Hearts of Midlothian 1 – 2 Neil Lennon’s Celtic

Hearts came out of the traps like a maroon battering ram as predicted, they pressed us high and disrupted our usual passing game.

First honest mistake from brother McLean was a clear foul on Toljan given against him. Here we go I thought, as it turned out he had one of his better games when reffing us.

I thought young Euan Henderson who was getting his second start for us struggled a bit against the physicality of Hearts but he didn’t crumble under the pressure. Hearts had three booked in the first half Harring should have seen red for a foul on Bain as he was already on a yellow, had it been any other team than us he would have .

Bain made a world class save down to his right finger tipping a very decent goal bound shot around the post ,,, Boyata nearly sold the jerseys with a lazy pass straight to Naismith who should have scored but Boyata did just enough to put him off .

A free for hearts and we broke, Euan Henderson played a superb pass to Scott Sinclair who took off like a train, he spotted Oli Burke who I fully expected to attempt to score but instead he somehow spotted James Forrest who was in the clear near the six yard line to tap home.

A classic counter attack, one of the best I have seen for many a year.

At the end of the first half a first start for an ex hun Brandon saw red for a fore arm smash to Toljan. I was as surprised as any Celtic supporter with the decision, it was the correct one.

Hearts in the second half did as expected, parked the bus and played for set pieces,, we dithered about at the back and for once it cost us when Bain gave Ajer a hospital pass and he just got to the ball but took out the Hearts attacker and brother McLean awarded them a pen from which they scored.

We huffed and puffed but seemed to be getting nowhere, to many pointless circulating of the ball getting us nowhere,………………..then my internet went down, but I saw the last ten mins……

It was looking like a 1-1 draw and a disappointing start to Lenny’s tenure, but 92 mins in Scott Brown who was my MoM played a wonderful chip into the box and it found Odsonne who slotted it home, the eruption from the stands was understandable but the outpouring of emotion from the Celtic bench was amazing to witness, the togetherness was palpable.

Three points secured and a dagger through the hearts of the hun who would have been anticipating us dropping points tonight, the Sky studio at the end looked like they had a death in the family, they were gutted which made things all the sweeter, even Pedro in the stands had a huge grin on his face at the end.
Brendan who 🙂

Match report compiled by The Exiled Tim

If you fancy writing we would be delighted to publish


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Are you Brian Granville in disguise? You were born for this reporting malarkey!

Thanks very much for that,mate. I’m away to find highlights somewhere before I hit my cot for a couple of hours.


And here’s another one,again with our grateful thanks,from FAN-A-TIC!
CELTIC: Bain; Toljan, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney; Brown, Bitton, Forrest, Henderson, Sinclair; Burke.

Subs: Gordon, Lustig, Hendry, Hayes, Weah, Johnston, Edouard

Not a line up i would choose but was interested in seeing how we approached the game.
Away fans were in great voice an Lenny got a great reception.
The game started at a frantic pace as both teams seemed a little unsure.
Hearts i presume were under orders from the Edinburgh Grass Preservation Society and made our the ball hardly touched it for the first thirty minutes.
Their big guy Ikpeazu seemed like he took all his instructions from a wrestling coach.
Special mention for Bains save on the twenty minute mark as i think if they had scored first we would have struggled.
Though their goalie made an excellent save from Browns volley a minute earlier.
On the 23rd minute Haring benefitted from the refs leniency when he escaped a deserved yellow for a late assault on Bain.
Boyata was slack at the back in 32 nd minute and almost gifted them an opener but Naismith shot wide.He was probably surprised at staying on his feet.
The central combo of Brown and Bitton struggled to play any out balls and it was all to frantic with Hearts winning the physical battle to this point and Brown picked up a booking.
We gave away a dangerous free kick about 25 yds out and Hearts hit the shot off wall and young Henderson played a beautiful pass to Sinclair who played it on to the flying Burke who drew the keeper and squared for a simple tap in by JF.A goal that was absolutely sublime.
On the 43rd minute Brandon was sent off for a flying elbow and late challenge on Toljan.He can have no complaints.
Keeper than had a great double save from Burke the Sinclair to keep score down at half time.
Naismith did not return for the second half so i assume he injured himself diving in the tunnel when a Celtic player walked near him.
On the 49th minute Henderson fired a rocket just wide.
We were in control being a man and goal up but lacked any urgency in our play.
In the 54th minute Bain and Ajer made a mess of a pass and in trying to recover Ajer fouled guy for a penalty.They converted to make it 1-1.
Henderson was replaced by Ed in the 61st minute .
We were looking disjointed and ragged since the equalizer until Ed made space in box and shot over in the 70th
The midfield duo of Brown and Bitton was slowing the game down and with both hesitating then passing wide it made it easy for Hearts to funnel men back into defensive positions.
On the 79th minute Hearts subbed one big lump for another big lump and we brought on Weah for SS who after a good first half completely disappeared in the second.
On the 83 minute there was mad scramble in the Hearts box they managed to clear and it was looking more like a draw and unhappy night as we lacked creativity.
Lustig replaced Toljan on the 86th minute who i thought played well.
Keeper than had an easy save from an Ed header.
As the game petered out Brown played a gorgeous diagonal ball into the Hearts box and Ed mad a brilliant run to fire home the winner.
Truthfully we had some good first half speedy attacks but replicated our early season away form to much for my liking.
To me it looked like Kennedy not Lennon calling the shots.
The Brown and Bitton partnership does not work and our lack of fluency was down to both slowing the game down most of the time.I had to many flashbacks of Ronnies team for comfort.
Young Henderson again showed in flashes how good he is.
Toljan stood up to the Hearts brutality well and was one of our more positive players along with Boyata and Burke.
KT was largely anonymous and did not look fit to me.In the first half he gave the ball away constantly and only in the second did he start to go forward.
The result was great especially as it was not a vintage performance but it takes us closer to the title so that will do for me

A thing of beauty

Thank you for the reports guys, both were a good read and reflect much of my thoughts on the game. I think fan a tic is being a bit harsh on brown and Britton. To my mind they controlled the ball and although it was slow at times I’m not sure who else we could have played in there given the injuries. I thought nir in particular did well considering how little football he’s had. A word for Tierney. Again another player who has had a long lay off and will take time to get back to his best but what a part he played in us winning. Remember prior to our winning goal he stooped low to put his head in front of a player who was flinging himself straight at him and cleared it to safety. If I recall correctly they never touched the ball again till they were picking out their net. That’s how it feels to be Celtic and all the money in the world can’t buy it!!!

big packy

TET /FAN-A-TIC, brilliant posts a great summary of the game, bit my nails downt to the quick in the last 15 mins ,but knew lenny and the bhoys would do it in the end, hearts are a dirty shower of bassas.hh.

Awe Naw

Delighted by last night. The goal we gave away (“We´il have a look at that “) and “we need to get the balll forward quicker with the quality and speed we have upfront” – Neil Francis Lennon

We are in safe hands

7 games left 8 points ahead but still being refereed ridiculously (The only thing that can stop us – AND THE PLAYERS KNOW IT)

In the mornin’ you were appointed’ by the man who stole your water
And your fired by the Hibees but we stop you at the border
And the mourners are all singin’ as they drag you by your feet
But the hangman isn’t hangin’ and they put you in the Celtic hotseat
You go back, Neil, do it again, finish what you started
You go back, Neil, do it again

Awe Naw

Liam Hendersons wee brother is here for ten in a row

Awe Naw

Hated the banners last night but glad they got the spelling correct. The Anti Rodgers songs have to go.

Boo Hoo hoo

Get up (get up)
Come on (come on)
Why’re you scared? (I’m not scared)
You’ll never change
What’s been and gone
‘Cause all of the stars
Are fading away
Just try not to worry
You’ll see them some day
Take what you need
And be on your way
And stop crying your heart out


I’ve only seen the goals as Sportscene won’t show on my iplayer for some reason.

First goal was a peach,some great passing to hammer them with as fast a counter as you’ll ever see.

Second one,lovely tempting ball in from Broonie,and a fantastic finish from Eddie,who had to adjust his feet to do so.

Dunno if you noticed,but the move nearly broke down a few seconds earlier when Broonie stuck a foot out for a pass,but fortunately our winger got there first and gave him it back.

Thems the breaks,and for once we got one!

TRIFCo up to their knees in debt and floating charges again…


Awe Naw


you feeling better today mucker ?


NAW!!! Still beelin’ at them two duplicitous deceitful overpaid prime donna basturts whose egos stabbed us in the back.

Apart from that,marvellous. Two more shifts then a quick trip home for the weekend,so in that respect,couldnae be better. Well,it could be,as its more dental work,but heyho…

Anyway,already late for this shift,so Best slow down for the speed cameras…

Awe Naw

Snap just back from the dentist. Clean bill of health but deep clean (below the gum line) next month .. hate that 4 jags in one day 1971 all over again

TET & Fan-A-Tic, 2 very good match reports, thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

A lot of effort required – I feel I don’t appreciate as much as I should what Mahe & Bobby do for this site. Maybe that’s not strictly true, I just take it for granted! Sorry.


To be clear i agree with TET that Brown was man of the match.
But the partnership of Bitton and Brown does not work.
It doomed Ronnie D.
Both played defensive roles and while they had decent possession all it did was give Hearts time to set defensively until Brown’s brilliant pass and Ed’s strikers instincts.
Young Henderson made quite a few good and intelligent runs into space in the 2nd half but not once did either look up to find him they merely hesitated took a few touches and shuffled ball wide.
We missed Christies ability to break their lines with his running.
A central midfielder has a few roles to fulfill-protect defense, create,win tackles and keep side moving.
Brown does most of the above .
Bitton last night gave away four fouls all in dangerous areas with his habit of being wrongside.
He was also guilty of immediately returning our out ball straight back to were it came from so stifled momentum.
There were moments in the first when our pace terrified them yet in the second with a man advantage we never once played a forward ball into space .or created anything of note.
Bitton should be used only as a sub to slow down games we are winning .
Also on KT i just think he does not look fit or comfortable.On Sunday he was quiet and last night hesitant in the first.
Was notable that most of their forward progress in the first was down our left side.
Hayes was doing a good job there and i think we should be easing KT in at a more gentle pace.


not sure why my moniker changed to CQN

CQN, are you Fan-A-Tic? Have you changed your moniker?

Yes, agreed, two good match reports. I thought McLean in his first game reffing us did a reasonable job. In the first half, I thought his plan was to give Hearts as many free kicks on the wings about half way into our part of the field. Their plan was to launch high balls into our penalty area and intimidate our defenders. It could have worked as the big centre had a header he should have buried. Hearts best period was tge first 15 minutes where we could not clear the ball effectively, nor set up a counter.

I agree Bitton and Brown are not the answer long term but our creative mids are injured. When Hearts funnelled back in the second half, neither Brown nor Bitton could move the ball quickly enough to create chances…except when Brown lobbed one into the six yard line for the goal. Our corners were poor as usual. Something needs to be done about that. I am ambivalent on the FBs. Toljan is very good going forward but questionable defensively. Tierney? Well, I hope he is just cautiously playing his way back. He looked very subdued……perhaps his fitness is praying on his mind.

Burke is a keeper and such a contrast to our other forwards. He is very strong on the ball. His workrate is impressive.

Henderson? Not his type of game last night which sums up why Scottish football is stagnant. The bully boys can stiffle a creative player. However, his pass to Sinclair shows what he can do. One thing that struck me was the number of times he ran into space only to be ignored by a teamate. Do the regulars not under space, the final frontier?

I disagree on Brown. I thought he was off the pace and we were lucky that Hearts lost a man, pushing them into a defensive shell. He was overrun in the first half and was under hitting passes.

Some general observations, players seem to change as they become established in the team. I hope that Henderson continues to try creative passes and using space. I hope that Bitton rediscovers his long passes. I hope that Johnson continues to take players on and gets more chances in the team. I hope that Bain continues to pass the ball out but not short passes inside the penalty area.


Awe Naw

Bloody CQN groupie

You just answered my question as I pressed ‘send’. One of your posts yesterday came up with CQN.

Awe Naw

In the first half he should have sent off the Austrian thuggy hammer thrower


Is that the guy who barged Bain? Yes, he should have received a second yellow and hence marched. Perhaps the CO will look at that, or not.


Awe Naw

Yes but you have to have had some shite life to put your body and career on the line for Craig Levein an über fanny if ever there was one. referee seen it and done nowt so that one has gone I reckon. At least three of their players should have been booked for persistent fouling.

Rebus, regarding your observations about players changing as they become ‘established’. Could this not be due to their natural exuberant game being coached out of them? I have read several times from posters that BR had done this with KT.

Awe Naw

Did the Dons rest any players last night or does McInnes have them plunging at exactly the right moment


Good post.
Really hope we push the boat out for Burke.


I am being punished for posting drivel.

Awe Naw

Now you have me seriously worried. Checking my passport now 🙂

A thing of beauty

Get what you’re saying fan, but we can only play with what we have got. The injuries are horrendous and have been for sometime. Let’s hope that’s something that changes with new management. I spoke with my dad at games when boyata had just signed and was unequivocal that bitton was ruining him due to boyata passing him the ball and Bitton delivering it straight back, no matter what sort of pressure boyata was under. I actually said if I was boyata I’d punch him right in the mouth if he did it again. I have seen less of that in his two games since he returned from injury. I do agree though that he is always wrong side for a tackle as he will only ever use his right foot to challenge. I said on Sunday I felt he would be an important player in the run in and I stand by that. Like I say who else is going to play there. Tierney has been out a while but I think he looks as though he is almost back to his best and I hope to see him return to the player he was in his first couple of seasons rather than his last couple, where he has been receiving the ball in a mirror image of Lustig on the other side ie back to the touch line with only one option for the pass. Strange how this crept into his game and he maybe lost confidence due to a lack of a regular player at left centre back but whatever happens I hope he sorts it out (or Lenny does)!!


That’s hilarious.


We have some very talented youth maybe give them a chance to fill injury voids.
Watched Celtic v Killie on Celtic tv and young McInroys pass was Broonyesque.
Karamoko looks sensational and strong.


certainly right on the accounts.. says “made up” .. couldn’t be more true!!


Just realized the the buggers only give you 30 seconds if you are not subscribed.
Will try to find it elsewhere or perhaps someone more tech savvy than me can post full highlights.



I suspect it is a mix of advice from other team members and the coaching. I think the original Henderson suffered because of this. He was a dynamo originally and then was played out of position and told to adapt. Shame. I saw him as at the same level as McGinn at that time.



TeT , many many thanks for todays contribution . Youve got the job as Bobby says !
Sounded like a good game , and away at Swinecastle is one of the nights I sure do miss sitting down to watch . Always very sweet to overcome that atmosphere.
Youre right about Levein , yesterdays man and the game would be better without him on the sidelines,, I thought he was becoming a suit , but seemingly he reckons he still has it .
Hopefully its the last season we see him managing ever.

Fan-a-tic,, big thank you for your post also , another insight into a missed good match .
After a decade or so I ditched Celtic TV and as soon as I said Im not supporting this board anymore they said well go and do x y and z to cancel .
I was forced to copy and paste them their own terms and conditions and explain thats what I want to happen now . 5 hours it took to cancel ffs.
And its not as if the thing improved during that time. The chosen staff were substandard many times and the Europe is the biggest games and not on there , a big kick in the teeth .

Anyway something you said stands out for me ,, Bitton and Brown does not work.
Thats a proven fact and if we go down that road it will lead backwards not forwards .
NIr may well become priceless at the back in next seasons qualifiers , as I have learned never to count on Jozo ,, who I honestly hope goes this off season , as long as his replacement is lined up.
Nir can also be a great sheilding midfielder but he would then need two midfielders around him , or at least someone else than Scott Brown , if that is to work.

Can you tell me if Bayo got any game time ? Really want to see the lad.

Hail Hail


rebus67 and jimthetim53
See the difference in Mo Salah under Mourinho at Chelsea and Klopp at Liverpool as to how a coach can impact on a players confidence and ability.
I have stated often that BR’s coaching had been detrimental to KT’s ability and influence.

A thing of beauty

Thanks for the fan, karamoko is going to be some player in the future. Let’s just hope it’s with us. Did I ever tell you I’m a glass half empty girl!!


AWeNaw, just saw that score , wow. Bad result and that seals Stevie G as 2nd really. Coming a solid second and challenge next season will be the catchphrase. The Dons have a hard run in and Killie should fancy their chances of third spot.
Hail Hail


Bayo never even made the bench.
I would take Jozo over Bitton anytime.
At least he has positional sense and can tackle.
On the subject of Celtic tv i’m a prisoner of love.
There are numerous problems and their disdain due to having a captive audience is clear.
Often when there are technical problems and you contact them they only get back to you the next day which is pointless.Platitudes and bullshit follows and no solutions attempted.
I want to support my club but they sure don’t make it easy.


So you would have Ajer Jozo combo going into qualifiers?
Jozo has had years to cement a position and is more often than not injured just when you could really do with him. Also I think he has one year left. If you’re gonna get anything back it’s sell now. I understand with a lot of changes already why fuel the fire but poor planning has us where we are.
Hail Hail


Leicester/Rodgers will do an Islam Feruz and tempt him to Engerland

Mahe and Fan-a-tic,

I wonder what is happening with Bayo. I guess we are squeezing the value out of Burke and Weah.

I have had CelticTV since the beginning and have been pleased with it. Any technical issues I get a fast response by email from Webhelp. Once I had a call from them and they talked me through troubleshooting until it was fixed…about 40 minutes.

What bothers me is the bias of the commentators during the match. They never seem to acknowledge that the opposition are in the ascendency at points in the match. Last night was a good example when we were only one nil up, one of the commentators talked as if the match was won. Stephen McManus was good at analysing games but we rarely get him now.


Over an Ajer-Bitton combo?
I think Jozo was another player who was affected by BR’s coaching and choices.
For all his flaws Jozo really only showed self doubt after BR’s arrival.
The guy that sent Kenny Miller into orbit became timid
Also we have to stop thinking that any player near the end of his contract should be sold for profit.His value to the team should be considered also.
Modern football is to full of simple arithmetic.
Would really hope we have someone scouted to bring in early to fill Boyata’s shoes
Agree on poor planning being a factor.
Hard to fathom when we had to highly paid geniuses at the helm in Lawwell and Rodgers.


Ajer was in the wars last night against a very physical opponent. He was caught napping by Bain pass and gave away a penalty. He mistimed a couple of tackles but can be excused because Hearts were dishing it out.

I do not think Jozo is sellable….Injury prone and not in the team often enough to catch the eye. Would do for most SPL games but not Europe. Bitton is not a CB plus his tackling is questionable……too much hip.

We need one more CB in August, assuming that Compper is a dead duck. If Awe is correct on his salary, we shall lose Toljan, so we need a replacement. If we cannot keep Burke, we shall need a striker, even if Bayo pans out. So that would be three needs for the summer.

Then we have to pray that we do not lose McGregor to Leicester.



Your experience is vastly different from mine.
I have had it for many years and despite the advancement in technology i have seen no improvement.
No issue with Burke and Weah as they’re both superb but was a little surprised at Bayo not making the bench as he offers us something different.
Guess it will be a while yet before we win a header in the opposition’s box.
Though stopping those floaty shite corners would be a start.

Had an hour or so spare earlier and have watched a few videos re Brendan leaving, to a man everyone, pundits, knew that he was leaving in the summer, amazing how they never said so publicly.
Anyways, he’s gone and we have Lenny in now, he will imo give his everything to make us as successful as BR made us, I hope he doesn’t change things too much and I don’t think he will, reading a few other blogs that folks are delight cos they think Lenny will do away with the building from the back, I very much doubt he will but he will try and get the ball to the front men far quicker and won’t be obsessed with possession like BR was, interesting times ahead.

big packy

HI BHOYS ,fan-a-tic I think bitton is a good player but tends to slow the play down, jozo on his day is a very good player, pity he is on the treatment table so much, as tet says every man and his dog knew he was leaving except us the fans who pay his wages, don’t agree with the gb song about dying though, a bit over the top methinks, anyway he’s gone lenny’s the man .hh.


I never heard the song as i only watch Celtic tv.
But Rodgers is in the past so we should leave him there.


It was explained to me that the more people in your area watching CTV the more the original signal gets split. In theory Southern California should have quite a few watchers , perhaps that’s where it was my ” fault ” .
And then maybe you are the only watcher in those parts ?Or one of few which might help.

It just felt amateur and there because they must provide it. Also just saying but entire leagues are the same price here , not just one team. Ie the MLB is 20 bucks a month, not just the Padres .
It’s not priced well , doesn’t have the biggest games ( try explainin that to a room of Yanks) and then I’m all for helping explayers but Jim Craig might have been a dentist but was like visitin one ffs. Old fashioned , droned on . Gregor kyle was like,a wee lad in a sweetie shop. Laura was genuine and easy on the eye but not media polished at all .
Cuddidy is ok , too much shapes to shoot (his catchphrase ), but needs a good foil. Tom Boyd is soo biased but again , at least we are helping out our former players.
Anyway I’m probably on a black list after the tone of my correspondence with the Plc.
And we have a no screen time thing going on, can’t watch TV with baby around so that rules out live games.
Ah well. Stay warm . Hail Hail