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Celtic 4-1 Hearts: Hosts fight back from goal down to all but secure title

Daizen Maeda scores against Hearts
Daizen Maeda’s equaliser on the half-hour mark drew Celtic level after a shaky start

Celtic roared back to all but secure the Scottish Premiership title with a rousing victory at home to Hearts.

Ellis Simms’ emphatic finish stunned the home crowd early on, but the league leaders responded in relentless fashion as two goals in seven first-half minutes from Japanese duo Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi turned the game.

Matt O’Riley and Giorgos Giakoumakis sealed the win that puts Celitc nine points clear of Rangers, who have three games to claw back the deficit plus an inferior goal difference of 22.

If Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Europa League finalists fail to beat Dundee United at Ibrox on Sunday, the title will mathematically be beyond last season’s league winners, but even victory will almost certainly be delaying the inevitable.

Ange Postecoglou’s men travel to Tannadice – the ground they lost the league on last term – on Wednesday. Permitting Rangers win on Sunday, just a point will be enough for Celtic to confirm their status as champions.

Hearts, who pushed for a leveller before O’Riley increased the hosts’ advantage, have already secured third spot.

More to follow.

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Celtic

  1. Squad number15Player nameHart

  2. Squad number56Player nameRalston

  3. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

  4. Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

  5. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

  6. Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

  7. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

  8. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull

  9. Squad number17Player nameJota

  10. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

  11. Squad number38Player nameMaeda

  1. Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis

  2. Squad number11Player nameAbada

  3. Squad number18Player nameRogic

  4. Squad number41Player nameHatate

  5. Squad number49Player nameForrest

Heart of Midlothian

  1. Squad number1Player nameGordon

  2. Squad number12Player nameAtkinson

  3. Squad number15Player nameMoore

  4. Squad number3Player nameKingsley

  5. Squad number17Player nameCochrane

  6. Squad number5Player nameHaring

  7. Squad number21Player nameSibbick

  8. Squad number30Player nameGinnelly

  9. Squad number10Player nameBoyce

  10. Squad number18Player nameMcKay

  11. Squad number20Player nameSimms

  1. Squad number9Player nameWoodburn

  2. Squad number11Player nameMackay-Steven

  3. Squad number48Player nameThomas

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 15Hart
  • 56Ralston
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 4Starfelt
  • 3Taylor
  • 33O’RileySubstituted forRogicat 77′minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forHatateat 66′minutes
  • 17Neves FilipeSubstituted forForrestat 81′minutes
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 64′minutes
  • 38MaedaSubstituted forAbadaat 65′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Bitton
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 11Abada
  • 16McCarthy
  • 18Rogic
  • 29Bain
  • 41Hatate
  • 49Forrest
  • 57Welsh

Hearts

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 12Atkinson
  • 15Moore
  • 3Kingsley
  • 17Cochrane
  • 5Haring
  • 21SibbickBooked at 31mins
  • 30GinnellySubstituted forWoodburnat 81′minutes
  • 10Boyce
  • 18McKaySubstituted forThomasat 89′minutes
  • 20SimmsSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Smith
  • 4Souttar
  • 9Woodburn
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 13Stewart
  • 14Devlin
  • 48Thomas
  • 49Tait

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