man tasked with converting from the spot. This time, Hart dived the correct way to save. The danger was still alive though and Josh Ginnelly pounced to score.
Nick Walsh asked for a retake after Gino was found to have encroached before the kick was taken. Shankland was given a second chance at securing a hat-trick, and that he did, beating Hart at the second time of asking to pull Hearts back to 3-3.
With 75 minutes played, substitute Liel Abada was able to advance into Hearts’ half. His deflected shot fell to the feet of Greg Taylor who was able to make his way into the area and slide the ball under Gordon to make it 4-3 to the visitors.
Hearts: Gordon, M. Smith (Halliday 83’), Kingsley, Kiomourtzoglou (C. Smith 83’), Devlin, McKay, Cochrane, Sibbick, Humphrys (Shankland 39’), Ginnelly (Forrest 69’), Snodgrass
Subs: Stewart, Clark, Grant, Shankland, Halliday, Forrest, Neilson, Henderson, C. Smith,
Celtic: Hart, Jenz, Giakoumakis, Mooy, Carter-Vickers, Bernabei (Taylor 65’), O’Riley, Maeda (Haksabanovic 65’), Hatate (Abildgaard 90+1’), Forrest (Abada 65’), Ralston
Subs: Siegrist, Taylor, Kyogo, Haksabanovic, Ababa, McCarthy, Ideguchi, Abildgaard, Juranovic

Referee: Nick Walsh
Attendance: 18,081