KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Timothy Weah made another cameo appearance for Celtic as the league leaders needed a stoppage-time goal to claim victory over Hearts.
Hearts 1-2 Celtic
Odsonne Edouard's goal in stoppage time helped Celtic to all three points as they overcame Hearts at Tynecastle Stadium to wrap up what was a crazy week for the defending champions.
Tim Weah came off the bench for the Bhoys to the play the late minutes of the game as they maintained their eight-point lead over rivals Rangers.
Celtic entered the game with a new coach as Neil Lennon was brought in to take the reins following the departure of Brendan Rogers, who was appointed head coach of English Premier League team Leicester City, much to the anger of the Celtic supporters.
The visitors were the favorites in this contest, but the host were game and willing to put up a fight as they tested Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain on several occasions in the first half. Sean Clare's powerful volley should have hit the back of the net, but Bain would get his fingertips on the ball to push it wide.
That was followed by Uche Ikpeazu, who had an excellent chance to give Hearts the lead with a headed effort from another corner kick, but it would go over the bar.
Celtic nearly gifted their host the lead a few minutes later when Dedryck Boyata's errant pass was intercepted by Steven Naismith. The Scotsman shot went wide of the goal, but there was an appeal for a penalty as Hearts claimed the Belgian defender impeded on Naismith's chance at goal, but the referee disagreed.
The visitors made Hearts pay for their missed chances as they opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a counter-attack that saw Scott Sinclair make a run with the ball from their own end, pass it on to Oliver Burke and James Forrest finish it off in the end.
It looked like Celtic found their footing and they were rewarded with an advantage just before the halftime whistle when the referee showed a red card to Jamie Brandon for his reckless challenge on Jeremy Toljan in the air.
However, Hearts would find a way to level the score in the second half despite going down to 10 men when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty as it was judged that Kristoffer Ajer brought down Arnaud Djoum in the area.
Oliver Bozanic stepped up and converted the penalty in the 56th minute.
It looked like the game was head towards a tie, but Celtic would have the last laugh as Edouard scored the game-winner in the 92nd minute. Scott Brown's lofted pass into the area found the Frenchman in a perfect position and his volleyed effort beat Hearts' goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal to give them all three points in the end.
Celtic remain atop of the Scottish Premier League standings with 66 points.
In other SPL action, Gboly Ariyibi started for Motherwell as they shared the points with Kilmarnock following a 0-0 tie.
Down in the Championship, Ian McGrath came off the bench for Queen of the South as they fell to Dunfermline Athletic in a 1-0 loss.