Scottish Premiership
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Hearts 0-0 Livingston: Goalless draw ends Livi's run of defeats

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Highlights: Hearts 0-0 Livingston

Livingston ended a run of four straight Scottish Premiership defeats by holding Hearts to a goalless draw.

The hosts' Steven Naismith had a header disallowed for offside during the opening period and Olly Lee's shot was dealt with by Liam Kelly.

Uche Ikpeazu returned from injury for the hosts as a substitute and had an effort saved.

Livi also had chances with Ryan Hardie and Craig Halkett denied by Colin Doyle but they remain without a goal in 2019.

Tenacious Livingston prove point

The two previous meetings at Tynecastle this season had produced just the one goal so it was perhaps naive to expect anything other than a drab, closely-contested match.

The 5-0 drubbing Hearts endured at the hands of the Premiership newcomers in December was Livingston's last victory - eight games ago - and was clearly something of a freak.

But the turgid nature of this encounter will have displeased Gary Holt less than it did Craig Levein, whose Hearts side went into the game on a fine run of five wins from six.

Livingston have now gone eight games without scoring, but the clean sheet at Tynecastle and the point earned as a result are the far more significant statistics as far as they are concerned.

Ultimately it was a deserved point as the visitors frustrated the life out of their opponents, limiting them to minimal opportunities through fabulous organisation, tenacious defending and helped by a dearth of Hearts creativity.

In fairness, it might have been very different had Naismith not had a deft headed goal chopped off early on for offside, after he had glanced Ollie Bozanic's wicked free-kick into the net.

Beyond that, Liam Kelly had little to deal with - an Olly Lee drive from 25 yards was about the strength of it.

Livingston rarely made Doyle work, though the goalkeeper did have to be on his toes to tip a Hardie header over and then to field a thumping Craig Halkett effort from 35 yards.

Hearts claimed for a late penalty as Naismith went down under Chris Erskine's challenge and Ikpeazu headed into Kelly's arms from four yards out but the deadlock was not meant to be broken.

Steven Naismith has a goal disallowed for offside
Hearts' Steven Naismith had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half

'Not a thing of beauty' - analysis

This was Livingston at their dogged best - scrapping and tussling for everything. It was not a thing of beauty, but there is much to be admired about their ethic, which is all about honesty and grit.

They may have slipped down the league in recent weeks, but their place in next season's Premiership is already assured. They will not be dragged into a relegation battle.

This was a frustrating night for Levein, who could have gained ground on Kilmarnock and more ground on Aberdeen.

The return of Ikpeazu is a plus for the Hearts manager. When he came on, he showed what Hearts had been missing in his absence, but even he could not force a winner.

Scottish Cup opponents Auchinleck Talbot are the next visitors to Tynecastle. They will put in a shift too as they look to cause Hearts further frustration.

'We're kicking ourselves' - reaction

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "We're kicking ourselves because Aberdeen lost and Kilmarnock drew. We had an opportunity to close up on the teams round about us. That's a bit frustrating.

"The good thing for me is that Uche Ikpeazu came back into the side and looked like he had never been away. He was a real threat when he came on. I thought the team played better when he went on."

Livingston head coach Gary Holt: "Tremendous point. To show our performance and a true grit was really, really pleasing to see.

"They're warriors and that's what we need. We need that game by game. We need to put our bodies on the line. Ryan Hardie's header was just unlucky."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 13Doyle
  • 4Souttar
  • 3ShaughnessySubstituted forMorrisonat 75'minutes
  • 6Berra
  • 2Smith
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 7BozanicSubstituted forIkpeazuat 65'minutes
  • 23MulraneySubstituted forMitchellat 82'minutes
  • 8LeeBooked at 50mins
  • 9Clare
  • 14Naismith

Substitutes

  • 1Zlamal
  • 11Mitchell
  • 19Ikpeazu
  • 20Cochrane
  • 28Dikamona
  • 32Vanecek
  • 38Morrison

Livingston

  • 1Kelly
  • 31GallagherBooked at 37mins
  • 26Halkett
  • 4Lithgow
  • 14OdoffinSubstituted forJacobsat 71'minutes
  • 6Byrne
  • 8Pittman
  • 33LawsonSubstituted forSibbaldat 78'minutes
  • 3Lamie
  • 15LawlessBooked at 88mins
  • 9HardieSubstituted forErskineat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Brown
  • 7Jacobs
  • 10Sibbald
  • 19Erskine
  • 21Stewart
  • 24Blues
  • 39Wylde
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
15,147

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home6
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, Livingston 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, Livingston 0.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Shaun Byrne (Livingston) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

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

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Booking

Steven Lawless (Livingston) is shown the yellow card.

Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian).

Alan Lithgow (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Livingston).

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

Foul by Chris Erskine (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Chris Erskine replaces Ryan Hardie.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Demetri Mitchell replaces Jake Mulraney.

Jake Mulraney (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Sibbald (Livingston).

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Scott Pittman (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Craig Sibbald replaces Steve Tevi Lawson.

Attempt blocked. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Callumn Morrison replaces Conor Shaughnessy.

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

Foul by Shaun Byrne (Livingston).

Foul by Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian).

Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Conor Shaughnessy.

Attempt saved. Alan Lithgow (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Keaghan Jacobs replaces Hakeem Odoffin.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Colin Doyle.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic25183459144557
2Rangers25156455203551
3Aberdeen25144741291246
4Kilmarnock25137537251246
5Hearts2513483129243
6St Johnstone25114102732-537
7Motherwell25103122734-733
8Hibernian258893428632
9Livingston2587102626031
10Hamilton2553171751-3418
11Dundee2536162051-3115
12St Mirren2533191752-3512
View full Scottish Premiership table

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