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Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009

Hearts 0-0 Hibernian

By Clive Lindsay

Jonathan Johansson with Ruben Palazuelos
Johansson (left) was making his debut for Hibernian

Hearts struck woodwork three times but had to settle for a point with Hibernian following an exciting but goalless Edinburgh derby.

Christian Nade sent a header over goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay and against the face of the crossbar during an even first half at Tynecastle.

Nade also fired a low effort against the outside of the post and a Gary Glen drive shaved the crossbar.

Hearts goalkeeper Janos Balogh denied Steven Fletcher a close-range winner.

John Rankin, Colin Nish and Dean Shiels had paid for last weekend's defeat at home to Kilmarnock by being dropped to Hibs' bench, while captain Rob Jones was missing through injury as Derek Riordan, Lewis Stevenson and Steven Thicot were recalled.

Veteran former Rangers striker Jonatan Johansson, who completed his move from Malmo on Thursday, was handed his debut wide on the right as manager Mixu Paatelainen signalled his intention to attack.

The result was an end-to-end affair from the kick-off, but it was Hearts who were the more dangerous and forced the first save of the game after seven minutes.

Andrew Driver took on Chris Hogg on the edge of the box and fired in a powerful drive that Ma-Kalambay turned away for a corner at his near post.

Midfielder Eggert Jonsson had been drafted into the heart of the home defence in place of the suspended Marius Zaliukas, with Jason Thomson replacing Lee Wallace, following the double sending off in last weekend's defeat by Aberdeen.

And Jonsson came to the rescue with a desperate block that prevented Hogg's shot on the turn finding its target after a free-kick fell to the central defender 15 yards out.

A Nade header looped over Ma-Kalambay but struck the face of Hibs' crossbar as Hearts started to dominate.

Hibs still threatened on the break and Fletcher ought to have done better than slice a drive wide from the edge of the Hearts box after being found in space by a Stevenson pass.

Jason Thomson receives treatment on the touchline
Thomson had to go off after suffering a head knock

Thomson suffered a head knock after making a heavy challenge on Hibs' David van Zanten after 30 minutes.

The left-back had to be replaced with striker Glen four minutes later, but before then Laryea Kingston stung the hands of Ma-Kalambay with a swirling low drive.

Glen was presented with an early chance to make an impact when Hogg misjudged a header, but Ma-Kalambay was out quickly to block.

Jonsson, who had been switched to left-back, set up the first chance of the second half, rampaging down the wing before turning the ball into the path of Nade.

But the striker's low drive from 16 yards came off the outside of the Ma-Kalambay's near post.

Kingston was forced out of the action through injury after 54 minutes, Deividas Cesnauskis his replacement.

Johansson just failed to connect with a Fletcher flick across the face of Hearts' goal following a Riordan free-kick.

Glen was next to worry the Hibs goal, letting fly from 22 yards only for his drive to skim off the top of the crossbar.

Fletcher was denied at the other end by a fine block by goalkeeper Balogh after making room for himself 12 yards out.

And Ma-Kalambay beat away a stinging effort from Driver as the two city rivals had to settle for a point apiece.


Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo:
"For us, it's always the same. We create a lot of chances but we don't score.

"This is the biggest sickness for my team, this killer instinct.

"I think Christian Nade alone had two or three very clear opportunities and we also twice hit the crossbar.

"We were a little bit unlucky, I think, but I'm not unhappy about the performance."

Hibernian manager Mixu Paatelainen said:
"It was a typical derby match. The tempo of the game was unbelievable.

"It was pretty scrappy at times as well, but that's so typical of these derby matches, with the passion of the players - they're desperate to win it.

"Maybe sometimes you should slow it down a little bit to make sure your passes actually get there, but I'm sure it was an exciting match to watch.

"I thought we created chances today and we might have nicked it.

"I'm happy that we didn't lose, obviously, but we came here to take three points."


Hearts: Balogh, Neilson, Jonsson, Berra, Thomson (Glen 34), Kingston (Cesnauskis 54), Stewart, Karipidis, Palazuelos, Driver, Nade.
Subs Not Used: Kello, Mole, Templeton, Rapnik, Brown.

Booked: Berra.

Hibernian: Ma-Kalambay, van Zanten, Hogg, Murray, Stevenson, Johansson, Bamba, Thicot, O'Brien (Shiels 71), Riordan, Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: McNeil, Yantorno, Nish, Keenan, Rankin, Chisholm.

Booked: Stevenson, Riordan, Murray.

Att: 17,244

Ref: C Murray


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Hibernian's Yves Ma-Kalambay, 8.67 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
SPL photo gallery
03 Jan 09 |  Scottish Premier
SPL as it happened
03 Jan 09 |  Scottish Premier


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