Lennon delighted as Bhoys bounce back to batter Hearts

Hearts 0 Celtic 4

Lennon delighted as Bhoys bounce back to batter Hearts

The Hoops have stuttered in their journey to the top of the SPL this season but they responded to their shock home 1-0 defeat by Inverness at the weekend in fine style.

And manager Neil Lennon said was pleased with the response he got from his players.

“In the first half we were sensational and played at great intensity and tempo, which was quite the opposite from Saturday.

“I’m really pleased, it’s a good dressing room tonight. It gives us a cushion at the top and we’ve a game in hand. I’m really pleased with the team and the players we’ve got. I keep saying it and it’s not an excuse but they are a very young team. They’re going to have their ups and downs.

“The results at home need to improve, we know that, but there’s not much to turn around apart from that,” he added.

Celtic forced their way in front in the 10th minute when Commons’ cross from the left, after he had taken a pass from Beram Kayal, found Lassad who confidently volleyed it low past MacDonald at his near post.

Midway through the first half, Celtic showed their ruthless side when Lustig put them two ahead.

The Sweden international started the move on the right and when Lassad’s cutback broke to him 12 yards out, he stabbed the ball past MacDonald.

Three minutes later a remarkable save from Forster prevented the home side getting back into the game.

After the big Geordie had parried Stevenson’s powerful free-kick from 30 yards it looked like Zaliukas must score but somehow Forster clawed away his close-range header and the danger was averted when Hearts midfielder Ryan McGowan hit the side-netting.

The home side slumped further behind on the half-hour mark when Commons’ deep cross from the right ended up at the far side of the box with Mulgrew whose cut-back was put past his own keeper by the hapless Stevenson.

The visitors completed the scoring in the 82nd minute when Hooper volleyed in a Mulgrew cross from six yards.

And their night was completed when Forster saved a late penalty from Zaliukas.

HEARTS: MacDonald, Ryan McGowan, Webster, Zaliukas, McHattie, Paterson, Dylan McGowan (Robinson 63), Barr, Walker (Driver 68), Holt (Taouil 58), Stevenson.

CELTIC: Forster, Lustig (Matthews 68), Ambrose, Wilson, Mulgrew, Commons, Kayal, Wanyama, Ledley (Brown 69), Nouioui (Samaras 80), Hooper.

Ref: William Collum.

Scottish Premier: St Johnstone 0 Hibernian 1

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