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<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth Chris Roberts auth-> Hugh Dallas
----- Paul Lambert
1 of 001 Gary McSwegan 36 L SPL H

Hearts 1 Celtic 0

By Chris Roberts, PA Sport

Rangers moved to within three wins of retaining the Premier League championship as Gary McSwegan fired Hearts to three points against 10-men Celtic in a stormy encounter at Tynecastle.

The Parkhead side's slim hopes were left in ruins when captain Paul Lambert was dismissed in the 33rd minute for a second foul on Darren Jackson.

And the former Celtic favourite came back to haunt Kenny Dalglish's side to play a role in McSwegan's winner three minutes later.

It was the first of a double sickener for the travelling Celtic support as news filtered through of Rangers victory over Ayr in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup … keeping their double dream alive.

This was a full-bloodied battle and as well as Lambert's yellow card nine other players went into the book.

But Hearts were left smiling at the final whistle as they increased their lead over fourth-place Motherwell to five points to put make their UEFA Cup aspirations a realistic hope.

Dalglish recalled Lubomir Moravcik to the side in the place of the injured Mark Viduka and he was looking to impress the watching Slovakian coach Sizef Adamec, who hinted this week that he could be given a recall to the national side at the age of 34.

Moravcik started like he wanted to put on a good show in a lively opening few minutes but he failed to make an impression throughout.

He and Tommy Johnson combined on the edge of the Hearts box in the fourth minute but Stevenn Pressley made a timely interception with Jackie McNamara looming dangerously.

Hearts always looked dangerous and went up the other end with Gary McSwegan finding Colin Cameron who found Tomachek but his effort was charged down by the Celtic defence.

In the 10th minute Jonathan Gould had to pull off a brilliant finger-tip save to deny Cameron's terrific drive from Darren Jackson's cross. Lambert then fired wide from the edge of the box in the 12th minute.

A minute later Eyal Berkovic was fouled by Lee Makel in the centre circle and he went into referee Hugh Dallas' book. Lambert was yellow carded for a reckless challenge on Jackson on the edge of the Celtic box and midfielder Regi Blinker also had his name took for deliberate handball.

Blinker was then lucky to escape a red card in 18th minute for late tackle on Thomas Flogel.

Jackson rose to meet Stephane Adam's centre in the area but he headed just over Gould's crossbar.

Johnson, who had scored three goals in the last two games, showed great awareness in the 22nd minute when he tried a chip-shot and looked to have found the top corner but former Rangers goalkeeper Antti Niemi made a tremendous save to deny him.

Celtic were fortunate not to go a goal down in the 25th minute when they were caught flat-footed from Niemi's punt downfield. Morten Wieghorst got a slight touch on it but the ball ran through to McSwegan, who fired just inches past the post.

Two minutes later and McSwegan was again guilty of wasting a chance and had more time than he thought. Makel's ball made its way through to him but he headed tamely at Gould from seven yards.

Johnson's frustrations boiled over in the 31st minute when he should have been ordered off for lashing out at Pressley but Dallas showed him the yellow instead.

Lambert then blazed wide from the edge of the edge of the Hearts box but he was in big trouble moments later.

Jackson beat him on the edge of the area and Lambert made a desperate lunge to bring the former Celtic man down and Dallas had no alternative but to send the skipper off.

The vistors were under pressure and it took just three minutes for Hearts to make the extra-man advantage pay.

Jackson's corner was headed on target by Gordan Petric and Blinker kept the ball out but it fell to McSwegan, who made up for his earlier misses to fire home.

Berkovic's afternoon was brought to an end at the break after a disappointing game as he and Blinker both were replaced by Mark Burchill and Colin Healy.

Hearts' Gary Naysmith was the next name into the book when he fouled Moravcik but Celtic were leaving gaps at the back as they chased the equaliser.

In the 54th minute Gould kept them in the game with a tremendous point-blank save from Naysmith after Burchill had knocked it into his path from Adam's ball.

Rafael returned to action in the 58th minute for Johnson and they came close to hitting back in the two minutes later when Burchill ran through on goal and Niemi produced a great save to deny the youngster glory.

A minute later and Gould had to be alert to save to his right a stinging 20-yard drive from Makel.

The lively Burchill got a second chance to level the score in the 75th minute when he met Wieghorst's cross and Niemi again produced a trememdous save to push it over the bar.

But Hearts were looking to wrap up the points and Johan Mjallby saved his side in the 84th minute when he was the last line of defence to clear subsitute Gary Wales' goalbound effort.

Stilian Petrov went down in the box in the final minute but the referee waved away protests while Moravcik became the ninth man to receive the yellow card.


Hearts: Niemi, Pressley, Naysmith, Petric, Flogel, Cameron, Jackson, Makel (Simpson 87), Tomaschek, McSwegan (Wales 83), Adam (Fulton 83).

Subs Not Used: McKenzie, Severin.

Booked: Makel, Naysmith, Jackson.

Goals: McSwegan 36.

Celtic: Gould, McNamara, Mjallby, Riseth, Petrov, Blinker (Healy 45), Berkovic (Burchill 45), Lambert, Wieghorst, Johnson (Rafael 56), Moravcik.

Subs Not Used: Kerr, Crainey.

Sent Off: Lambert (31).

Booked: Lambert, Blinker, Johnson, McNamara, Mjallby, Moravcik.

Att: 16,046

Ref: Hugh Dallas (Scotland).

Taken from

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