Scottish League Cup - Group C
Hearts5Inverness CT0

Heart of Midlothian 5-0 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Uche Ikpeazu celebrates scoring for Hearts
Uche Ikpeazu scored twice for Hearts

Hearts scored three times in four minutes as they thumped Inverness Caledonian Thistle to reach the last 16 of the League Cup.

Striker Uche Ikpeazu hammered in the opener, while his header for the third was every bit as powerful.

In between those goals Ben Garuccio dinked a free-kick over the wall.

At 3-0 Inverness could still progress as one of the four best runners up, but Steven Naismith scored two headers to knock out John Robertson's side.

Partick Thistle profit from the result with their better goal difference ensuring their place in the draw at the Highlanders' expense.

Ikpeazu a new Hearts cult hero

Hearts manager Craig Levein said it was best that striker Kyle Lafferty "took a back seat", despite Rangers not following up on their failed bid to sign the Northern Irishman earlier in the week.

However, Levein may also have been keen to show he has plenty of other attacking options, with Ikpeazu, Naismith and Steven MacLean all starting.

With plenty of targets to aim for, Hearts littered the Inverness box. Corners, free-kicks, crosses - the Highlanders were having to swat away balls from all angles.

MacLean should have buried a close-range header, but that was a warm up for what was to come, with summer signing Ikpeazu taking centre stage.

The former Cambridge striker stole away from his marker and volleyed home Olly Lee's corner, and Inverness had barely taken breath when Garuccio flashed a sublime free-kick past goalkeeper Mark Ridgers.

A third was in the post, with the home fans barely having taken their seats before Ikpeazu bulleted a header into the far corner.

Lee hit a post before the break, but more goals were coming. Naismith headed in a fourth before Levein sent on Lafferty, who promptly hit the post with his first involvement.

The Hearts manager could shuffle his frontline without weakening it. He took Ikpeazu off to a standing ovation, and within seconds Naismith headed in a fifth.

Graphic

Inverness left to rue fine margins

Robertson had promised an attack-minded approach on his return to Tynecastle and he was true to his word. On the ball, the Highlanders knocked the ball about with confidence, and had their moments.

Jordan White could have given them the lead when he moved the ball on to his right foot and fired a low shot, but Hearts defender John Souttar got a foot in to deny him.

Even as the roof fell in during that torrid four-minute spell, they continued to push forward, with Tom Walsh and Charlie Trafford both forcing saves from Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal.

It was fine margins. Had Joe Chalmers's curling free-kick found the net minutes before Naismith made it four, their last-16 place would have been looking safe.

Late on Nathan Austin took advantage of a slack pass, raced through, but knocked his shot wide. It showed a lack of clinical edge their opponents had in abundance.

League table

'It looks convincing, but it wasn't' - what they said

Hearts manger Craig Levein speaking to BT Sport: "It looks like a very convincing score line but for long spells in the first half I felt it was a fairly even game.

"We had a lack of strikers last year so the biggest challenge was to try and create competition and bring different strikers in. Today was Uche's day."

Inverness CT manger John Robertson speaking to BBC Radio Scotland: "Four of Hearts' goals come from crosses into the box. We've got three 6ft 3in defenders in there and they cannot deal with it.

"The annoying thing for me is that even at 4-0 ,one goal takes us through. I'm looking around for players to be men, to show a pride in the badge, a pride in themselves, and I didn't see that."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 16Hughes
  • 4Souttar
  • 6Berra
  • 38Morrison
  • 5Haring
  • 8Lee
  • 17GaruccioSubstituted forMcDonaldat 83'minutes
  • 14Naismith
  • 18MacLeanSubstituted forLaffertyat 67'minutes
  • 19IkpeazuSubstituted forBurnsat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Bozanic
  • 9Lafferty
  • 13Doyle
  • 21McDonald
  • 23Mulraney
  • 28Smith
  • 31Burns

Inverness CT

  • 1Ridgers
  • 2Rooney
  • 22McKay
  • 5Donaldson
  • 3TremarcoSubstituted forCalderat 58'minutes
  • 7Polworth
  • 4Chalmers
  • 24Trafford
  • 10Doran CoganSubstituted forAustinat 61'minutes
  • 19White
  • 11WalshSubstituted forMackayat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6McCart
  • 9Austin
  • 14Oakley
  • 16Calder
  • 18Elbouzedi
  • 23Mackay
  • 42Hoban
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
10,030

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home10
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home14
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 0.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

Foul by Bobby Burns (Heart of Midlothian).

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Nathan Austin (Inverness CT) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Attempt missed. Daniel Mackay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

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

Attempt saved. Anthony McDonald (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Chalmers (Inverness CT).

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian).

Coll Donaldson (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Anthony McDonald replaces Ben Garuccio.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 5, Inverness CT 0. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) from a free kick with a header to the top left corner.

Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Coll Donaldson (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Bobby Burns replaces Uche Ikpeazu.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Peter Haring.

Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian).

Brad McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian).

Joe Chalmers (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Daniel Mackay replaces Tom Walsh.

Attempt missed. Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Ben Garuccio (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

Foul by Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian).

Nathan Austin (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian).

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Kyle Lafferty replaces Steven MacLean.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 4, Inverness CT 0. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Callumn Morrison.

Attempt saved. Joe Chalmers (Inverness CT) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian).

Jordan White (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ross County43016429
2Arbroath42119638
3Alloa42118538
4Dundee Utd41216335
5Elgin4004011-110

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1St Johnstone431051411
2Falkirk42024316
3Montrose420234-16
4Forfar411257-25
5East Fife402224-22

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts4310132119
2Inverness CT43019819
3Cowdenbeath4202510-56
4Cove Rangers410335-23
5Raith Rovers401327-51

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dunfermline44001421212
2Dundee43018179
3Brechin4112310-74
4Stirling410349-53
5Peterhead401307-72

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ayr44001211112
2Partick Thistle43016339
3Morton42029546
4Stenhousemuir410349-53
5Albion4004013-130

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Livingston431051411
2Airdrieonians42119457
3Hamilton41215236
4Annan Athletic42026516
5Berwick4004013-130

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Motherwell4310112910
2Queen of Sth430112579
3Edinburgh City4112512-75
4Clyde411258-34
5Stranraer4013713-62

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Kilmarnock431092710
2St Mirren41308269
3Dumbarton4112310-75
4Queen's Park411224-24
5The Spartans402237-42
View full Scottish League Cup tables

Top Stories