Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle1Hearts2

Partick Thistle 1-2 Heart of Midlothian

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Highlights: Partick Thistle 1-2 Hearts

Tony Watt scored his first goal for Hearts to give Robbie Neilson's side victory over Partick Thistle.

Callum Paterson - the subject of interest from Wigan Athletic - nodded the visitors ahead from Sam Nicholson's first-half corner.

Thistle levelled after the break when Liam Lindsay's header crossed the line after hitting the bar.

But, with time running out, striker Watt lashed a shot into the net from a tight angle.

The worth of Paterson

English clubs have already determined that Hearts' right-back Paterson is ready to move south - it is only differing opinions about his value that have prevented a move so far.

Wigan may eventually raise their bid from the £700,000 rejected last week, but it is clear why Hearts are looking for more.

Physically strong, a powerful runner and commanding in the air, Paterson's goal from Nicholson's corner was an emphatic header.

He also plays an important role in Hearts' style. The team's shape is asymmetric, with Arnaud Djoum tucking in from right midfield and Nicholson playing wide on the left, requiring Paterson to provide width on the right flank, which he covers tirelessly.

If the Scotland cap leaves this window, Hearts will sorely miss him.

Hearts celebrate
Paterson (second from left) has been called up to Scotland's squad to face Malta

Individuals shine

There was much to admire about both teams - their organisation, energy and ability to move the ball swiftly in crisp passages of play or directly. The coaching work of Alan Archibald and Robbie Neilson was evident, but personalities still shone through.

Watt carries the ball deftly and has vision and clever instincts. Those qualities are all matched in Thistle's Chris Erskine, whose jinking, skilful runs were a feature throughout.

He almost made a goal for Ade Azeez in the first half and it was his wing play that led to the corner that delivered Thistle's equaliser. Erskine took the set piece, too, swinging the ball in for Lindsay to score with a header off the underside of the bar.

Sometimes managers can just allow individual ability to shine and Hearts were rewarded for leaving Watt on when he struck the winner.

Liam Lindsay celebrates
Lindsay levelled from an Erskine corner

Hearts' strength in depth tells

Neilson's starting line-up contained eight players who were called up for international duty last week, but it was the talent on their bench that set them apart.

The Hearts head coach was able to bring on Bjorn Johnsen and Jamie Walker in the second half and, after Partick Thistle equalised, the visitors stepped up their tempo and pressure.

That paid off in the end, but under different circumstances they might have brought on club captain Alim Ozturk, experienced midfielder Prince Buaben, young defender Liam Smith or attacker Robbie Muirhead.

What Archibald would have given for those options.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald: "It was a sore one to take, but I thought we defended well in the second half and limited Hearts' chances. We were very unlucky with the outcome.

"Our front four all did really well when we got the ball to them. They made things happen. I was going to take Chris [Erskine] off, but I thought he maybe had a goal in him or an assist late on.

"If the window shuts [without making signings], it's not the end of the world, because there are still good players out there. But I'd like to get at least one in before then."

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson: "We brought on [Jamie] Walker and Bjorn [Johnsen] to give us a lift, because we had an idea of the scores from other games.

"[Strength in depth] is a huge advantage for us. So to have the option of changing it during the match like we did makes a huge difference.

"You saw the quality of Tony Watt at the end. That's the reason we kept him on.

"I wanted to give Tony that opportunity because I knew he would create something. His finish was top drawer."

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Cerny
  • 23Gordon
  • 15Devine
  • 5Lindsay
  • 3Booth
  • 19EdwardsBooked at 84mins
  • 6OsmanBooked at 76mins
  • 16AzeezSubstituted forAmooat 69'minutes
  • 10Erskine
  • 11Lawless
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forPogbaat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Amoo
  • 12Scully
  • 14Elliott
  • 18Wilson
  • 20McDaid
  • 21Syme
  • 99Pogba

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 2Paterson
  • 14Souttar
  • 4Rossi
  • 3Rherras
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 15Cowie
  • 6Kitchen
  • 11NicholsonSubstituted forWalkerat 58'minutes
  • 32WattSubstituted forSmithat 90+3'minutes
  • 18SammonSubstituted forJohnsenat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ozturk
  • 7Walker
  • 8Buaben
  • 13Noring
  • 20Johnsen
  • 23Muirhead
  • 24Smith
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
4,919

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home9
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away8
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Partick Thistle 1, Heart of Midlothian 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 1, Heart of Midlothian 2.

Danny Devine (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Bjorn Johnsen (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Liam Smith replaces Tony Watt.

Foul by Callum Booth (Partick Thistle).

Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Partick Thistle 1, Heart of Midlothian 2. Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner.

Foul by Mathias Pogba (Partick Thistle).

Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle).

Faycal Rherras (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Callum Booth (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt blocked. Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Mathias Pogba replaces Kris Doolan.

Foul by David Amoo (Partick Thistle).

Faycal Rherras (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle).

Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Danny Devine.

Attempt blocked. John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Bjorn Johnsen (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. David Amoo replaces Adebayo Azeez.

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Abdul Osman.

Attempt saved. Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Danny Devine.

Attempt blocked. Bjorn Johnsen (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Callum Paterson.

Attempt blocked. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Chris Erskine (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Callum Paterson.

Attempt saved. Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic330010469
2Rangers42206428
3Hearts42118447
4Ross County42026606
5Dundee41215415
6Hamilton41214405
7Aberdeen412135-25
8Motherwell411245-14
9St Johnstone411257-24
10Kilmarnock411246-24
11Partick Thistle31024403
12Inverness CT4103511-63
View full Scottish Premiership table

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