Heart Of Midlothian 1 Celtic 2: Jarosik overcomes bad Celtic habit

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Gordon Strachan reiterated the need to stop conceding the first goal against Hearts after his Celtic side stormed back from a goal behind to win 2-1 and restore their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to 17 points.

On Friday Strachan had lamented his team's recent history of giving the hosts a goal start in Edinburgh. The Hearts midfielder Saulius Mikoliunas did the damage in the first half at Tynecastle with a 30-yard drive. But the visitors rallied after the break and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink equalised from close range 14 minutes into the second period before Jiri Jarosik's powerful drive from the edge of the box delivered three points which looked unlikely at the interval. The Czech midfielder skipped past Ibrahim Tall 25 yards out and drove a glorious shot low past Craig Gordon.

Strachan said: "It's not a nice thing to develop, that's for sure, and at 1-0 it could have gone to two. But there was the bravery of people like Paul Telfer and Thomas Gravesen getting blocks in as if to say, 'It's one but it's not going to be two', which kept us in the game. I thought it was an all-action game. Everybody was testing the water for the first half-hour but when they scored everyone threw off their shackles."

Strachan was reluctant to go overboard about Steven Pressley's performance as the stand-in captain for the suspended Neil Lennon in his first return to Tynecastle since signing for the Parkhead side at the beginning of the year.

Pressley was given a mixed reception from the Jambos fans, although the majority appeared to respect the eight-and-a-half years' service he gave to their club rather than castigate him for leaving after his dispute with the club's majority shareholder, Vladimir Romanov.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion," he said. "It's always a difficult place to come to, Tynecastle, and I thought we showed superb character in terms of going behind to a fantastic goal. We showed great spirit, which is the reason why the club is so successful."

Goals: Mikoliunas (28) 1-0; Vennegoor of Hesselink (59) 1-1; Jarosik (81) 1-2.

Hearts (4-4-2): Gordon; Barasa (Tall, 23), Zaliukas, Berra, Fyssas; Mikoliunas, Hartley, McCann, Driver (Elliot, 51); Velicka, Bednar (Pospisil, 75). Substitutes not used: Banks (gk), Wallace, Mole, Jonsson.

Celtic (4-4-2): Boruc; Telfer, Pressley, O'Dea, Naylor; Nakamura, Gravesen, Jarosik, Sno; Zurawski (Beattie, 54), Vennegoor of Hesselink. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Miller, Riordan, Lawson, McGeady, Conroy.

Referee: K Clarke.

Booked: Hearts Mikoliunas; Celtic Naylor.

Man of the match: Jarosik.

Attendance: 17,129.

Comments