Scottish Premiership
Celtic5Hearts0

Celtic 5-0 Hearts: Reigning champions outclass leaders Hearts with thumping win

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Watch: Celtic's five goals against leaders Hearts

Celtic narrowed the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership to just one point as they blew away leaders Hearts at Celtic Park.

For the second time in six days, Brendan Rodgers' side outclassed their Edinburgh opposition to record a seventh straight domestic win.

Striker Odsonne Edouard netted either side of a Filip Benkovic header, all before half-time.

James Forrest then rifled in a fourth, with Ryan Christie adding a fifth.

Celtic, having scored just seven goals in their opening seven league games, have now scored 20 in their last four and are just one behind Hearts with a game in hand.

Hearts' title credentials dented

Manager Craig Levein said before the match that this was the sort of fixture Hearts had to win if they were to be considered title contenders. On this evidence, his side are still somewhat short as they were utterly bossed by Celtic.

The league leaders were, of course, missing several key players but the reigning champions dominated the play.

Edouard fired a shot from the edge of the box high into the net to open the scoring, before Benkovic doubled the lead with a header - his first goal for the club.

French striker Edouard then scored his second and Celtic's third, firing home a Kieran Tierney cross from close range.

In truth, it was far too easy for Celtic, who peppered the Hearts goal with further efforts. They eased up a gear to make it 4-0 after 65 minutes as Edouard turned provider for Forrest to lash home in the box.

And there was sparkle in the build up to the penalty award for their fifth, Celtic sweeping forward before Forrest was brought down as he ran across goal. Ryan Christie dispatched the spot kick. In general, Celtic were in cruise control.

Hearts offered little in terms of any kind of threat. Steven MacLean fired in a close range shot and Ben Garuccio hit a post in the latter part of the second half, which was as good as it got for the away side.

Celtic back to their best - analysis

Celtic are now flexing their muscles and the momentum is clear to see. The form appears to be back to the level they established in Brendan Rodgers' first two seasons, which bodes well for their crucial home game against RB Leipzig in the Europa League on Thursday - one Celtic have to win if they are to make progress in the competition.

All in all, it was a tough afternoon for Hearts. Questions were always going to be asked about their strength in depth having lost key players to injury, and against the best in the Premiership they were found wanting. Their only real solace is that, for now, they remain top.

'Our attacking play was unbelievable'- reaction

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "Today typified our achievements over the past two and half years.

"We've been in European competition playing really difficult games and to produce what we've produced today shows our hunger and a sense that the team's back. Some of our attacking combination play was unbelievable."

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "I felt, although we lost two goals in the second-half, I actually felt much better. To be fair to the players, they ran their socks off and put in a much better performance.

"We get a lot of players back [from injury] at the start of December. We'll have a lot more strength-in-depth once we get to the winter break [in January]. We'll consign this result to the dustbin."

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Highlights - Celtic 5-0 Heart of Midlothian

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forAjerat 58'minutes
  • 32Benkovic
  • 20Boyata
  • 63Tierney
  • 42McGregor
  • 17Christie
  • 49Forrest
  • 18Rogic
  • 11SinclairSubstituted forMorganat 80'minutes
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forJohnstonat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Hendry
  • 15Hayes
  • 16Morgan
  • 29Bain
  • 35Ajer
  • 55McInroy
  • 73Johnston

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 2SmithBooked at 90mins
  • 28Dikamona
  • 3Dunne
  • 11MitchellSubstituted forGaruccioat 45'minutes
  • 5HaringBooked at 87mins
  • 9ClareBooked at 51minsSubstituted forMorrisonat 73'minutes
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 20Cochrane
  • 23MulraneySubstituted forWightonat 81'minutes
  • 18MacLean

Substitutes

  • 7Bozanic
  • 8Lee
  • 13Doyle
  • 15Wighton
  • 16Hughes
  • 17Garuccio
  • 38Morrison
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
58,831

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home17
Away3
Shots on Target
Home10
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 5, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 5, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Hand ball by Kieran Tierney (Celtic).

Booking

Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Filip Benkovic (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian).

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 5, Heart of Midlothian 0. Ryan Christie (Celtic) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty Celtic. James Forrest draws a foul in the penalty area.

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

Booking

Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lewis Morgan (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian).

Foul by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic).

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

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

Foul by Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian).

Ben Garuccio (Heart of Midlothian) hits the bar with a left footed shot from long range on the left.

Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right.

Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Wighton (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Craig Wighton replaces Jake Mulraney.

Attempt missed. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Lewis Morgan replaces Scott Sinclair.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

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

Foul by Kieran Tierney (Celtic).

Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Callumn Morrison replaces Sean Clare.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Michael Johnston replaces Odsonne Edouard.

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

Foul by Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian).

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 4, Heart of Midlothian 0. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Odsonne Edouard.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Zdenek Zlamal.

Attempt saved. Callum McGregor (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jake Mulraney (Heart of Midlothian).

Filip Benkovic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts128221912726
2Celtic118122762125
3Rangers1163225101521
4Kilmarnock116321710721
5St Johnstone126241218-620
6Hibernian1153321111018
7Livingston11533127518
8Aberdeen10433139415
9Motherwell113261115-411
10Hamilton12318924-1510
11St Mirren121110525-204
12Dundee121011529-243
View full Scottish Premiership table

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