Celtic atone for Inverness defeat

 

Hearts 0 Celtic 4:Celtic atoned for Saturday’s home loss to Inverness in the most ruthless of styles, swatting Hearts aside within 30 first-half minutes in Edinburgh and for all their occasional troubles, they remain clear at the summit of the Scottish Premier League.

Hearts opened brightly before Celtic took the lead. Kris Commons was the architect, with a cross from the left which was expertly converted at the back post by Lassad Nouioui.

Callum Paterson failed to connect from three yards out when seeking to meet a Ryan Stevenson free-kick and that wastefulness was seriously costly. As the Hearts defence failed to clear, Mikael Lustig slammed a Celtic second into Jamie MacDonald’s bottom right-hand corner.

Hearts again mounted a response, this time finding Celtic’s goalkeeper Fraser Forster in outstanding form. Forster produced an excellent double to deny Ryan Stevenson’s free-kick and a rebound header from Marius Zaliukas. Stevenson’s next intervention was even more unfortunate. The midfielder deflected a Charlie Mulgrew cross past MacDonald. Within half an hour, this contest was over.

The second period was a non-event, but there was time for a late Celtic fourth, Gary Hooper on hand to volley past MacDonald, and for Hearts to waste a penalty chance as Forster denied Zaliukas after Kelvin Wilson had fouled Stevenson.

Guardian Service

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