Bhoys break Hearts with late strikes

 

Scottish Premier League/Hearts 2 Celtic 3: Leaders Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to seven points after bouncing back from two goals down to beat Hearts 3-2 in their New Year's Day clash.

Two goals inside the opening eight minutes by Hearts set up a terrific tussle at Tynecastle.

Lithuanian striker Edgaras Jankauskas slid in to meet a low cross from Paul Hartley and forced the ball in off Celtic's Ross Wallace for the sixth minute opener.

Two minutes later skipper Steven Pressley powered a header high into the net from a few metres when he met an inswinging corner from Czech Republic forward Rudi Skacel.

Celtic surged back after the interval and sub Stephen Pearson side footed a close-range volley into the net from Shaun Maloney's teasing knee-high cross on 55 minutes.

Hearts then had Greek defender Panagiotis dismissed on 76 minutes for a last-man foul on Maloney.

Celtic levelled with a Stephen McManus header following a corner by Japanese international Shunsuke Nakamura. McManus screwed home a killer third two minutes later from six metres.

Celtic are now on 51 points from 21 games and Hearts are second on 44 points.