Last-gasp goals earn Celtic draw

Celtic 2 Hearts 2

Celtic 2 Hearts 2

Champions-elect Celtic scored twice in an incredible final three minutes to deny Hearts a famous victory and save their incredible unbeaten record in a dramatic clash at Parkhead.

Hearts looked like ending Celtic's seemingly unstoppable surge towards the championship after goals in each half from Kevin McKenna and Mark de Vries.

But Chris Sutton set up a dramatic grandstand finish which was completed by a last-gasp Didier Agathe strike to put them a point closer the Bank of Scotland Premier League trophy and keep intact a fantastic home run which stretches back to August 2001 and 76 games.

Hearts snatched a deserved opener in the 21st minute when Paul Hartley's shot from the edge of the penalty area struck Stanislav Varga and McKenna followed up to crash a first-time shot past David Marshall into the bottom corner.

That sparked the home side into life and Patrick Kisnorbo had to block Sutton's drive before Craig Gordon was forced to stop Agathe's effort from inside the box after more Celtic pressure.

The home side threatened again in the 41st minute when Alan Thompson floated the ball into the box and Varga rose to head over the top from six yards.

But Hearts kept it tight and could have even doubled their lead in the 42nd minute but Marshall got down well to his left to turn another McKenna drive around the post.

Marshall saved his side again in the 50th minute with a fine point-blank stop from Janczyk before Alan Maybury was booked for crudely bringing down the flying Agathe.

The home side began to lose their patience when their strong shouts for a penalty were rejected after Varga appeared to be man-handled by Steven Pressley in the area.

The bad feeling continued when McKenna went for Jackie McNamara after a full-blooded challenge which earned the pair a yellow card.

Hearts were somehow hanging on and Henrik Larsson was unable turn the ball over the line after Sutton had directed Thompson corner to the opposite post.

O'Neill made a double substitution in the 62nd minute when McManus and Pearson made way for Petrov and Manchester United-bound Miller, who was applauded by the home fans.

The flow continued towards the Hearts goal and Sutton volleyed Agathe's cross wide in the 65th minute.

Bobo Balde squandered a glorious opportunity to pull his side level in the 71st minute but he headed Thompson's corner over from just six yards.

Hearts manager Craig Levein took McKenna off moments later and introduced want-away striker De Vries, but another departing player came close to giving Celtic the equaliser in the 75th minute.

McNamara and Larsson combined to tee up Miller and he blasted a right-foot shot just past the upright from the edge of the box.

Larsson was the next to go close as the nerves set in but he fired over the top after being found in acres of space by Sutton.

But they paid the harsh price for those missed chances when De Vries popped up in the 78th minute to increase Hearts' lead and stun the home crowd into silence.

It came from Neilson's throw-in and the Dutchman capitalised on a mistake by Balde to fire low past Marshall.

Larsson summed up Celtic's day with 10 minutes remaining when he fired into the side-netting.

Sutton, having been found in the box by substitute Liam Miller, gave them hope with three minutes of normal time remaining after Gordon had pushed his initial shot out.

Celtic thought they had snatched the equaliser moments later when Neilson cleared Larsson's header off the line and into the hands of the goalkeeper.

The fourth official signalled four minutes of injury-time and De Vries missed a golden chance to secure the points for Hearts with a wild swing of the foot.

That proved costly as Agathe stooped at the back post to force the ball past Gordon and into the roof of the net to spark wild celebrations among a disbelieving crowd.

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