Celtic 5-0 Heart of Midlothian
Saturday 3rd November 2018, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Celtic Park
Hearts suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Celtic this afternoon.
The home side took their chances well at Celtic Park and ran out comfortable winners, though the Jambos put in a spirited second-half performance.
Craig Levein made four changes from the side that drew in midweek with Hibs. Steven MacLean returned from suspension to replace Callumn Morrison while Jake Mulraney came in for Ollie Bozanic. Harry Cochrane slotted in for Olly Lee and Demetri Mitchell was handed a place ahead of Ben Garuccio.
Celtic signaled their intent straight from the off. Edouard got to the edge of the box before moving the ball to Ryan Christie, who shot low and straight at Bobby Zlamal.
Zlamal made another comfortable save not long after. Keiran Tierney slipped Christie into the box and he stabbed goalward from the tightest of angle, but the Hearts no.1 was there to smother the ball at his near post.
Christie was denied for a third time on the quarter hour mark. A ball into the Hearts box was only half cleared by Dikamona, and it dropped to Christie, who saw his shot deflected narrowly wide of Zlamal’s right-hand post.
Three minutes later it was 1-0. Edouard received the ball 20-yards from goal, in line with the edge of the box, and he shimmied before slamming a spectacular effort beyond Zlamal and into the top corner of the net.
Zlamal turned a Tierney drive around the post before James Forrest failed to find the target with an audacious 30-yard shot.
The home side doubled their lead in the 26th minute. Callum McGregor’s corner found the unmarked Benkovic, who bulleted home a header.
Zlamal was at his best to deny Celtic a third after 38 minutes. Tierney’s low ball across the face of goal found the outstretched leg of Christie, who stabbed on target, but Zlamal flung his hands up to make a superb block.
Moments after, Celtic got a third. Tierney’s ball into the six-yard box found Edouard, who was the right side of his marker, and he touched the ball into the corner of the net.
Before the half was out, Tom Rogic collected the ball after a Tierney free-kick hit the wall but his effort from outside the box was pushed away by Zlamal.
Hearts were afforded more time and space in the second half, and enjoyed spells of possession. With no real shots on goal, however, they were made to pay.
Despite another good Zlamal save, denying McGregor, he was beaten in the 65th minute when Edouard found Forrest inside the box, and he turned to drill a low effort past Zlamal and into the bottom corner.
MacLean nearly pulled one back in the 78th minute. Substitute Ben Garuccio’s cross found him six-yards out, but his shot was deflected narrowly wide.
Garuccio then hit the woodwork. He tried his luck from 25-yards and his shot had Gordon beaten, but the ball came crashing back off his left-hand post.
A miserable afternoon was rounded off when Celtic were awarded a penalty with two minutes remaining, and Christie sent Zlamal the wrong way from the spot for a fifth.
The result means Hearts are still top of the Ladbrokes Premiership, one game past the first full round of fixtures.
Celtic: Gordon, Sinclair (Moragn, 79'), Christie, Rogic, Boyata, Edouard (Johnston, 72'), Lustig (Ajer, 58'), Benkovic, McGregor, Forrest, Tierney. Subs: Bain, Hendry, Hayes, McInroy.
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Dunne, Haring, Clare (Morrison, 72'), Djoum, Mitchell (Garuccio, 46'), MacLean, Cochrane, Mulraney (Wighton, 82'), Dikamona. Subs: Doyle, Bozanic, Lee, Hughes.
Referee: John Beaton