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Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"We've had a good start"
 real 14k

Hearts manager Craig Levein
"Our plan was to stop Celtic scoring"
 real 14k

Celtic's Chris Sutton
"Competition for places bodes well for Celtic"
 real 14k

Saturday, 11 August, 2001, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Larsson back to haunt Hearts
John Hartson tries his luck as Colin Cameron looks on
John Hartson tries his luck as Colin Cameron looks on
Celtic 2-0 Hearts

Henrik Larsson continued in his role as the scourge of Hearts by scoring both goals as Celtic coasted to victory.

The Swede scored seven times against the Tynecastle side last season and he made them suffer again.

Hearts rarely threatened and only young Steven Simmons tested Rab Douglas in the Celtic goal.

The visitors set their stall out to defend, but Larsson's first half free kick broke them down and his second half strike sealed the points.

Celtic showed no signs of tiredness from midweek in the opening minutes and got their first shot on target after a minute.

Didier Agathe twists and turns
Didier Agathe twists and turns
Bobby Petta's cross was flicked on by Mjallby and Lennon's shot was comfortably saved by Antti Niemi.

Celtic went close to opening the scoring in the 10th minute after good work by Hartson.

He found space on the right and played a first time ball into the path of Larsson, who fired his volley just wide.

Lubo Moravcik, making his first start of the season, was heavily involved early on and he curled a 22-yard free-kick over the bar in the 13th minute.

Sutton, playing in the back three, found himself in a more customary forward position in the 17th minute when he rose to meet Moravcik's dangerous free-kick, but glanced his header just wide.

Hearts threatened for the first time in the 33rd minute when a superb long-range strike from Simmons brought out a good save from Rab Douglas.

Moments later the youngster went even closer to scoring when he headed Boyack's in-swinging corner just over with Douglas rooted to the spot.

That seemed to spark Celtic into life and Hartson somehow headed a Moravcik cross wide with the whole goal at his mercy.

Celtic were denied a stonewall penalty in the 41st minute when Moravcik's free-kick was handled by former Celt Stephane Mahe in the area, but referee Willie Young waved away protests.

The home side did take the lead, though, in first half injury time when Larsson rifled home a free-kick from the edge of the area after he had been dragged to the ground by Pressley.

Chris Sutton and Steve Fulton joust for the ball
Chris Sutton and Steve Fulton joust for the ball
Celtic came out after the interval looking to kill off Hearts and were almost celebrating an own goal in the 49th minute.

Agathe showed his electric pace and flew towards the by-line before pulling the ball back dangerously and defender Kevin McKenna directed the cross into the side-netting.

Larsson again had the Hearts defence in turmoil in the 55th minute with a run into the box after some poor defending but his effort was saved by Niemi.

The visitors were looking weary and Niemi had to block a fierce left-foot free-kick from Moravcik to keep his side in the game.

Hartson spurned another guilt-edged opportunity when he glanced Petta's cross just wide of the mark.

Larsson sealed the points in the 65th minute - Tebily found Hartson and the Welshman laid it off to Larsson to hit an unstoppable drive past Niemi and into the corner of the net.

That put the game beyond Hearts and Celtic played the game out in total control.


Celtic: Douglas, Tebily, Sutton, Mjallby, Agathe, Lennon, Lambert, Petta, Moravcik, Larsson, Hartson.

Subs: Kharine, McNamara, Maloney, Guppy, Crainey.

Hearts: Niemi, Flogel, Mckenna, Pressley, Mahe, Boyack, Simmons, Cameron, Fulton, Tomaschek, Wales.

Subs: McKenzie, Severin, Perez, McSwegan, McCann.

Referee: W Young

Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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