Match Reports

Celtic 4-0 Hearts

29th January 2017

Hearts beaten in Glasgow.



Hearts fell to a 4-0 defeat at Celtic on Sunday.

Callum McGregor gave the home side a first-half lead, and goals late on from Patrick Roberts and a Scott Sinclair brace made sure the three points stayed in Glasgow.

Ian Cathro made two changes from the side that defeated Raith Rovers in midweek. Liam Smith replaced Andraz Struna at right-back, Sam Nicholson started ahead of the Rory Currie while Don Cowie came in for Prince Buaben.

A low tempo opening spell saw little goalmouth action until the tenth minute. Scott Sinclair’s corner was met my Nir Bitton but he could only steer his first-time shot wide of the target.

A couple of long-range efforts from Malaury Martin and Jamie Walker flew over the crossbar as Hearts were made to soak up Celtic’s pressure before attempting to hit on the break.

Just when Hearts were starting to make inroads into the opposition half, a quick break from Celtic saw them take a lead on 30 minutes. Sinclair tore down the right and cut inside to unleash a defence-splitting pass for McGregor to run onto and prod past Jack Hamilton and into the back of the net.

The Jambos had their best chance of the game bang on half-time. Martin’s free-kick into the box was headed goalwards by Walker, but the winger’s effort landed on the roof of the net.

Celtic continued their attacking intent in the second-half, with Cristian Gamboa’s 20-yard drive flying wide of Hamilton’s left-hand post.

Smith came to Hearts’ rescue in the 51st minute when a long ball forward was misjudged by John Souttar and latched onto by James Forrest, but as the Celtic man closed in on goal the Hearts full-back appeared out of nowhere with a superb last-ditch challenge to send the ball behind.

A curling effort from distance, courtesy of Roberts in the 69th minute, narrowly missed the target as the game remained on somewhat of a knife-edge.

Substitute and new signing Choulay showed his class in the 72nd minute to play a wonderful through ball for Martin, who tried to fire beyond Craig Gordon from the edge of the box but the ‘keeper was able to make the block.

The home side then went straight up the other end and passed up a golden opportunity to double their lead. Kieran Tierney’s cross to the back door found Sinclair, but he somehow steered his shot wide of the target.

The game was put to bed on 78 minutes. Tierney found space down the right to send over an inviting cross that was blocked by Aaron Hughes, but the ball stopped right on the goal-line and Sinclair was able to stab home.

Two minutes later it was 3-0. Again, Tierney flew down the right and this time picked out Roberts, who fired high into the roof of the net from inside the box.

To rub salt into the wounds, Souttar was stretchered off in injury time with a serious looking Achilles injury. Then Sinclair bagged his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot, rounding off a bad day all round for the Jambos.

Celtic: Gordon, Gamboa (Lustig, 78'), Simunovic, Boyata, Tierney, Bitton, McGregor, Brown, Roberts (Aitchison, 82'), Forrest (Henderson, 67'), Sinclair. Subs: De Vries, Mackay-Steven, Sviatchenko, Izaguirre.

Hearts: Hamilton, L.Smith, Souttar, Hughes, Sowah, Kitchen (Beith, 81'), Cowie, Martin (Sammon, 78'), Nicholson (Choulay, 59'), Walker, Johnsen. Subs: Noring, Oshaniwa, Zanatta, Bikey.

Referee: Bobby Madden

Top Man: Lennard Sowah