Lafferty volley earns Hearts win over champions Celtic
A second-half volley from Kyle Lafferty clinched an enthralling victory for Hearts over Celtic.
The Northern Irishman produced a stunning finish on 57 minutes from the edge of the box to fire the Tynecastle club to their second win in two games.
Lafferty had two efforts saved in the first half by Craig Gordon while Mikael Lustig, Leigh Griffiths and Callum McGregor all went close for Celtic.
But Craig Levein’s side held on to go clear at the top of the Premiership.
Seven players were booked during the fiery encounter including Steven Naismith, who appeared to kick out at Jonny Hayes on the stroke of half-time.
While it was a successful afternoon for the Edinburgh club, they finished the game without captain Christophe Berra, who went off just before the break with a hamstring injury.
With Celtic’s Champions League future anything but certain following the 1-1 draw with AEK Athens earlier in the week, Brendan Rodgers dipped into his squad and rested some key players.
As his frustrated search for new players continues, he wouldn’t be drawn on whether he thinks the current squad is strong enough to fight and win on two fronts. On this showing, he’ll be concerned.
Jozo Simunovic looked slack for most of the afternoon and he gave Hearts possession that led to the goal. Uche Ikpeazu did well with the cross and Lafferty’s finish was exquisite but the mistake certainly led to the chance.
Kouassi Eboue struggled up against a Hearts midfield that fought and scrapped for everything in a fierce contest that was fought mostly in the middle of the park. Jonny Hayes was favoured over James Forrest on the right but that didn’t work out either.
The visitors looked slicker and more dangerous when the big boys emerged from the bench but by that time it was too late. Making so many changes against an impressive Hearts side was always going to be a gamble. In the Georgie sunshine, it backfired for the champions.
More to follow.
via BBC Sport – Football https://ift.tt/OHg7x6
August 11, 2018 at 06:48AM