Three takeaways from Hearts' 5-0 defeat to Celtic

Analysis from Parkhead after Daniel Stendel's side endure a chastening night against rampant league leaders

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 10:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 10:30 pm
Marcel Langer was shown a straight red card for a "horrendous" lunge on Scott Brown.

Jeepers keepers

Joel Pereira's status as Hearts' No.1 is surely now under serious threat after the goalkeeper made a costly error for the third league game in succession. Hearts had been fairly comfortable in the first half hour and seemed to be making a game of it until the on-loan Manchester United keeper meekly parried Odsonne Edouard's effort straight into the path of Olivier Ntcham who bundled in the rebound. To exacerbate the situation, Pereira should arguably have been able to push the goal-scorer's follow-up effort round the post. He did also make four decent saves at Parkhead, but his basic errors are now killing Hearts' survival bid. It is surely now time for Zdenek Zlamal or Colin Doyle to take over.

Tough night for McDonald

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Anthony McDonald was a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup for the first time under Daniel Stendel. The 18-year-old's inclusion on the right wing also represented his first start for Hearts since a Betfred Cup game against Stenhousemuir in July, and - perhaps understandably given the calibre of opposition and his lack of recent game time - he struggled to make an impact in the early stages. Hearts had generally been competing well to that point and Daniel Stendel clearly felt that with more aggressive pressing in the front area his team could get themselves some joy. He made the bold decision after just 29 minutes to send on the more experienced Conor Washington in place of McDonald. The youngster looked crestfallen and was consoled by the coaching staff as he came off.

Slow start from Langer

New midfielder Marcel Langer has had an underwhelming start to his Hearts career. The 22-year-old German has started against Kilmarnock and Falkirk and played as a second-half sub against Celtic and it says much about his lack of impact to date that his most notable moment so far was a reckless tackle that resulted in a straight red card in the closing stages at Celtic Park. Neil Lennon described his challenge on Brown as "absolutely horrendous" and said he "could have done some serious damage" to the Celtic captain.