Competition
  • Amistosos

HEARTS 1 - CELTIC 2

Sinclair delivers the goods on dream Celtic debut

Scott Sinclair marked his Celtic debut by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Hearts in their Premiership clash at Tynecastle on Sunday.

Sinclair delivers the goods on dream Celtic debut

Scott Sinclair marked his Celtic debut by scoring the winner in an ill-tempered 2-1 victory over Hearts in their Premiership clash at Tynecastle on Sunday.

The winger, who completed his 5.3 million euro move from Aston Villa just hours before kick-off, made a surging run to get on the end of Leigh Griffiths' cross and slot home an 81st-minute winner in a match that saw 11 players go into the book.

The visitors had opened the scoring in the eighth minute when James Forrest curled an effort past Jack Hamilton from the edge of the box. Jamie Walker levelled for Hearts from the penalty spot after they were awarded a dubious penalty in the 36th minute but Sinclair ensured Celtic made a winning start to their title defence in manager what was also Brendan Rodgers' debut in the Premiership.

Dundee top the table following a 3-1 win away to Ross County on Saturday. They are joined at the top by Partick Thistle, who won 2-0 at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and Motherwell, who claimed a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock. Celtic's bitter historic rivals Rangers needed a Martyn Waghorn goal midway through the second-half to salvage a point as they drew 1-1 with Hamilton on their return to the Premiership at Ibrox on Saturday.

Hearts made a lively start, both Tony Watt and Conor Sammon forcing early corners with deflected efforts. However, the champions laid down an early marker when Forrest fired them in front with their first attack of the game. The winger curled a shot beyond 'keeper Hamilton, whose view of it was blocked by Stuart Armstrong who was in an offside position, from the edge of the box.

Hearts should have equalised in the 24th minute when Hoops 'keeper Craig Gordon misjudged Callum Paterson's cross but former Celtic striker Watt somehow headed wide of the target from a couple of yards out. Celtic had a bad miss of their own moments later when Griffiths latched on to a long ball over the top, but the striker sent his lob into the side netting.

Hearts levelled the match after they were awarded a controversial penalty. Walker went down in the box following a challenge from Kieran Tierney although replays suggested there wasn't any contact. Gordon was booked for his protests before Walker converted the penalty past the former Hearts goalkeeper.

The home side then had Alim Ozturk to thank for heading an effort from Griffiths off the line before Watt twice came close for Hearts at the other end. Celtic started the second half strongly with Griffiths testing Hamilton with a series of strikes. The visiting fans were given their first glimpse of Sinclair on the hour mark when he replaced Stuart Armstrong and he marked his arrival 20 minutes later when he grabbed the winner as he tapped home Griffiths' cross.