At Parkhead, on Saturday, Hearts took a leaf out of the Continental manual of football and beat Celtic for the first time since 1969. Their negative approach, which probably created a new record in the number of passes back to a goalkeeper, irritated the spectators, but it brought a success in the form of a 1-0 victory. Celtic allowed themselves to be frustrated by the 'go-slow' tactics of their opponents, and yet, although they never played to their exiciting best, they still made several chances and should have won easily.
Although Hearts' style failed to enchant, they scored a fine goal, cleverly engineered by Colquhoun and Clark and smartly executed by Robertson. The unexpected defeat cost Celtic the chance of consolidating their premier division lead, as they are not joined at the top by Aberdeen and Rangers, each with 14 points.
It required a late goal by a substitute, Gray, to give Aberdeen a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with Hibernian at Easter Road. The game was a fine advertisement for the Skol league cup final between these teams later this month at Hampden and confirmed that the Edinburgh team's revival is no mere flash in the pan. Cowan, the former Aberdeen forward, had opened the scoring for Hibernian in the first-half, which was dominated by the home side. When the visitors moved into championship form after the interval, they found Rough, the Hibernian goalkeeper, who is again challenging for his place in the international side, in defiant mood.
No team, however, was more delighted than Rangers, for whom misfortunes have mounted, with the club sliding out of both Europe and the league cup and landing in trouble with the authorities over the behaviour of players in the unruly match with Aberdeen.
They drew 1-1 with Dundee United away from home and returned to share the league leadership, mainly because of the sharp marksmanship of McCoist who, in the 67th minute, equalized a United goal scored by Bannon from a penalty. United were, perhaps, the superior side, but, once again, they were let down by the poor finishing, which has been their weakness this season.
St Mirren remain in fourth position following their 1-0 victory over Dundee at Paisley.
Bonner; McGrain, Aitken, McGugan, Burns; Grant, P McStay, MacLeod; Provan, Johnston, McClair
Smith; Kidd, W Jardine, Levein, Whittaker; I Jardine, Berry, Mackay; Colquhoun (Black), Clark, Robertson (Watson)
Scorer: Robertson (32)
Sign in or