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  • Celtic cruise into next round with victory over Hearts

    Celtic cruise into next round with victory over Hearts

    By: Martin Dalziel on 24 Sep, 2014 21:15

  • Scottish League Cup
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    (Guidetti 24, Commons 56, Eckersley o.g. 60)


    CELTIC sealed a comfortable 3-0 win in the League Cup third round at Celtic Park tonight (Wednesday), aided by some slack play from the Hearts defence.

    The Tynecastle side started the brighter of the two teams but sealed their own fate by giving away a penalty seconds after missing their own spot-kick early in the second half. And then Adam Eckersley handed the Bhoys the win after he chested the ball past his own keeper.

    This all came after Celtic had exerted their own dominance in the first-half, with John Guidetti giving the Hoops the lead, although it was a nervy start for the Scottish Champions.

    Osman Sow tested the Celtic defence in the opening stages with a series of piercing runs and forced Jason Denayer into a late tackle in the opening minutes which saw the young defender go into referee Willie Collum’s book.

    The Championship leaders pressed the Bhoys high up the pitch but Celtic managed to carve out their own opportunities as the teams sized each other up.

    Stokes turned well on the edge of the Hearts box to fire a shot just wide before Guidetti saw a header saved under the crossbar by Neil Alexander.

    And Ronny Deila's side soon found themselves in front. A long ball from defence found Emilio Izaguirre on the left and the Honduran left-back made a darting run to the byline.

    His cross into the box was headed by Danny Wilson into the path of Guidetti who fired the ball into the back of the net on the volley from close-range for his first goal in Celtic colours.

    The Swedish hit-man was close to making it 2-0 almost immediately afterwards when McGregor’s right-footed shot found the striker in the box but he failed to capitalise on the chance.

    Celtic were dominating proceedings and another Izaguirre cross almost created a second goal, when it was deflected off Gomis, but Alexander in the Hearts goal did well to save.

    And the visitors were presented with an opportunity to equalise just before half-time when Walker pounced on a back pass from Izaguirre, but his shot came crashing back off the bar.

    Celtic switched Denayer for Eoghan O’Connell at the start of the second half as Hearts came out searching for an equaliser, and they were presented with a great opportunity when Virgil van Dijk was penalised for a challenge on Osman Sow in the box.

    Hearts' Swedish striker stepped up and fired the ball high over the bar. It was a chance that the Edinburgh side were left to rue, as Celtic went up the park and won their own penalty.

    Guidetti was barged in the box by Alim Ozturk, and Kris Commons took the resulting penalty, firing home to put Celtic 2-0 ahead.

    And Hearts sealed their fate with an own goal from Adam Eckersley, who chested an Anthony Stokes cross past the stranded Alexander to make it 3-0 for Celtic.

    Celtic’s dominance continued, however, with Alexander doing well to save close-range shots from Stokes and Izaguirre, who had combined well together down the left-hand side.

    And while there would be no more scoring, Celtic progressed to the last eight of the League Cup in comfortable style.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Ambrose, van Dijk, Denayer (O’Connell 45), Izaguirre; Brown, Johansen; McGregor (Tonev 71), Commons, Stokes, Guidetti (Scepovic 63).
    Subs not used: Zaluska, Kayal, Bitton, Griffiths,

    Hearts (4-5-1) Alexander; Paterson, Wilson, Ozturk, Eckersley; Nicholson, Buaben, Gomis, Walker (El Hassnaoui 77), Carrick (Holt 63); Sow (Keatings 77).
    Subs not used: Gallacher, McHattie, Robinson, McGhee

    Website Man of the Match: Emilio Izaguirre

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