Sunday, May 26, 2024

Celtic 3-0 Hearts: Kyogo sends hosts six points clear of Rangers

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 4 May 2024

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Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice in the first half as Celtic defeated Hearts 3-0 on Saturday to move six points clear of rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership title race.

Rangers host Kilmarnock on Sunday for their game in hand, but Celtic, who also have a better goal difference, remain in control of the title race as things stand.

Celtic will then host Rangers in next week’s pivotal Old Firm derby.

Lawrence Shankland almost gave Hearts a dream start when his effort deflected just wide in the opening minute, but from that point on, despite some strong spells of play in the opening half, the visitors never looked likely to record what would have been their third consecutive win over Celtic.

Kyogo had Celtic two goals up inside 21 minutes in a hammer blow to Hearts, who are all but certain to finish in third place this season.

A Matt O’Riley penalty three minutes from time ended any faint hopes of a Hearts comeback, sealing a result that puts further pressure on Rangers.

Data Debrief: O’Riley key to Celtic success

Kyogo’s early header was set up by Reo Hatate, while it was O’Riley who set up the second goal with a superb pass that the Japan international met with a first-time finish.

O’Riley, who later added his penalty, now has 14 goals and 12 assists in the Premiership this season. His goal tally is the highest of any Celtic player, while the creative total is the best in the whole league.

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