Bouzid the hero as Hearts come from behindFrom Hearts News at Tynecastle Stadium
Santa is a Jambo and he delivered an early Christmas present to Tynecastle as Hearts took all three points against Celtic. The men in maroon fought hard for a victory and maybe luck is finally on side as Celtic missed a lot of chances. Games between these two sides always provide talking points and with the teams at opposite ends of the table fighting for points, neither wanted to drop any this afternoon.
Injuries forced Hearts to make two changes to the side which drew with Dundee United. Ismael Bouzid came in for David Obua and David Templeton replaced Laryea Kingston.
Hearts started the match lively and pressurised Celtic but the first real chance of the first half fell to the visitors in the 15th minute. Aiden McGeady collected the ball in his own half and ran the length of the pitch to set up Samaras, whose shot was pushed wide by Kello for a corner.
Hearts were not sitting back though and young Scott Robinson won a great ball inside the Celtic half after brushing off a couple of players his shot re-bounded off a Celtic player. Lee Wallace picked the ball up and floated a brilliant ball into the back post, Templeton's shot was mis-hit but he re-composed himself quickly to send a header wide of the goal.
The first goal of the match came in the 21st minute when a ball into the box found Celtic's Scott McDonald, his header came off the post to the feet of Samaras who tapped the ball into the Hearts net to put them 1-0 up.
The game turned on its head in the 31st minute when Jamie Mole pounced on a loose ball in the Celtic box, Gary Caldwell caught the striker late and referee Willie Collum decided the challenge warranted a red card for Caldwell and a penalty for Hearts. As the Celtic captain walked off the field, Michael Stewart stepped up to slot the ball into the goal past Artur Boruc to bring the scores level again. Celtic made a quick change with Marc Crosas being replaced by Stephen McManus as the visitors re-shuffled their line-up.
Hearts started the second half lively and Eggert Jonsson took the ball from Hinkel and passed out to Lee Wallace on the left. He crossed the ball into Jamie Mole, whose shot went over the bar. A couple minutes later Hearts had another good chance this time when Ruben Palazuelos latched on to a loose ball and played it through for Scott Robinson but Artur Boruc was quick off his line to avert any danger.
Both teams were fighting for the second goal and it nearly came in the 52nd minute when Aiden McGeady picked up the ball in the Hearts half, the winger ran with it through the defence and his shot re-bounded of Kello's post.
Celtic earned their second card off the game in the 57th minute when Barry Robson slide in late on Craig Thomson to earn himself a yellow card. Hearts took this break as a chance to take off youngster Scott Robinson and replace him with Christian Nade.
It was the visitors who should have taken the lead in the 60th minute when Samaras watches it back he will be wondering how he didn't at least get a shot on target. Jose Goncalves thought he'd let a ball run for a goal kick but Scott McDonald's persistence paid off and he won the ball right on Hearts' by-line he then turned, playing a brilliant ball into the box for Samaras, whose shot went up and over Kello's goal into the Celtic fans behind.
The visitors were finding it tough to break down Hearts and Tony Mowbray made another change in the 61st minute with Scott McDonald being replaced by Marc Fortune.
Both sides continued to press and Hearts had their first player booked in the 75th minute, Lee Wallace went in late on Aiden McGeady to earn himself a yellow card and give Celtic a free-kick just outside the Hearts box. Barry Robson stepped up to take it but his effort was easily held by Kello.
It wasn't long before the next yellow card, Bouzid found himself getting involved with some Celtic fans down on the touch-line and found himself in the referee's book.
In the 75th minute Tynecastle erupted when a fierce cross in from youngster David Templeton landed on Ismael Bouzid's head, the defender only had to give the ball direction and it went straight past Boruc to put the Jambos 2-1 up. As Bouzid celebrated the fourth official lifted up the subs board to show he was coming off to be replaced by Marius Zaliukus, Csaba clearly erring on the side of safety.
Eggert Jonsson was next to get his name in Willie Collum's book with a late challenge. The game was fast flowing and in the 81st minute Samaras had a powerful shot into the box prompting a brilliant one-handed stop from Marian Kello. The Slovakian had an excellent game in the Hearts goal and must take some credit for the win.
Celtic looked like they had the equaliser in the 86th minute when a corner found the head of Loovens. His effort seemed to be heading straight for the top corner but Craig Thomson was on the back post and did his job by clearing the ball off the line.
With only a couple minutes left to play Fortune found himself with the ball on his own in the Hearts box, again Kello stood up well and the ball went out for a corner. The resulting ball in found the head of Loovens but Kello was determined not to let any more goals in and punched the ball clear.
The fourth official held his board up to show two minutes of injury time was to be played and the excitement could be heard around Tynecastle as they waited for the match to be finished. When the referee blew his whistle for full-time Tynecastle erupted and the Hearts fans left knowing they will enjoy Christmas that wee bit more following this afternoon's win.
Hearts: Kello, C Thomson, Goncalves, Bouzid (Zaliukas, 76), Wallace; Templeton, Stewart, Jonsson, Palazuelos; Mole (Kucharski, 85), Robinson (Nade, 58). Subs not used: Ridgers, Novikovas, Glen, Mulrooney.
Celtic: Boruc, Hinkel (McGinn, 77), Caldwell, Loovens, Fox, Robson, Crosas (McManus 33), McGeady, Nguemo, Samaras, McDonald (Fortune, 61). Subs not used: Zaluska, Caddis, Carey, Zhi.
Referee: William Collum
Top man: David Templeton