Hearts debrief: Gordon the Great, Schrödinger's Popescu, Haring sympathy

A look back at Hearts’ 2-1 win over Dundee at Tynecastle Park which increased the team’s lead at the top of the Championship to 15 points.

Sunday, 7th March 2021, 4:24 pm
Armand Gnanduillet impressed against Dundee. Picture: SNS
Armand Gnanduillet impressed against Dundee. Picture: SNS

Player of the match

Unlike in previous weeks there are a number of contenders with Michael Smith and Andy Halliday putting in fine performances with Gary mackay-Steven’s influence growing slowly but surely. However, at either end of the pitch there were key contributions. Armand Gnanduillet put Hearts in a commanding position with an assist, goal and an effective all-round performance, allowing Liam Boyce more freedom. And then there was Craig Gordon who ensured the lead wasn’t whittled away and another draw. He produced not one but two double saves, the second of which was excellent.

Defining moment

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Mihai Popescu. Schrödinger's centre-back. Rather than both alive and dead, both comfortable and erratically uncomfortable. In the first half he produced a splendid sliding tackle to deny Danny Mullen. If he mistimed it, he was heading for an early bath, if Mullen evaded him he was through on goal at 0-0. Fast forward to just after the hour and the Romanian spoiled what had been a faultless display by needlessly going to ground, conceding a penalty with the game becoming nervy for the home side.

Ref watch

Don Robertson earned the praise of James McPake after the match. There could be no complaints about the penalty awarded to the visitors, while you can definitely see why Peter Haring was shown a straight red card.

Benefit of hindsight

Take a touch, Gary. Take a touch. It was an egregious miss by the attacker. But it was refreshing to see it wasn't playing on his mind when he brilliantly set up Armand Gnanduillet for the second goal.

Moment you may have missed

Two reactions from two players after two separate incidents. Andy Halliday’s goal was met by a release of frustration and elation by the player. The goal meant a lot to him. The celebration seemed a really personal one as he screamed looking at the ground before jumping in the air and punching above him. Contrast that with Peter Haring’s dejection after being shown a straight red card in his first appearance since the start of the year. It was difficult to not feel sorry for the Austrian as he remonstrated and then exited the field slowly with a look of disbelief.

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How the Hearts players rated in the key 2-1 success over Dundee