Scottish Premiership
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Hearts 1-2 Celtic: Odsonne Edouard gives Neil Lennon win on return

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Highlights: Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Celtic

Odsonne Edouard's stoppage-time strike earned Celtic victory over 10-man Hearts to give Neil Lennon the perfect start to his second spell in charge.

The striker volleyed in at a raucous Tynecastle to maintain Celtic's eight-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership and preserve their 100% domestic record in 2019.

James Forrest had the visitors in front before Hearts' Jamie Brandon was sent off for an elbow. But Oliver Bozanic levelled from the spot after Kristoffer Ajer fouled Arnaud Djoum.

Before the match, Celtic fans held up a banner criticising former manager Brendan Rodgers, who left abruptly for Leicester City on Tuesday.

And their first match without him looked set to end in disappointment, until Edouard's dramatic intervention sparked wild celebrations.

Celtic start slow but turn tide

After a blistering 2019 domestically, with nine wins from nine games and just one goal conceded, Celtic's season was thrown into turmoil in the space of 24 hours as Rodgers departed. Not that the Celtic fans in the away end were in the mood to be grateful for the seven trophies from seven that he claimed during his time in Scotland - as their banner testified.

With Lennon swiftly installed as his successor, the excitement was palpable at the thought of the Northern Irishman, not long out the door across Edinburgh at Hibernian, taking to the dugout at Tynecastle. The old stadium and Lennon have plenty of history - it was of course where he was struck by a coin earlier this season in that infamous Edinburgh derby.

Hearts came flying out the blocks, looking to take advantage of any Celtic hesitancy given the tumultuous 24 hours. Uche Ikpeazu- all 6ft 4ins of him - was all over Dedryck Boyata and Ajer, wreaking havoc with his physical presence.

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'Never a Celt. Always a fraud' - Celtic fans unveil Rodgers banner

He had two headed chances, but the hosts' best opportunities came from Sean Clare and Steven Naismith. Clare arrived late into the box from a corner and his first-time volley was acrobatically tipped wide by Scott Bain, the former Dundee goalkeeper getting the merest of fingertips to it. Then Boyata gifted Naismith possession on the edge of the area, but the Scotland striker skewed his effort wide. It would prove a costly miss.

Despite being on the back foot and looking rattled, the league leaders struck minutes later. After a Hearts free-kick, they poured forward and a few swift passes later, Forrest tapped home. Ewan Henderson to Sinclair to Oliver Burke to Forrest, it was a lethal counter-attack.

From there, they grew in confidence, and were emboldened further when Brandon led with his elbow while challenging Jeremy Toljan in the air. It was rash from the full-back and referee Steven McLean was left with little choice but to dismiss him.

Having been in command, suddenly it was Hearts who were rattled. And they had goalkeeper Bobby Zlamal to thank for keeping it to one at the break as he produced a remarkable double save to prevent Burke's deflected shot creeping in and then Sinclair on the rebound.

As if all that was not enough, Naismith, their top scorer, failed to emerge for the second half due to a knee injury and was replaced by Bozanic.

Edouard breaks Hearts and sparks delirium

Odsonne Edouard
Odsonne Edouard's late winner was his 17th goal of the season

With everything now stacked against them, Hearts were handed a gift 10 minutes after the restart. Bain woefully under-hit a pass across his own box and it left Ajer scrambling. The Norwegian was beaten to the ball by Djoum, his desperate lunge scything the Cameroon midfielder down. Penalty.

It was an error of epic proportions from Bain, who has been in fine form for Celtic, and Bozanic then sent him the wrong way from the spot to level the match.

It swung the momentum again, the 10 men looked assured while Celtic were ponderous and slow. Edouard came off the bench and fired over after a good run and Toljan drove wide from distance, but overall there was little penetration. Meanwhile, Hearts remained a threat at the other end with Ikpeazu's mere presence causing problems.

Kieran Tierney and Forrest delivered dangerous crosses but there was nobody on the end of them. And just as the game looked to slip away from Celtic, Edouard stayed composed to volley in a dramatic winner. The Frenchman did brilliantly get on the end of Scott Brown's cross, pouncing when Hearts defender John Souttar missed his clearing header, to cushion in and send the away end delirious.

It could be a defining moment in Celtic's quest for an eighth successive league title as they snatched a victory that, for large spells, looked unlikely.

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'I felt like I could fly' - Lennon lifted by Celtic's late winner

Celtic show 'never-say-die mentality'- analysis

BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin at Tynecastle

The appointment of Lennon was always going to add spice to what is already a fiery fixture. Credit must go to Hearts for the way they battled back after being reduced to 10 men, and for long spells in the second half it looked as if it was they who had the man advantage.

But Celtic have a never-say-die mentality in their DNA and the roar from the visiting fans after the winner would have been heard all around the capital, and the importance of the goal may not be clear until the end of the season. The Lennon factor was also evident when the ball hit the back of the net, as he celebrated up the touchline in trademark style.

Next up for Celtic is a trip to Easter Road and, while Lennon will receive a much warmer welcome from the home fans than he did on Wednesday, the task on the pitch gets no easier.

'You can't count your chickens' - reaction

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Brandon 'will need to learn' from red card - Levein

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "Celtic are a good team and you can never count your chickens. I thought we were just about over the line but a cross was the one thing I didn't expect us to lose a goal from.

"Losing Steven Naismith is never an easy thing to cope with but the lads knuckled down and inspired our supporters. I'm really disappointed, especially for the supporters, that we didn't get a point."

Celtic captain Scott Brown: "It was a good performance throughout. The team spirit is extremely good at the moment but we have to keep going and not concede goals.

"It was sad to see a manager [Brendan Rodgers] of that class leave. The gaffer's come in and it's great to see him back. He knows what winning is about and how to pick up trophies."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 26GodinhoSubstituted forDikamonaat 85'minutes
  • 4Souttar
  • 6Berra
  • 25BrandonBooked at 44mins
  • 8Lee
  • 5HaringBooked at 13mins
  • 10Sutchuin-DjoumBooked at 33mins
  • 14NaismithBooked at 43minsSubstituted forBozanicat 45'minutes
  • 9Clare
  • 19IkpeazuSubstituted forVanecekat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Shaughnessy
  • 7Bozanic
  • 13Doyle
  • 20Cochrane
  • 28Dikamona
  • 32Vanecek
  • 35Keena

Celtic

  • 29Bain
  • 2ToljanBooked at 75minsSubstituted forLustigat 86'minutes
  • 20Boyata
  • 35Ajer
  • 63Tierney
  • 8BrownBooked at 35mins
  • 6Bitton
  • 49Forrest
  • 52HendersonSubstituted forEdouardat 62'minutes
  • 11SinclairSubstituted forWeahat 81'minutes
  • 25Burke

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 4Hendry
  • 15Hayes
  • 22Edouard
  • 23Lustig
  • 30Weah
  • 73Johnston
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
18,258

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home6
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away7
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home17
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Celtic 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Celtic 2.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 1, Celtic 2. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Brown.

Attempt saved. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Timothy Weah (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Foul by David Vanecek (Heart of Midlothian).

Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Mikael Lustig replaces Jeremy Toljan.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Clévid Dikamona replaces Marcus Godinho.

Foul by David Vanecek (Heart of Midlothian).

Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Timothy Weah (Celtic).

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Timothy Weah replaces Scott Sinclair.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. David Vanecek replaces Uche Ikpeazu.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Olly Lee.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Olly Lee.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Dedryck Boyata.

Booking

Jeremy Toljan (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jeremy Toljan (Celtic).

Foul by Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian).

Jeremy Toljan (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Jeremy Toljan (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian).

Jeremy Toljan (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Odsonne Edouard replaces Ewan Henderson.

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

Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Nir Bitton (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 1, Celtic 1. Oliver Bozanic (Heart of Midlothian) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

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

Penalty conceded by Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) after a foul in the penalty area.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Marcus Godinho.

Oliver Bozanic (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic28213466165066
2Rangers28177464204458
3Aberdeen28155845331250
4Kilmarnock27137737271046
5Hearts28135103434044
6Hibernian28118942311141
7St Johnstone28115122836-838
8Motherwell27113133039-936
9Livingston2797112828034
10Hamilton2863191958-3921
11Dundee2846182460-3618
12St Mirren2735192055-3514
View full Scottish Premiership table

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