Scottish Premiership
Celtic4Hearts0

Celtic 4-0 Heart of Midlothian

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Highlights: Celtic 4-0 Hearts

Celtic dispatched Hearts to extend their unbeaten domestic run under Brendan Rodgers to 27 matches, breaking the 50-year-old record set by the Lisbon Lions.

Callum McGregor put Celtic ahead after being played in by Scott Sinclair, before the ex-Swansea man doubled the lead after the break.

The excellent Kieran Tierney teed up Patrick Roberts to make it 3-0.

Sinclair scored from the spot late on to round off a comfortable victory.

Celtic's dominance under Rodgers has been almost total, with only two points dropped in the entire league campaign to date.

Those dropped points came courtesy of a last-minute equaliser from Inverness Caledonian Thistle's Alex Fisher on 18 September. It is 17 straight league wins since then for the champions.

Celtic were missing some amount of firepower, with Moussa Dembele ruled out because of a knee injury and Leigh Griffiths missing with a sore calf. Stuart Armstrong didn't make it either, even though he was named in the starting line-up. The midfielder suffered a recurrence of a calf problem in the warm-up and was replaced by McGregor.

He was not a bad deputy as it turned out. It was McGregor's goal, after half an hour, that sent Celtic on their way to a record.

The goal was clinical, with Celtic taking advantage of the softness in the Hearts defence. Sinclair had begun as an emergency centre-forward but soon moved to his usual spot wide on the left - and it was from there that he created it. He cut through a gap with ease and then picked out the on-rushing McGregor, who beat Jack Hamilton with a shot that went in off the inside of his left-hand post.

Eboue Kouassi
New Celtic signing Eboue Kouassi was introduced to the fans at half-time

In the absence of Arnaud Djoum, Faycal Rherras - at the Africa Cup of Nations - and the injured Callum Paterson, Ian Cathro is throwing new players into his team on a weekly basis.

Mohammed Choulay was the latest to make a debut, off the bench, and there are more players to follow, it seems. They are needed - in all areas.

Hearts did not raise much of a gallop in the opening half. The only time they created a frisson of excitement for their supporters was when Celtic gifted them possession, which happened a number of times. Craig Gordon, a much-talked about goalkeeper, was guilty twice and had Hearts had any composure they might have made the Chelsea target suffer. They didn't.

They looked vulnerable at the back - John Souttar had a poor day, which got worse as he was carried off on a stretcher a few minutes from the end with what appeared to be a serious Achilles injury. They had little presence in the middle of the park and nothing to speak of up front. Having sold Igor Rossi and Alim Ozturk, they will wait anxiously for news of Souttar's injury.

Celtic could have made it two but James Forrest was denied by a fine covering tackle by Liam Smith. Hearts then, finally, found something when Martin forced a save from Gordon. That was it for them. They were over-run from that point on.

Scott Sinclair
Scott Sinclair makes it 4-0 from the penalty spot, his 15th goal of the season

Rodgers' team were unimpressive for the first hour, operating in third gear, which was still good enough to control the game. They raised their tempo later on, not long after that minor scare from Martin.

And it was Tierney who took hold of things, pinging in a low cross form the left which Aaron Hughes failed badly to deal with. Sinclair slid in to score the second. Minutes later, from a clever Liam Henderson ball, Tierney cut it back to Roberts for the third.

When Lennard Sowah took down substitute Jack Aitchison in the dying minutes, Sinclair made it four from the penalty spot. Even without their two principal attackers, and not hitting their straps the way we know they can, Celtic swatted Hearts aside. That's two wins in eight for Cathro now. Another sobering lesson for the new Hearts manager.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 12GamboaSubstituted forLustigat 78'minutes
  • 5Simunovic
  • 20Boyata
  • 63Tierney
  • 8Brown
  • 6Bitton
  • 42McGregor
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forHendersonat 67'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 27RobertsSubstituted forAitchisonat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Izaguirre
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 23Lustig
  • 24de Vries
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 53Henderson
  • 76Aitchison

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 5Hughes
  • 6KitchenSubstituted forBeithat 81'minutes
  • 14Souttar
  • 46Sowah
  • 7Walker
  • 24Smith
  • 15Cowie
  • 88MartinBooked at 55minsSubstituted forSammonat 79'minutes
  • 11NicholsonSubstituted forEl Ouriachiat 59'minutes
  • 20Johnsen

Substitutes

  • 13Noring
  • 16El Ouriachi
  • 17Oshaniwa
  • 18Sammon
  • 22Beith
  • 23Nguene Bikey
  • 26Zanatta
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
58,247

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home16
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home10
Away1
Fouls
Home6
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 4, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 4, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Smith.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie Walker.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 4, Heart of Midlothian 0. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty Celtic. Jack Aitchison draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Lennard Sowah (Heart of Midlothian) after a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Liam Henderson (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Bjorn Johnsen (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

(Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Conor Sammon (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Jack Aitchison replaces Patrick Roberts.

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Angus Beith replaces Perry Kitchen.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 3, Heart of Midlothian 0. Patrick Roberts (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Kieran Tierney.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Conor Sammon replaces Malaury Martin.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Mikael Lustig replaces Cristian Gamboa.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Heart of Midlothian 0. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Malaury Martin (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt missed. Patrick Roberts (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Liam Henderson replaces James Forrest.

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Cristian Gamboa (Celtic).

Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Patrick Roberts (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Moha replaces Sam Nicholson.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by John Souttar.

Booking

Malaury Martin (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Cristian Gamboa (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Malaury Martin (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt saved. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Smith.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Lennard Sowah.

Cristian Gamboa (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Smith.

Attempt missed. Cristian Gamboa (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22211059144564
2Rangers2212643021942
3Aberdeen21124538191940
4Hearts228773830831
5St Johnstone228772825331
6Partick Thistle225892429-523
7Ross County225892539-1423
8Kilmarnock225891937-1823
9Dundee2264122131-1022
10Motherwell2156102535-1021
11Hamilton2221192134-1317
12Inverness CT2238112640-1417
View full Scottish Premiership table

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