Scottish Premiership
Hearts0Livingston0

Hearts miss penalty as Livingston hold on

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Highlights: Heart of Midlothian 0-0 Livingston

Steven Naismith had a penalty saved as Scottish Premiership leaders Hearts dropped points for the first time this season.

Liam Kelly was at full-stretch to push away the spot-kick in first-half injury time, with promoted Livingston now unbeaten since the opening weekend.

Jimmy Dunne and Steven MacLean hit the woodwork for Hearts, who are now five points clear at the top.

Craig Wighton and Olly Lee headed good chances wide for the Tynecastle hosts.

Scott Pittman was denied on a Livingston breakaway in the second half, with Zdenek Zlamal making a good blocking save.

Hearts' lead will be cut to three points if champions Celtic win at Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Hearts count cost of wasted chances

Football snobs might not like it but Livingston have a simple policy - get the ball into the final third of the opposition as early as possible - and their approach looked promising in the opening stages.

Dolly Menga was the most alive to the scraps, firing a couple of shots wide. But as the first half wore on Hearts started to get the measure of the hard-working visitors.

A Dunne header crashed against the crossbar from a free kick and Pittman did well to head clear a fierce shot from Demetri Mitchell, while Lee should have done better with a free header as Craig Levein's side began to dominate.

Wighton then chose the wrong option from a counter-attack and the chance was gone.

Then came the big moment of the first period. Kelly barged into MacLean as the striker got his foot to a ball over the top and referee Don Robertson pointed to the spot. Up stepped the division's top scorer but Kelly denied Naismith with a superb save low to his right.

After the interval, Livingston threatened when the busy Menga played the ball through to Pittman but the pass was slightly behind the midfielder and that gave Zlamal time to rush from his line and snuff out the danger with an impressive block.

At the other end, substitute Callumn Morrison flashed in a cross for Wighton to glance a header just wide.

Hearts kept probing for an opening and Livingston kept defending with full-blooded commitment. Right at the death, it looked like the home pressure would yield a winner but MacLean's rising shot spun against the frame of the goal via a deflection.

Livi show they can mix it with the best

These were two sides brimming with confidence as they took to the field, the irresistible force of Hearts up against the immovable object of Livingston - or something like that.

Hearts with the lustre of table toppers and blessed with more quality up against a stubborn Livingston side utterly comfortable with their own, very direct football identity.

As expected, Hearts carved open the better opportunities, while Livingston thundered into challenges and fed off a few juicy scraps.

The bottom line was simple - the scoreline remained level and ultimately this would be a better result for the visitors. Such has been Hearts' stunning start to the season that anything other than maximum points suddenly seems like a disappointment.

Livingston, who end the day in third place after six matches, have now beaten Hibs and drawn with Hearts which means they can go into their match with Rangers next weekend knowing they have what it takes to mix it with the best sides in the Premiership.

'Wasteful' Hearts frustrate Levein

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "I'm frustrated and slightly disappointed. I thought we were wasteful. We got into so many good crossing positions and positions to play the final pass. We either made a poor decision or didn't execute properly.

"We missed a penalty, which didn't help. Steven [Naismith] doesn't miss many.

"If we'd scored one, I think it would definitely have been deserved, even though we didn't play particularly well."

Livingston boss Gary Holt: "Second half, Hearts had a bit of pressure. But, with a bit of a care, we might have nicked a goal with the couple of chances we had at the other end.

"Hearts didn't let us play and it was two good teams going hammer and tongs at one another. Coming here with them flying high and taking a point, I am absolutely delighted."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 2Smith
  • 4Souttar
  • 3Dunne
  • 17GaruccioSubstituted forMorrisonat 51'minutes
  • 14NaismithBooked at 31mins
  • 8LeeSubstituted forMulraneyat 84'minutes
  • 5Haring
  • 11Mitchell
  • 15WightonSubstituted forSutchuin-Djoumat 66'minutes
  • 18MacLean

Substitutes

  • 7Bozanic
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 13Doyle
  • 21McDonald
  • 23Mulraney
  • 28Dikamona
  • 38Morrison

Livingston

  • 1Kelly
  • 31Gallagher
  • 26Halkett
  • 4Lithgow
  • 15LawlessSubstituted forCaddenat 71'minutes
  • 8Pittman
  • 6Byrne
  • 7Jacobs
  • 3Lamie
  • 45MengaBooked at 66minsSubstituted forHamiltonat 80'minutes
  • 17RobinsonBooked at 9minsSubstituted forMcMillanat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McMillan
  • 5Saunders
  • 11Cadden
  • 14Kaja
  • 21Stewart
  • 30Hamilton
  • 33Lawson
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
17,798

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home12
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, Livingston 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, Livingston 0.

Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

Attempt missed. Nicky Cadden (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Jake Mulraney replaces Olly Lee.

Attempt missed. Demetri Mitchell (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Jack Hamilton replaces Dolly Menga.

Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Halkett (Livingston).

Attempt saved. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

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

Jimmy Dunne (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dolly Menga (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Nicky Cadden replaces Steven Lawless.

Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shaun Byrne (Livingston).

Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Attempt saved. Dolly Menga (Livingston) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Olly Lee (Heart of Midlothian).

Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Djoum replaces Craig Wighton.

Booking

Dolly Menga (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dolly Menga (Livingston).

Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dolly Menga (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Jack McMillan replaces Scott Robinson.

Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston).

Foul by Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Craig Wighton (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian).

Craig Halkett (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Scott Robinson (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Zdenek Zlamal.

Attempt saved. Scott Pittman (Livingston) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts6510112916
2Hibernian6321126611
3Livingston632164211
4Celtic531152310
5Aberdeen62315509
6Rangers522110558
7St Johnstone52215508
8Kilmarnock52126427
9Hamilton620468-26
10Motherwell6114610-44
11St Mirren6114312-94
12Dundee6006214-120
View full Scottish Premiership table

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