Hearts 0 Celtic 3: Five topics of conversation as Celtic advance to the semis

Cameron Carter-Vickers added a third with 10 minutes remaining to put the icing on the cake of an impressive Celtic performance.

Here are five talking points from Tynecastle…


After falling back to Hearts after a poor start in their Premiership clash at Celtic Park on Wednesday night, Celtic were clearly in no mood to allow a replay here and blasted out of the blocks to silence Tynecastle.

The warning signs were there in the opening seconds as Sead Haksabanovic got in on the left and found Reo Hatate who pulled out a flying save from Hearts keeper Zander Clark.

Just moments later, there was nothing Clark could do as another devastating, sweeping Celtic attack ended with the ball flying into the home net. But perhaps Kyle Rowles could have done a little better, slipping Alastair Johnston’s pass through to Jota and sliding the winger to the right.

From there, the winger lifted his head to spot Mooy’s assisting run, arriving late on the edge of the box, and the midfielder delivered his pass high past Clark with a delicious, controlled lateral foot finish to give Celtic the perfect start.


The only notable kick Kyogo had as the clock ticked down to half-time was one inflicted on him by Hearts midfielder Kio, who rattled the forward in the middle of the park.

Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou had spoken of Kyogo’s team-mates using him more after beating the same opponents during the week, as the forward’s constant movement often went unnoticed.

If anything, he’s been even less involved in the general game here, particularly early on, but when he does contribute, it tends to be a significant one.

It proved it here as he stole in front of his keeper to put one of his few touches in the first half – and overall the last shot of the opening third – into the Hearts net to score Celtic’s second goal.

As usual, it was a brilliant move that gave him space, breaking free at the front post to meet Johnston’s low cross and deflect a nice heel-heel over Clark into the net.

He was a little more involved after the break and should have had an assist as a brilliant build-up created a chance that Jota scorned, showing he’s more than just an accomplished finisher.


At times it can almost feel like Joe Hart is looking for something to do as there is often not enough action in front of his goal. However, the key for a Celtic goalkeeper is to stay focused and ready when the big moments come.

Hart was certainly here, making an important save at a crucial point in the first half as Hearts threatened to recover from Celtic’s stormy start to the game.

A free-kick was flown towards the back post where James Hill got up and nodded it down for Toby Sibbick, who pivoted like a forward and cleared a low shot that Hart made brilliantly to come down and save with a strong wrist.

Not only that, but he quickly darted over his line to deflect the loose ball for a back corner kick, taking a fairly old punch from Hill who had already committed to his attempt to shove it home.

He may not be asked to make many saves, but Hart can still throw in quality stops when asked.


Hearts manager Robbie Neilson had complained throughout the week that one of his players would have to be beheaded for a Celtic player to be sent off after a poor tackle by Alexandro Bernabei went unpunished, but his counterpart Postecoglou may have had reason to be concerned to ask what it would take for his men to be punished in this case.

Johnston ventured forward and swung a cross into the Hearts area, but just as the ball left his foot he was hit by Andy Halliday when arriving late on his block attempt.

It appeared to be a clear penalty, but neither referee Kevin Clancy nor the VAR official paid any attention.


Hearts have a decent squad, but with 10 players sitting behind their dugout with injuries – meaning manager Neilson could only name seven substitutions – they would always go up against it.

That included key figures like Lawrence Shankland and Robert Snodgrass, players Hearts can’t do without if they want a chance to improve their chances against this quality of opponent.

Unfortunately, what would have been an arduous task under any circumstances proved mountainous without their starmen.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/23379624.hearts-0-celtic-3-five-talking-points-celtic-coast-semis/?ref=rss Hearts 0 Celtic 3: Five topics of conversation as Celtic advance to the semis

Russell Falcon

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