Livingston 5-0 Heart of Midlothian
Friday 14th December 2018, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tony Macaroni Arena
Hearts were beaten 5-0 by Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Friday night.
After a tight, hard fought, opening seventy minutes, the Jambos conceded a penalty, a goal, and lost Arnaud Djoum to a red card in the space of two minutes.
Following that, Livingston kicked on and scored a further four goals without reply as the match drew to a conclusion.
Craig Levein had made two changes to the team that defeated Motherwell last weekend with Ben Garuccio and Callumn Morrison coming into the side.
The hosts had the first chance when Ryan Hardie was played through by Scott Pittman and the forward’s effort bounced back off the post.
At the other end Demi Mitchell hit the woodwork when his lovely curling effort from outside the box also bounced back off the post as Hearts threatened.
Craig Halkett thought he’d given the home side the lead when he met Alan Lithgow’s long throw at the back post but Bobby Zlamal made a terrific save.
Zlamal was called into action again when Pittman was teed up by Steven Lawless and the Czech stopper made a great save with his feet before Lawless himself fired just wide.
Hearts started the second half strongly almost scored when sub Sean Clare was played in on goal by a Mitchell flick on but keeper Liam Kelly made the save with his legs.
Mitchell, now playing wide on the right, then went on a solo run beating three players but his shot was blocked when he aimed for the corner.
On the seventy-minute mark, Bobby Zlamal conceded a penalty. The keeper hesitated when coming for a cross ball, and ended up taking out Hardie.
Referee Nick Walsh showed the keeper a yellow - then a red card - before rescinding the dismissal. When play resumed, Livingston skipper Craig Halkett converted from the spot.
A minute later, Arnaud Djoum was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Dolly Menga, who then doubled the hosts’ lead two minutes later.
The Angolan striker collected the ball on the right and cut into the area, faking his shot repeatedly to make room for himself before sliding it into the net.
Hardie then added a third for the hosts three minutes later when he was played in by Pittman. The on-loan Rangers striker cut inside onto his right foot before curling past Zlamal.
Livingston scored again a minute later when a long ball over the top caught out substitute Aaron Hughes, allowing Hardie to nip in and poke the ball beyond Zlamal.
And in stoppage time, Livi added their fifth goal when Lawless had a shot blocked in the area, only for the ball to drop to Shaun Byrne who placed the ball into the corner.
Steven MacLean had the chance to reduce the arrears when he intercepted a back pass but his shot hit the bar with the goal gaping.