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Celtic Show Heart(s) at Tynecastle

Tynecastle has long been a house of horrors for Celtic and many other clubs in Scottish football.

The Full Scottish with Brian P. Dunleavy
celtic in action
Photo Celticfccom

It may seem like a distant memory for some Hoops supporters, but there were plenty calling for the head of then-new manager Ange Postecoglou after their side lost the opening fixture of the current campaign there in August. Of course, there have been many changes since then, including an infusion of top talent from the J-League.

What makes the Edinburgh ground so intimidating, at least in part, is its intimate confines. The stands are close to the pitch and, to be fair, Hearts supporters generally pack them. And they don’t sit on their hands—or sit quietly—either.

So far in 2021-22, Hearts have also surprised many observers of the Scottish game by remaining near the top of the Premiership table. It’s not often that a side earns promotion from the Championship one season and then contends for a top-three finish in the Prem the next.

However, that’s exactly what Robbie Neilson’s side have done, and after 22 matches you must admit (even if you’re a Hibee) that it’s no fluke.


True to form, Wednesday night’s rematch between Celtic and Hearts in Gorgie did not disappoint. There was no shortage of story lines and talking points. Perhaps a missed offside on a goal by Liam Boyce (not to mention Boyce’s missed pen), and plenty of “Argie Bargie.” Oh, and there was some attractive football, too, with a “worldie” from Celtic’s Reo Hatate, who continues to impress.

Lessons learned? Well, Hearts are for real. It would take a monumental collapse from Glasgow’s big two to break up their collective hold on the top two spots in the Premiership table. However, with Motherwell selling assets and Hibs and Aberdeen still trying to overcome slow starts, third place is not only possible, it’s likely.

And Celtic? Postecoglou’s side are clearly better now than they were in August. There’s more skill in the squad, better understanding of the way the Australian wants to play and more composure under pressure.

Wednesday’s fixture had all the makings of a “banana skin” for the Hoops, with the gap at the top four points (thanks to Rangers’ 1-0 win over Livingston at Ibrox—speaking of potential banana skins). And yet, Celtic came away victorious.

Baby steps, perhaps, but positive steps, nonetheless.


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