Scottish Premiership
Hearts4Celtic0

Heart of Midlothian 4-0 Celtic

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Highlights: Heart of Midlothian 4-0 Celtic

Celtic's 69-game unbeaten domestic run was ended in emphatic style as they were stunned 4-0 by Hearts in the Scottish Premiership.

The defeat at Tynecastle is the champions' first domestic loss since a 2-1 reverse at St Johnstone on 11 May 2016 - 585 days ago - and Brendan Rodgers' first as Celtic manager against Scottish opposition.

The streak began under Rodgers' predecessor Ronny Deila when Motherwell were thrashed 7-0 on the final day of the 2015-16 season.

In beating St Johnstone 4-0 in early November, Celtic surpassed their own 100-year-old British record of 62 domestic games without defeat.

Celtic, who Rodgers led to the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and Scottish League treble last season, remain top of the league table by two points, with a game in hand over second-placed Aberdeen.

Hearts had not scored three or more goals in a league match since a 4-0 thumping of Hamilton Academical in March.

Craig Levein's men have conceded just 19 league goals this season, four more than Celtic, who have the best defensive record in Scotland's top flight.

Celtic's unbeaten domestic run (all but one under Brendan Rodgers)
P 69 W 60 D 9 L 0
Scottish Premiership: P 56 W 47 D 9 L 0
Goals for 197
Clean sheets 38

Sixteen-year-old Harry Cochrane and former Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty slammed home first-half goals as Hearts dominated the early skirmishes.

Manuel Milinkovic seized on a dreadful error from Jozo Simunovic to prod in a third early in the second half.

Celtic piled forward, but it was Hearts who struck again, Milinkovic netting from the penalty spot.

Rodgers' side may well go onto claim the Premiership title but they were given a football lesson by a dogged and devastating Hearts, who were in no way flattered by the scoreline.

Teenager Harry Cochrane lashes in the opening goal for Hearts
Harry Cochrane, on just his fifth start for Hearts, thumped in the opening goal after 26 minutes

The hosts were dynamic and effective from the first whistle, pressing the Celtic defence at every opportunity and denying them the time and space to pass out from the back.

Centre-back Dedryck Boyata and goalkeeper Craig Gordon were particularly unsettled, with the latter charged down by Don Cowie in his own goalmouth.

And - after Lafferty, Christophe Berra and Ross Callachan had fired off target - Kieran Tierney's slip allowed Cowie to pilfer possession on the right wing, and slide the ball inside to Cochrane.

The teenager, making just his fifth start, took one touch on the 18-yard line before rifling a low left-foot effort beyond Gordon.

Manuel Milinkovic scores for Hearts
Manuel Milinkovic capitalised on Jozo Simunovic's mistake to put Hearts three goals ahead

The Celtic goalkeeper produced a fine reaction save to divert Milinkovic's volley over the crossbar two minutes later, but it was a temporary reprieve.

Again, the champions surrendered possession, Milinkovic robbing Callum McGregor and sending Lafferty galloping into open space up the right flank.

From the angle of the area, the Northern Ireland striker drove his shot across Gordon and into the back of the net via the inside of the post.

The half-time whistle blew with Celtic, uncharacteristically sloppy on the ball and outfought all over the pitch, trailing 2-0, and the refurbished Tynecastle a raucous cauldron of delirium.

The visitors' slackness continued after the break, as Simunovic allowed a speculative Connor Randall clearance to bounce over his head and into the path of the gleeful Milinkovic, who rounded Gordon and slotted from close range.

Moussa Dembele shows his frustration
Rodgers introduced much-vaunted striker Moussa Dembele after the break, but the Frenchman could not find the net

Under Rodgers, Celtic had never faced a three-goal deficit on domestic duty. They cascaded forward, with the manager introducing highly-rated French striker Moussa Dembele to assist Leigh Griffiths in attack.

It was Griffiths' vicious curling effort that gave Jon McLaughlin his first serious test of the afternoon, the Hearts goalkeeper tipping the ball smartly over the bar.

On came another Celtic striker, Odsonne Edouard this time, but spearheaded by their magnificent captain Berra, the hosts' defence repelled everything Rodgers and his team could throw at them.

And it was Hearts who completed their remarkable triumph - the Gorgie side's biggest over Celtic since 1895 - when Gordon unnecessarily felled the speeding Ross Callachan in the box, Milinkovic striking low and decisively from 12 yards.

Manuel Milinkovic slots his penalty
Milinkovic's penalty rounded off a stupendous day for Hearts

At full-time, Rodgers gathered his players in a huddle. Their run could not last forever, but few would have predicted its demise in such chastening fashion. Now, this group of players faces the challenge of responding to defeat by a Scottish opponent for the first time in 19 months.

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1McLaughlin
  • 30Brandon
  • 2Smith
  • 6Berra
  • 16Randall
  • 8BuabenSubstituted forMcDonaldat 67'minutes
  • 47Cochrane
  • 15CowieBooked at 34mins
  • 20CallachanSubstituted forGrzelakat 85'minutes
  • 11Milinkovic
  • 9LaffertyBooked at 45minsSubstituted forStocktonat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Hughes
  • 13Hamilton
  • 23Stockton
  • 27Grzelak
  • 46McDonald
  • 52Keena
  • 77Esmael Gonçalves

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 5Simunovic
  • 20Boyata
  • 63TierneySubstituted forDembeleat 45'minutes
  • 21NtchamSubstituted forArmstrongat 45'minutes
  • 8Brown
  • 49Forrest
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forEdouardat 68'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 9GriffithsBooked at 36mins

Substitutes

  • 10Dembele
  • 14Armstrong
  • 15Hayes
  • 22Edouard
  • 24de Vries
  • 35Ajer
  • 88Kouassi
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
18,555

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home12
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 4, Celtic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 4, Celtic 0.

  3. Post update

    Mikael Lustig (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Cole Stockton (Heart of Midlothian).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Anthony McDonald (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jozo Simunovic (Celtic).

  9. Post update

    Manuel Milinkovic (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Rafal Grzelak replaces Ross Callachan.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Moussa Dembele (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Heart of Midlothian 4, Celtic 0. Manuel Milinkovic (Heart of Midlothian) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  18. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Craig Gordon (Celtic) after a foul in the penalty area.

  19. Post update

    Penalty Heart of Midlothian. Ross Callachan draws a foul in the penalty area.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Cole Stockton replaces Kyle Lafferty because of an injury.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic18125141152641
2Aberdeen19123432211139
3Rangers19113538231536
4Hibernian198652825330
5Hearts197662119227
6St Johnstone187382027-724
7Motherwell187292426-223
8Kilmarnock195772226-422
9Hamilton195592732-520
10Dundee1953112029-918
11Ross County1944111931-1216
12Partick Thistle1835101634-1814
View full Scottish Premiership table

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