7.24 PM Tuesday, 5 March 2024
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 05:21 06:34 12:33 15:53 18:26 19:40
05 March 2024

13 proves lucky for Celtic


Celtic opened up a four-point gap over rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League on Wednesday with a clinical display in a 4-0 thrashing of Hearts at Tynecastle.

It was Celtic's 13th successive league win - their best run since 2004 - and was a measure of revenge for their last defeat in the SPL, a 2-0 loss to Hearts in October.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said it had been a great performance at a difficult venue as they kept their dreams of a treble winning season on track.

"I thought we were devastating tonight. That's as good as we've played here, even in my time as a player and a coach," said the Northern Irishman.

"They looked in the mood and the team as a whole were fantastic. I thought apart from the first minute, when I believe we got a break, we looked unstoppable at times."

Hearts thought they had taken the lead after an explosive start when just 90 seconds into the match Stephen Elliott's close range header looked to have crossed the line before Fraser Forster scrambled it clear but referee Willie Collum waved away their claims.

Paulo Sergio was angry at not being awarded a goal in the second minute.

"Everything changed in that moment. It is very hard for us. We have been unlucky with decisions like this in the last few games," said Sergio.

"It was a goal and they benefitted from the wrong decision of the officials. We had a strong start and put Celtic under pressure and without doing anything special they got three quick goals and the game was decided."

Celtic took advantage of all the confusion and just 30 seconds later opened the scoring through Scott Brown who drilled a low shot under Jamie MacDonald for his fourth goal in four games.

Brown came close with a long range effort and Scott Robinson saw his shot deflected just wide before Victor Wanyama doubled the lead in the 20th minute when he lashed the ball into the top left-hand corner.

Any hopes Hearts had harboured of getting something from the game were snuffed out in the 31st minute when the unmarked Joe Ledley headed in Georgios Samaras' cross from a couple of yards out.

Ledley came close to a second in the 58th minute when he saw his angled shot come off the base of the post before Gary Hooper poked home a fourth from a yard out after Danny Grainger had stopped Wanyama's header on the line.