Kris Commons and James Forrest were on target as Celtic overcame a Hearts side inspired by goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

The stopper kept out Commons, Anthony Stokes and Joe Ledley in a first half played mostly in Hearts territory.

That pattern continued after the break and Commons eventually fired the opening goal.

And he preserved that lead when he cleared Dylan McGowan's header off the line before Forrest netted Celtic's second in stoppage time.

The visitors had arrived at Celtic Park still three points away from the zero mark, having started the season on -15 points due to insolvency problems, and with injuries to several first-team players.

Indeed, Hearts manager Gary Locke named only five substitutes and was given further cause for anxiety early on when David Smith went down in pain following a challenge but he soon recovered.

The prospect of another high-scoring win in the vein of Celtic's recent 7-0 humbling of Hearts in the Scottish Cup was apparent as the hosts began to dominate possession and territory.

But MacDonald had other ideas, reacting well to touch Stokes' rising effort onto the bar and then beating Commons' downward volley wide.

Teemu Pukki's shot on the turn was also kept out and the stopper reacted superbly to deny Joe Ledley moments later.

The Welsh midfielder stooped to meet Commons' cross with a header and MacDonald adjusted his left leg to make the block.

Kris Commons celebrates after scoring for Celtic against Hearts

Commons netted after being denied several times by MacDonald

Celtic manager Neil Lennon sought to add more spark to his attack at the start of the second half by introducing Forrest in place of Nir Biton.

MacDonald produced another fine save to beat away Commons' diagonal shot but the Celtic forward found the net moments later.

The 30-year-old was played in by his captain Scott Brown and calmly slotted into the net from the edge of the six-yard area.

The Hearts goal continued to come under pressure and MacDonald blocked a close-range Ledley effort onto the post and then tipped over a Commons header.

Hearts had rarely been seen as an attacking force but forced a corner in the final minute of regulation time. McGowan's header beat Fraser Forster, but not the well-placed Commons.

And Forrest sealed Celtic's victory when he latched on to fellow substitute Georgios Samaras' through ball, skilfully evaded his marker and clipped the ball past MacDonald with the outside of his right foot.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (4)

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 41 Fisher
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 06 Biton (Forrest - 45' )
  • 04 Ambrose
  • 05 van Dijk
  • 08 Brown
  • 16 Ledley
  • 10 Stokes
  • 15 Commons
  • 20 Pukki (Samaras - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 09 Samaras
  • 17 Baldé
  • 24 Zaluska
  • 34 O'Connell
  • 37 Atajic
  • 49 Forrest
  • 53 Henderson

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 02 Hamill Booked
  • 03 McHattie
  • 20 Tapping (Nicholson - 86' )
  • 16 McKay
  • 04 Wilson
  • 05 McGowan
  • 14 Walker Booked (Carrick - 73' )
  • 12 Paterson
  • 26 King Booked
  • 17 Smith Booked

Substitutes

  • 18 Carrick
  • 19 King
  • 21 Hamilton
  • 28 Nicholson
  • 30 McGhee
Ref: Euan Norris
Att: 46,058

Match Stats

Shots

19 1

On target

9 0

Corners

15 3

Fouls

4 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Celtic 2, Hearts 0.

90:00 +2:57 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Hearts 0.

90:00 +2:16 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 2, Hearts 0. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Georgios Samaras.

90:00 +1:19

Foul by Anthony Stokes (Celtic).

90:00 +1:19

Dylan McGowan (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:31 Booking

Booking David Smith (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +0:18

Georgios Samaras (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:18

Foul by David Smith (Hearts).

90:00

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:51

Foul by Georgios Samaras (Celtic).

89:19

Attempt blocked. Dylan McGowan (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

88:35

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

85:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Sam Nicholson replaces Callum Tapping.

85:21

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

83:00

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

82:21

Attempt missed. Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

82:01

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

81:37

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) header from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

75:13

Attempt missed. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

74:22 Booking

Booking Adam King (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

74:14

Georgios Samaras (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:14

Foul by Adam King (Hearts).

72:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Dale Carrick replaces Jamie Walker.

71:12

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is too high.

70:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. Georgios Samaras replaces Teemu Pukki.

69:25

Joe Ledley (Celtic) hits the right post with a left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box.

69:00

Darnell Fisher (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:00

Foul by Jamie Walker (Hearts).

66:07

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Callum Paterson.

65:37

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie Hamill.

64:49

Attempt blocked. Joe Ledley (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

63:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Celtic 1, Hearts 0. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Brown.

62:01

Foul by Darnell Fisher (Celtic).

62:01

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

60:21

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

59:46

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Dylan McGowan.

59:19 Booking

Booking Jamie Hamill (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

59:11

Hand ball by Jamie Hamill (Hearts).

57:26

Joe Ledley (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:26

Foul by Adam King (Hearts).

56:47 Booking

Booking Jamie Walker (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

55:29

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is too high.

55:09

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by David Smith.

54:16

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

53:20

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:20

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

50:58

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Brad McKay.

47:51

James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:51

Foul by David Smith (Hearts).

45:00

Second Half begins Celtic 0, Hearts 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Nir Biton.

45:00 +1:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Celtic 0, Hearts 0.

45:00 +0:33

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00 +0:33

Foul by Callum Tapping (Hearts).

42:31

Foul by Kris Commons (Celtic).

42:31

Jamie Hamill (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:20

Attempt blocked. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

40:59

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

35:29

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

34:17

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie Hamill.

34:02

Attempt saved. Joe Ledley (Celtic) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal.

33:36

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Brad McKay.

33:20

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

30:00

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:56

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

27:09

Attempt missed. Joe Ledley (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

25:52

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Brad McKay.

24:00

Scott Brown (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:58

Foul by Danny Wilson (Hearts).

23:31

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

21:06

Attempt saved. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

16:13

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

15:58

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

15:00

Kris Commons (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:59

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

13:28

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Emilio Izaguirre.

8:10

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

7:48

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

7:33

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

3:30

Foul by Adam King (Hearts).

3:30

Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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