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Hearts End 14-Year Wait with Celtic Park Victory

Hearts Triumph at Celtic Park: A Decade-Long Wait Ends

In a stunning upset, Hearts ended their 14-year wait for a victory at Celtic Park, overcoming the Scottish Premiership champions with a decisive 2-0 win. This remarkable result marks Hearts’ first away win over Celtic since 2009, leaving the champions reeling from consecutive league defeats.

Early Dominance Leads to Shocking Opener

The game opened with Celtic’s Greg Taylor forcing a save from Hearts’ Zander Clark. However, Hearts quickly took control, quieting the Celtic crowd with Lawrence Shankland’s unchallenged header from a corner. The early goal set the tone, with Hearts displaying a composed and commanding presence on the field.

Kingsley’s Free-Kick: A Moment of Brilliance

Stephen Kingsley doubled Hearts’ lead with a breathtaking free-kick before half-time. His precise shot over the wall left Celtic’s Joe Hart stranded, a moment that not only showcased Kingsley’s set-piece prowess but also highlighted Celtic’s frustration at the awarded free-kick.

Celtic’s Struggle for a Comeback

Despite a midweek boost from their Champions League win over Feyenoord, Brendan Rodgers’ side struggled to find their footing. Luis Palma’s blocked attempt epitomized Celtic’s thwarted efforts, as they were continuously stymied by Hearts’ disciplined defence.

Substitutions and Tactical Shifts

Rodgers’ tactical adjustments at half-time, introducing Daizen Maeda and Oh Hyeon-gyu, reflected Celtic’s desperation to reverse their fortunes. However, Hearts’ goalkeeper Clark remained relatively untroubled for the rest of the match, thanks to his team’s structured and disciplined play.

Hearts’ Statement Victory: Analysis

This win is a significant statement from Hearts and their head coach Steven Naismith. Their disciplined approach paid off, effectively neutralizing Celtic’s threats. Hearts’ win was a testament to their strategic execution and mental toughness, qualities that have been inconsistent throughout their season.

Celtic’s Woes: A Consistent Lack of Form

Celtic’s performance was consistently subpar, with key players like Kyogo and Matt O’Riley unable to influence the game as expected. Rodgers’ concern over the team’s inconsistency was evident, as they failed to create meaningful chances or display the intensity needed for a comeback.

Post-Match Reflections

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers offered a rare apology, acknowledging the team’s lacklustre performance. Hearts’ head coach Steven Naismith emphasized the significance of the win and the disciplined approach that led to it.

Looking Ahead: Upcoming Fixtures

Celtic looks to bounce back against Livingston, while Hearts take on St Mirren in their next fixtures.

Player Ratings

Celtic

  • Joe Hart: 6/10
  • Greg Taylor: 6/10
  • Cameron Carter-Vickers: 5/10
  • Mikey Johnston: 5/10
  • David Turnbull: 6/10
  • Luis Palma: 6/10
  • Daizen Maeda: 6/10
  • Oh Hyeon-gyu: 6/10
  • Anthony Ralston: 6/10
  • Kyogo Furuhashi: 6/10
  • Matt O’Riley: 5/10

Hearts

  • Zander Clark: 8/10
  • Lawrence Shankland: 9/10 (Player of the Match)
  • Stephen Kingsley: 8/10
  • Alan Forrest: 7/10
  • Nathaniel Atkinson: 7/10
  • Jorge Grant: 7/10

Managers

  • Brendan Rodgers (Celtic): 5/10
  • Steven Naismith (Hearts): 8/10

Match Statistics

Statistic Celtic Hearts
Possession 77% 23%
Shots 22 5
Shots on Target 5 2
Corners 18 3
Fouls 12 3
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