Celtic 3-1 Hearts – ‘A Jekyll and Hyde sort of a game this one,’ David Potter

A Jekyll and Hyde sort of a game this one. The first half was poor, went on for ever and was ruined by the “lying down” of so many Hearts players to slow Celtic down. Granted, the two goals were good ones, and one has to credit VAR for getting them right in the end, but why did it have to take so long?

And why were Hearts allowed, when their goal was eventually given, to go back to where they had been celebrating and allowed to start again. Was this an “in your face” to the linesman who had wanted to disallow the goal, or was it an “in your face” to the Celtic crowd? A few bookings would not have been out of place here, one feels.

Josh Ginnelly celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s first goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Hearts at Celtic Park on March 08, 2023 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The second half, on the other hand, was excellent Celtic stuff, and the two goals are quite simply the reason why we all turn out in such huge numbers to see Celtic. Kyogu’s goal was a great team goal, while Hakšabanović’s goal was a great individual effort. The screen then said it was being checked by VAR for offside. I HOPE that was either a joke or a mistake. If it was a joke then it was a very good one, but if VAR really were checking that one…well, you would have to question their sanity! If we don’t already, that is!

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The full backs were different tonight. They deserved a game, but I hope that Johnston and Taylor are in on Saturday. Ralston I normally like, but last night he was distinctly rusty in some of his passing. Bernabei would have been sent off if Robbie Neilson had had anything to do with it (oh dear, Robbie, you are normally a reasonably sensible sort of guy, too, aren’t you – but then again Albert Kidd still hurts!). My Man of the Match was once again Cameron Carter-Vickers. What a player he is! So largely unsung as well

It will be a different game of course on Saturday at Tynecastle. That was an insipid Hearts side looking like the “poor man’s Inter Milan” (why not maroon, incidentally? Yes, yes, I know, all a marketing stunt to persuade suckers to buy their strips – like our grey nonsense at St Mirren), but Saturday will see a more determined Hearts side with all their best players playing and everyone committed, bitter and fired up by an angry and desperate crowd who still remember Albert Kidd. We will have to be up for them. It is a game we mustn’t lose.

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I can’t help feeling that Celtic may have missed a trick last night with the Scottish League Cup. It usually is shown off the first home game after the victory, and there is no finer sight than silver with green and white ribbons. Why couldn’t some of our disabled supporters, for example, been wheeled round the track with the trophy? It would have been a marvellous sight!

David Potter

On this day in 1965, Jock Stein became manager of Celtic…David Potter’s bestseller The Celtic Rising ~ 1965: The Year Jock Stein Changed Everything is available now in print on Celtic Star Books, and also on Amazon kindle, links below…

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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