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Celtic 3-0 Hearts: Kyogo Furuhashi sends Hoops six points clear of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League | Football news

Match report as Celtic claim a comfortable 3-0 victory over Hearts in the Scottish Premiership; Kyogo Furuhashi strikes twice in the first half before Matt O’Riley scores a late penalty; Celtic six points clear of Rangers, who play Kilmarnock on Sunday; Celtic host Rangers live on Sky Sports on May 11

7:15 PM, UK, Saturday May 4, 2024

Kyogo Furuhashi hit his first double of the season as Celtic’s 3-0 win over Hearts kept alive the prospect of a title celebration against Rangers.

The Japanese forward was on target twice in the first half and Matt O’Riley converted a late penalty as the Scottish Premiership leaders moved six points and eight goals clear of Rangers, who host Kilmarnock on Sunday before meeting on May 11 faced Celtic. Air sports.

Anything less than a Rangers win tomorrow would give Celtic the chance to clinch a third successive title when they host their city rivals next Saturday.

Even if Rangers were to beat Kilmarnock, a derby win for Brendan Rodgers’ side would leave them on the brink of Championship success and they warmed up for the biggest game of the season with an impressive display at a noisy Celtic Park.

How Celtic came closer to the title

Hearts had won the previous two meetings between the teams, but Celtic were at full strength for the first time this season after Daizen Maeda recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place on the bench.

The visitors gave their best in the opening phase and came close to taking a lead from the first minute. Lawrence Shankland looked certain to score after Dexter Lembikisa’s cut-back, but Cameron Carter-Vickers threw himself in the way of the striker’s attempt to divert the ball behind for a corner.

The home side took the lead in the fourth minute after Zander Clark smashed Matt O’Riley’s corner to the edge of the penalty area. Reo Hatate threw the ball back into the goal mouth, so that Furuhashi nodded home. Although Shankland had retreated to the line, there was a close VAR check for offside as Clark was initially ahead of the Celtic striker when Hatate collected the ball.

Furuhashi after scoring Celtic’s opener

Hearts were soon racing again as Joe Hart produced a brilliant one-handed stop from Cammy Devlin’s volley and Carter-Vickers headed just over as the end-to-end action continued.

But Celtic doubled their lead in the 21st minute after O’Riley slotted a ball over the visiting defense. Furuhashi cushioned a volley with his weaker right foot into the bottom corner of the net.

Celtic finished the half strongly with Clark making saves from Greg Taylor, O’Riley and Furuhashi, each better than the last.

The leaders picked up where they left off after the break with Clark making a double stop from Hatate and O’Riley before James Forrest went close twice.

Furuhashi scores in Celtic’s second match against Hearts

The noise from the home fans increased as Celtic looked to increase their goal difference, and sliding tackles from Callum McGregor and Furuhashi as they returned led to ovations not far from what had greeted the goals.

Hearts had one chance in the second half but Hart rose to make a last-ditch stop from Yutaro Oda after the Japanese forward played a one-two with fellow substitute Scott Fraser.

O’Riley struck an 87th-minute penalty into the top corner after Shankland was penalized for handball and referee Kevin Clancy was called to his monitor, before substitute Maeda was denied from close range by Clark.

Rodgers: We can have some fun against Rangers

Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his side’s performance in their 3-0 win over Hearts and says the energy from the home crowd propelled them to victory. He also says the atmosphere will be similar when they face Rangers next week.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said:

“I feel like it’s getting back to what I want. A bit of the norm. I said before that the first six months were a challenge for everyone and everything. But now you’re starting to see a little bit more of what a Celtic team is. do.” mine should look like this.

“And there is still a lot of work to be done to get to that point. But things are certainly going in the right direction.

“Eighty percent of that is now mental. Physically they are in a very good place. This phase is all about mindset. You can see that we are in a very good place mentally.

“Don’t take anything for granted, keep our composure. We have a lot of work to do this week, get our plan in place and then we can have some fun next Saturday.”

Naismith: We didn’t take our chances

Steven Naismith says Celtic have ‘used to the environment’ as Hearts lost 3-0 in Glasgow, and he is also confident he can build on a successful season going into next season.

Hearts manager Steven Naismith said:

“We started very well and they were two teams that felt comfortable enough with the ball. The difference was probably that we didn’t take our chances and they did. In games, goals change the dynamics.

“We concede the first one, which was a bad, bad goal from us, because we have the best defensive record from set plays, so early in the game.

“I thought then we had the ball in our hands and created some chances. You can come to Celtic Park and not create chances, but we had some really good chances. They don’t go in, either through a good save or through not us.” do it well enough.

“With the second goal we give the ball away too cheaply. We don’t have a good structure and it’s a simple goal for Celtic. If you start doing that it will be a tough challenge.”

What’s next?

With three games left this season, Celtic are at home Rangers in a huge Old Firm clash next Sunday and then visiting Kilmarnock on May 15 in two matches that could seal the Scottish Premiership title – both live on Sky Sports — before ending their season at Saint Mirren on May 18.

Hearts are at home Dundee next Saturday and then visit Saint Mirren on May 15, before ending their campaign at home Rangers on May 18 at Tynecastle Park.