Celtic 3-1 Hearts: Champions win Postecoglou’s 100th game in charge

Daizen Maeda netted Celtic's equaliser before going off injured

Celtic marked Ange Postecoglou’s 100th game in charge with a battling comeback win over Hearts to preserve their nine-point Scottish Premiership lead.

Much-changed Hearts – missing regulars including top scorer Lawrence Shankland – stunned the champions with Josh Ginnelly’s stooping header and matched their hosts for the opening hour.

But Daizen Maeda slid in a first-half leveller and Celtic ramped up the pressure with Kyogo Furuhashi lashing in before Sead Haksabanovic’s stunning finish sealed it.

Celtic’s eighth straight league win edges them closer to a second title in succession, while Hearts’ five-point cushion in third place remains intact after Hibernian’s thrashing by Rangers.

Postecoglou has never suffered a home defeat in domestic football as Celtic manager, but Hearts threatened to ruin his big night with a positive approach that disrupted the hosts’ rhythm.

But when Celtic needed a hero, Kyogo again stepped up. The Japan striker’s 25th goal of the season was an unerring finish – and stemmed from Jota doggedly winning possession from Cammy Devlin – to calm the growing unease among the home support.

Hearts had seized the early initiative when stand-in Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston – making his first start since December – was caught out as Andrew Halliday galloped into space and delivered a peach of a cross for the stopping Ginnelly to plant a header past Joe Hart at the far post.

Ginnelly was initially flagged offside but a VAR check confirmed the goal.

Celtic gradually roused themselves. Liel Abada scuffed wide and Kyogo headed over before Maeda slid in the equaliser from Kyogo’s cross after Ralston released the striker down the right-hand channel.

Maeda had been Celtic’s brightest operator, but soon departed injured and was followed by Hearts scorer Ginnelly before half-time.

Meada’s replacement, Jota, rattled the post with a bouncing effort from distance and Ralston sent an overhead kick too high, but Celtic were far from their fluent best until Hearts’ high-pressing exertions took a toll in the final half hour.

Kygo broke the visitors’ resistance and substitute Haksabanovic curled a delicious strike into the top corner to leave Celtic needing seven wins from their remaining 10 games to guarantee the title.

More to follow.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 25Bernabei
  • 13MooySubstituted forIwataat 80′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 33O’RileySubstituted forHatateat 70′minutes
  • 11AbadaSubstituted forHaksabanovicat 71′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forOhat 70′minutes
  • 38MaedaSubstituted forNeves Filipeat 31′minutes


  • 2Johnston
  • 9Haksabanovic
  • 14Turnbull
  • 17Neves Filipe
  • 18Kobayashi
  • 19Oh
  • 24Iwata
  • 29Bain
  • 41Hatate


Formation 3-5-2

  • 28Clark
  • 72Hill
  • 21Sibbick
  • 15Rowles
  • 12Atkinson
  • 14DevlinBooked at 53minsSubstituted forSmithat 71′minutes
  • 8KiomourtzoglouBooked at 77mins
  • 7Grant
  • 16HallidaySubstituted forKingsleyat 71′minutes
  • 17ForrestSubstituted forMcKayat 71′minutes
  • 30GinnellySubstituted forOdaat 44′minutesSubstituted forKuolat 65′minutes


  • 2Smith
  • 3Kingsley
  • 13Stewart
  • 18McKay
  • 20Neilson
  • 45Tait
  • 61Kuol
  • 88Oda

Alan Muir

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Celtic 3, Heart of Midlothian 1.

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