CELTIC 5 HEARTS 0
CELTIC swept the League leaders away with a devastating opening 45 minutes here at Celtic Park this afternoon and by 4.50pm had put five past Craig Levein’s team.
His Hearts side started the day four points ahead of the Champions having played a game more but the gap had already narrowed to a point by 3.45pm as his battered and bruised side were saved from further damage only by John Beaton’s half time whistle.
The Hearts players hung their heads at the bitter taste of defeat as the rampant home side inflicted blow after blow in what was an all out assault on the Jambos goal.
Celtic scored three, two from French striker Odsonne Edouard with a header from a corner from Filip Benkovic sandwiched in between. We reckon it was Celtic’s first goal from a corner since big Roddy MacDonald rose above the Rangers defence at the Celtic end to power his header high into the Rangers goal to give Celtic a well deserved 1-0 win in October 1979.
Or so it seems anyway. Regardless the corner jinx is over and the man who delivered the cross was Callum ‘Quarter-Back’ McGregor.
Celtic pushed Hearts back from the kick-off and Ryan Christie was first to threaten the Hearts goal within the first few minutes.
Then after a frustrating time wasting few minutes by Hearts on the Celtic half, the counter attack almost produced the opener but October’s Player of the Month James Forrest was unlucky to see his goslward bound effort blocked by a desperate lunge.
But the opener was simply delayed a few more minutes and when it came it was well worth the wait. Edouard from the angle of the area drilled the ball into the near side top corner. There was now no stopping Celtic, who went for the kill.
Kieran Tierney almost added a second, then Forrest had a great effort from distance deflected inches wide. But the second goal was coming and it was from that rarest source – a Celtic corner. Benkovic should have done it on Wednesday but he made no mistake from four yards out to double the lead.
Christie was next to try his luck but the Hearts keeper saved well but on 38 minutes after more good build-up play Edouard powered the ball into the net for number 3.
The half ended with the delayed Neil Lennon chant and both Rogic and Christie both coming close.
At half-time with Craig Levein trying to figure out what went wrong, the Celtic DJ played ‘Something Inside So Strong’, a little bit of official support for our former manager who has had to endure 18 years of racist abuse since sining for Celtic.
Hearts started the second half with three up top and had more of the play. It would take until 78 minutes before they had a decent effort on goal – a deflection won them a rare corner. And a shot from distance on 85 minutes came back of the post but Gordon didn’t have a single save to make.
Boyata and the Celtic goalie had a wee five minutes when to relieve their defensive boredom gave each other short passes to tempt and tease the hapless Hearts forwards. Gordon killed one back pass stone dead with a piece of skill Moravcik would have been proud of. This after the nutmeg on Wednesday night!
James Forrest got the fourth and Ryan Christie converted a penalty near the end – Scotty Sinclair had been replaced by then.
Tom Rogic had three good opportunities to score but he had a rare off day in front of goal by his own high standards.
Hearts resorted to kicking Celtic players and were lucky to finish the game with 11 men. Assaults on Morgan and Tierney were especially bad.
The Celtic support were in jubilant mood. The stadium bounced to a wonderful huddle and the ‘Here we Go Ten in a Row’ chant was long lasting and enthusiastically enjoyed by all but 400 of the 60,000 crowd. They kept their pound coins in their pockets and most left early, tails were well and truly between their legs.
Celtic on this form will give the Red Bull side a fright. It’s Big Pete’s Disco Night next on Thursday and Leipzig could be in for a shock.
The Celtic Star Man of the Match – Odsonne Edouard.
Also on The Celtic Star…
No Mr Keevins, The Celtic support hasn’t surrendered our European ambitions…See HERE.
Watch Celtic Fans TV Post Match reactions to yesterday’s 5-0 win…See HERE.
Jim Craig – The Battle of Montevideo…See HERE.
‘The birth of the new Young Lions of Celtic,’ David Potter…See HERE.
‘People will now know our capabilities,’ Rodgers Pride…See HERE.
Five Star Celtic hammer Hearts…See HERE.