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Celtic v Hearts as it happened

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By Clive Lindsay

1657: Celtic go two points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League table, overtaking champions Rangers after a last-ditch winner so typical of the team from the east end of Glasgow. Hearts will count themselves unlucky considering they did so well for so long. Manager Csaba Laszlo's ploy of playing without a recognised striker almost pays off, but Celtic's will to win takes the points on the day.

FINAL SCORE Celtic 2-1 Hearts. Celtic snatch victory in the dying seconds and Hearts defender Lee Wallace must be particularly kicking himself. He has a chance to clear the ball but elects to let it go when he had obviously been the last player to touch the ball. From the corner, goalkeeper Janos Balogh flaps at the cross, Aiden McGeady heads the ball back into the six-yard box and Glenn Loovens forces the ball home.

GOAL Celtic 2-1 Hearts

My Sport
From meeks88 On My Sport: "Watching the replay, that was definitely a penalty to Hearts - Hinkel (and Celtic) was lucky there!"

1644: It is Celtic's turn to have a penalty claim turned down. Lee Wallace challenges Niall McGinn as the winger races into the box, but the defender looks to get a touch on the ball and referee Dougie McDonald and his linesman agree that it is a corner.

1642: Hearts bring on Ian Black for the tiring Andrew Driver.

1641: David Obua fires a 20-yard drive a couple of feet wide as Hearts begin to look threatening again on the break.

1635: Hearts' claims for a penalty when Andreas Hinkel challenges Lee Wallace in the penalty box are waved away. It looks like there was definite contact, although the Hearts defender was maybe looking and waiting for it.

1631: An amazing escape for Hearts. A Scott McDonald drive comes off the face of the post, Chris Killen mis-hits his attempt to pass the ball into a gaping goal with Janos Balogh on the deck and the ball is cleared off the line after McDonald turns the ball back across the face of goal.

1628: Shaun Maloney is replaced with Niall McGinn on the Celtic wing.

1626: Aiden McGeady is giving the Hearts midfield, the Hearts defence, indeed, the whole Hearts team a tough time with his trickery. This time he takes on about four at the edge of the box before firing a few yards wide from the edge of the box.

My Sport
From BuckDouble On My Sport: "To be fair, our defence switched off after the Killen clearence. Csaba will be raging"

1619: Aiden McGeady is next to threaten the Hearts goal, turning inside his marker before firing a drive against the top of the crossbar from 20 yards.

1614: Typical commentator's nightmare. Just when I was saying that Celtic were not creating chances, Chris Killen heads the home side level. He forced a good one-handed save from Janos Balogh with a powerful drive, but Shaun Maloney followed up with a fine cross to the back post. And it was ironic that it was Killen, who was being criticised by the home support, who was there to score.

GOAL Celtic 1-1 Hearts

1613: Celtic are dominating possession without making the breakthrough and have Barry Robson warming up on the touchline. The Scotland midfielder has not played since February because of injury.

1609: Hearts survive a good old-fashioned goalmouth scramble after Scott McDonald weaves his way into the six-yard box before losing control and the ball is cleared.

1607: David Obua sweeps the ball off the Hearts line after Danny Fox's cross is forced towards goal by Chris Killen's header and then a little stab forward by Shaun Maloney.

1604: The second half gets underway with Hearts quickly putting pressure on a nervous-looking home defence. No changes to either side.

HALF-TIME Celtic 0-1 Hearts. Celtic were greeted by a chorus of boos as they left the field at half-time with some around the dugout area targeting their wrath at manager Tony Mowbray.

1555: "Janos Balogh has had four or five reasonably comfortable saves to make, while Maloney's free kick hit the bar. But Celtic have been pedestrian" BBC Radio Scotland pundit John Robertson

1553: "Hearts are relatively comfortable in the first half and, if anything, had the better chances. They thoroughly deserve their lead and will maybe feel disappointed that they are not further ahead" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Jim Duffy

My Sport
From Lord Gaga On My Sport: "This has to be one of the worst Celtic teams in years"

1542: Celtic are fortunate not to go further behind when winger Andrew Driver flicks the ball past goalkeeper Artur Boruc, but Gary Caldwell is able to scoop the ball off the line.

1540: Hearts have been defending for much of the half but remain dangerous on the break and Jose Goncalves forces goalkeeper Artur Boruc to turn with ball wide at full-stretch with a fine header from yards.

1539: Janos Balogh beats away a cross-cum-shot from Aiden McGeady at the Hearts goalkeeper's near post.

1538: Marius Zaliukas is replaced with young winger Arvydas Nobikovas coming on, forcing another reshuffle in an already fluid Hearts system.

1537: With Marius Zaliukas a passenger, Celtic mount increasing pressure on the Hearts defence, now bolstered by Ismael Bouzid moving back into defence as a temporary measure.

1535: Marius Zaliukas is limping and it looks like the Hearts defender's return to the side could be shortlived with some activity on the bench suggesting that the Lithuanian is about to be replaced.

My Sport
From BuckDouble On My Sport: "The goal was a cracker. Looks like we can expect great things from Suso"

A glitch in the system meant the results and league table on this page were from yesterday. So, if you refresh your browser, you should get the right ones now. Cheers folks!

1527: Celtic go close to an equaliser when a trademark Shaun Maloney free-kick from 22 yards curls over the defensive wall and crashes off the top of the crossbar before bouncing clear.

1520: Chris Killen's header is fumbled wide by Janos Balogh, but the goalkeeper is more assured as he grabs Aiden McGeady's drive from the resulting corner.

1512: Celtic are pressing forward but are nearly caught on the break again. Another Suso drive from the edge of the box is well held by Artur Boruc this ime.

1511: Shaun Maloney does well to keep the ball under control as the Celtic midfielder fires in a volley from the edge of the box following a corner. But the ball is straight at goalkeeper Janos Balogh.

1505: Hearts winger Suso races towards the Celtic penalty area chased by Scott Brown, but the Celtic man allows the Spaniard to turn and fire the ball through his legs from 20 yards and past a rather weak outstretched hand of goalkeeper Artur Boruc at his near post.

1505: GOAL
Celtic 0-1 Hearts

1503: "Mowbray will expect Celtic to have the majority of the possession, not to give away free-kicks and be wary of Hearts as they have a strong physical presence" BBC Scotland pundit Jim Duffy at Celtic Park

1500: Celtic kick off the game bathed in glorious sunshine. Well, some of them at least, with half the pitch covered in shadow from the giant stands.

1458: Former Celtic defender and present Brechin City manager Jim Duffy, in his role as a BBC Radio Scotland pundit, is predicting a 3-0 win for the home side.

1455: TEAM NEWS To summarise, Stephen McManus drops to the Celtic bench, Gary Caldwell moves back into the defence in his place, with Chris Killen and Scott McDonald coming into the striking positions, the injured Georgios Samaras missing the game. Marius Zaliukas returns from suspension to regain his place in Hearts' defence, with striker Gary Glen dropping out, while Janos Balogh replaces Marian Kello in goal.

1442: TEAMSHearts: Balogh, Bouzid, Goncalves, Zaliukas, Wallace, Santana, Michael Stewart, Palazuelos, Driver, Craig Thomson, Obua. Subs: MacDonald, Kucharski, Black, Novikovas, Jason Thomson, Johnny Stewart, Nade

1441: TEAMSCeltic: Boruc, Hinkel, Caldwell, Loovens, Daniel Fox, McGeady, Brown, N'Guemo, Maloney, McDonald, Killen. Subs: Zaluska, McManus, Carey, Crosas, McGinn, Robson, Caddis.

1437: TEAM NEWS Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo is apparently about to spring a surprise by playing central defender Ismael Bouzid up front, with midfielder David Obua in support. Apparently it is something they have tried in training, but it is hardly a vote of confidence for Hearts' present strikers.

1434: TEAM NEWS Celtic are to play Scott McDonald and Chris Killen up front in the absence of Georgios Samaras and Marc-Antoine Fortune. Gary Caldwell moves back into defence, with Stephen McManus dropping out.

1426: TEAM NEWS Mild-mannered defender Marius Zaliukas is set to return to the centre of the Hearts defence for the first time in the league this season after completing his a four-match suspension for blowing his Lithuanian top consistently last season. Goalkeeper Janos Balogh has recovered from a recent illness, but the equally erratic Marian Kello could still retain his place after Tuesday's clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Kilmarnock. David Templeton and Calum Elliot are still missing through injury, reducing the striking options for manager Csaba Laszlo, who was famously told by owner Vladimir Romanov that he did not like any of his signing targets before the window closed. The versatile Eggert Jonsson is also still sidelined through injury, although that could be a bonus considering his recent performances as a stand-in right-back.

1425: TEAM NEWS Sand-dancing Georgios Samaras' hopes of playing could be skating on thin ice, the Celtic striker having suffered a shin injury after doing a butterfly jump into the dugout in Israel during Thursday's 2-1 defeat. Marc-Antoine Fortune isn't available as a possible replacement as the summer signing remains on the sidelines with a knee injury, but I'll eat my proverbial hat if manager Tony Mowbray does not return to two up front, which should mean a return to the starting line-up for Scott McDonald.

1420: G'day. Well, this Indian summer has me thinking of Australia for some reason as we bask in the September sun ahead of this afternoon's Scottish Premier League action at Celtic Park, where Hearts are the visitors. Of course, Celtic manager Tony Mowbray might not like that considering he was blaming the stifling heat for his side's second-half Europa League slump against Hapoel Tel-Aviv on Thursday. Cameroon international Landy N'Guemo was so unused to the humidity he was substituted in the second half, while Greek striker Georgios Samaras, the Australian Scott McDonald and New Zealander Chris Killen also had their time on the park limited, presumably because they too don't often experience such warm conditions.

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Scottish Premiership table

Monday, 16 June 2014 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Scottish Premiership table
1 Celtic 11 13 27
2 Inverness CT 11 7 22
3 Motherwell 12 0 22
4 Aberdeen 11 6 20
5 St Johnstone 12 6 18
6 Dundee Utd 12 8 17
7 Hibernian 12 -3 15
8 Partick 11 -2 13
9 Ross County 10 -8 10
10 Kilmarnock 12 -5 9
11 St Mirren 10 -11 8
12 Hearts 12 -11 -7

see also
SPL photo gallery
19 Sep 09 |  Scottish Premier

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