Scottish Premiership
Hearts1Motherwell0

Hearts 1-0 Motherwell: Tynecastle side earn first win in seven matches

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Highlights: Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Motherwell

Hearts' Scottish Premiership win over Motherwell - their first in eight games - was "mission accomplished", says manager Craig Levein.

Peter Haring's towering early header at Tynecastle means Hearts stay fourth, three points behind leaders Celtic.

Hearts had chances to add to their tally but could not find a second goal.

"We're not going to be playing slick, entertaining football in the short term, but we need to be picking up points," Levein told BBC Scotland.

Curtis Main had an effort ruled out for Motherwell with the match scoreless, but they toiled to create and remain ninth.

Stephen Robinson's side threw caution to the wind in the closing stages, but Hearts defended manfully to keep them at bay and ensure a much-needed victory.

Hearts' midfield duo set the tone

After a lull following a sensational start to the season which saw them rocket to the top of the table, Hearts were in desperate need of a change of fortune at any cost.

The inspiration for this precious win came from the central midfield pairing of Haring and Arnaud Djoum, who were immense throughout.

Haring bravely leapt between two Motherwell defenders to power home Oliver Bozanic's pinpoint cross for the eventual winner - exactly the kind of commitment his side needed.

And it was then Djoum's turn to take the lead as he threatened twice to put Craig Levein's side out of sight by the 20-minute mark. He had an effort superbly blocked from close range, and then somehow headed wide after a glorious delivery from Demetri Mitchell.

He should have done better, but his willingness to get in the box as well as hassle and press Motherwell set the tone as Hearts had to defend deep after the break.

On his return to the line-up, Motherwell striker Main curled a delightful shot from distance into the top corner at 0-0, only for referee Willie Collum to blow for a push by the Englishman.

But in general Motherwell's quality in the final third was lacking.

After the break Danny Johnson got on the end of Main's knockdown but had his effort blocked, and Charles Dunne's diving header went wide. And that was as close as the visitors came.

With four forwards on the pitch by the end, they peppered the Hearts' box with high crosses, but Christophe Berra, Clevid Dikamona and the rest repelled everything.

And Hearts might have given the scoreline a more comfortable look late on, Djoum again involved as he set up Sean Clare, who fired into the side-netting, then substitute Olly Lee, who lashed over the bar. In the end, it did not matter.

Hearts signed Peter Haring in the summer after a season at SV Ried in Austria's second tier
Hearts signed Peter Haring in the summer after a season at SV Ried in Austria's second tier

'Signing Haring shrewd business' - analysis

BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin at Tynecastle

The gasp of relief from the home fans could be felt around the ground at the end. Without a win since defeating Dundee 3-0 on 23 October, they shuffled to victory without being emphatic.

The addition of Haring in the summer is turning out to be a very shrewd piece of business indeed. Joining as a centre back, he has developed into a wonderful holding midfield player who is always looking to push forward at every opportunity, and he is a seriously dangerous player at set pieces.

Motherwell will feel hard done by that Main's stunning effort was ruled out, there was still plenty of positives for Robinson and his players, who on this performance should have no worries over relegation.

'They had to work hard for that'- reaction

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "[Peter Haring] doesn't just do the defensive stuff, he's a goal threat as well. It was good for him today to get back into the penalty area for a cross and get his head on it.

"I thought Arnaud Djoum had a fantastic game again, all credit to the boys they had to work hard for that."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "It was frustrating because the level of performance was there. We dominated large parts of the game - they had one shot on target all day.

"We've had a perfectly good goal disallowed. I've heard two different explanations for why, but the less I say about referees the better. I'd probably end up with a 50-game ban. It's best to say nothing."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 2Smith
  • 28Dikamona
  • 6Berra
  • 26Godinho
  • 5Haring
  • 7Bozanic
  • 11Mitchell
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 18MacLean
  • 9ClareSubstituted forLeeat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Lee
  • 13Doyle
  • 15Wighton
  • 16Hughes
  • 17Garuccio
  • 20Cochrane
  • 38Morrison

Motherwell

  • 20Gillespie
  • 14Grimshaw
  • 5Aldred
  • 18Dunne
  • 2TaitSubstituted forScottat 83'minutes
  • 4McHughBooked at 84mins
  • 15RoseSubstituted forBowmanat 70'minutes
  • 23GorrinSubstituted forBigirimanaat 64'minutes
  • 28Turnbull
  • 24Johnson
  • 9Main

Substitutes

  • 8Campbell
  • 12Bowman
  • 13Ferguson
  • 17Bigirimana
  • 21Mbulu
  • 29Livingstone
  • 35Scott
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
15,915

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Motherwell 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Motherwell 0.

Attempt missed. Olly Lee (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Liam Grimshaw.

Foul by Marcus Godinho (Heart of Midlothian).

Charles Dunne (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tom Aldred (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

Attempt blocked. James Scott (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by James Scott.

Booking

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. James Scott replaces Richard Tait.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Olly Lee replaces Sean Clare.

Hand ball by Curtis Main (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. Curtis Main (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

Attempt missed. Carl McHugh (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Clévid Dikamona (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Curtis Main (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Michael Smith.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Michael Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ryan Bowman replaces Andy Rose.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Richard Tait (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian).

Danny Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Curtis Main (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Gael Bigirimana replaces Alex Rodriguez.

Foul by Clévid Dikamona (Heart of Midlothian).

Danny Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Andy Rose (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1510323682833
2Kilmarnock179442517831
3Rangers1593337132430
4Hearts179352319430
5St Johnstone168442020028
6Livingston167451713425
7Aberdeen157351715224
8Hibernian166552619723
9Motherwell164391626-1015
10Hamilton1741121237-2513
11St Mirren1723121234-229
12Dundee1522111232-208
View full Scottish Premiership table

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