London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2004-05--> All for 20041226
<-Page <-Team Sun 26 Dec 2004 Hearts 0 Celtic 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Times ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Phil Gordon auth-> Mike McCurry
[A McGeady 9] ;[S Petrov 68]
6 of 010 ----- L SPL H

Petrov takes high road

By Phil Gordon
Heart of Midlothian 0 Celtic 2

CELTIC FOUGHT HARD TO KEEP Stilian Petrov on home soil this Christmas and got their reward yesterday when the man who has a taste for playing away conjured up yet another remarkable goal on his travels. The midfield player came close at Tynecastle to eclipsing his impressive strike a fortnight ago at East End Park with a finish that ensured Celtic will go into the new year at the top of the Bank of Scotland Premierleague. The breathtaking volley that sealed the success meant that Petrov has scored his past 12 goals away from home.

No wonder Martin O’Neill dug his heels in when Hristo Stoichkov, the Bulgaria coach, wanted to take his captain to Spain for a friendly tomorrow against a regional side in Valencia. “With this game and the one next weekend, the last thing Stilian needed was two journeys,” O’Neill said.

Certainly, Petrov symbolises Celtic’s rejuvenation in the past few weeks. They have seemed far fresher since being jettisoned from the Champions League and, even if Rangers win today, there is little doubt that the champions have regained their strong, collective mentality.

They also have an extra string to their bow in the gifted Aiden McGeady, pictured, who laid the foundations for this success with a ninth-minute goal. McGeady even managed to shrug aside the abuse from some Heart of Midlothian fans for choosing to play for Ireland instead of Scotland. “I will just have to get used to it,” McGeady said.

The Celtic teenager actually began the move that he so consummately finished, threading a pass out to the right touchline where Jackie McNamara danced past a couple of lunges before supplying Petrov. The Bulgarian summoned a trademark driving run into the box before delivering a raking ball across the face of goal, where McGeady arrived at the back post to steer a left-foot shot beyond Craig Gordon from an acute angle.

A few minutes later, McGeady inadvertently handled the ball outside his own area, which allowed Jamie McAllister to drive a low free kick that was held by Robert Douglas, making his first league appearance this season because of illness to Magnus Hedman.

Thereafter, Celtic cut Hearts open at will, only to chalk up a succession of misses, most notably by John Hartson. But Petrov removed any doubts in the 69th minute. There seemed little threat when Steven Pressley fouled Chris Sutton in the Celtic half. However, a deep free kick from Ulrik Laursen was headed down by Sutton on the edge of the box and Petrov burst into space to thrash a right-foot volley into the roof of the net from 16 yards.

Hartson had two more great chances in stoppage time to get in on the act but was denied by Joe Hamill, the covering defender, and then by the goalkeeper’s legs. “Celtic had that extra bit of class,” John Robertson, the Hearts manager, said. “They also had two great finishes, especially Petrov’s — you don’t save those.”

Taken from

<-Page <-Team Sun 26 Dec 2004 Hearts 0 Celtic 2 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2005 |