Neil McGlade looks back at the action as Hearts crashed to a heavy defeat at Celtic Park.
Ben Garuccio a big positive despite the margin of defeat
The Australian could probably have considered himself a tad unfortunate not to have retained his place in the starting line-up for the visit to Glasgow. Demetri Mitchell was preferred in the left-back slot and Levein made that very substitution at half-time, although it did appear as if Mitchell was carrying an injury and might have been enforced.
The youngster, to his credit, grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and wasn’t scared to put himself about. Garuccio stuck admirably to his defensive duties but showed real intent in the final third and was unlucky to see his 20-yard effort come crashing back off the post as Hearts looked to reduce the arrears.
Hearts haven’t scored in their last three games
It’s hardly the time to panic. Scoring goals hadn’t been a problem for free-flowing Hearts prior to last weekend’s Betfred Cup semi-final defeat. The fixtures albeit haven’t been kind to them with a clash against city rivals Hibs sandwiched in between consecutive matchups against Celtic. That said, the Jam Tarts have lacked a cutting edge in the final third in each of the aforementioned games and Levein will hope, that without the absent Steven Naismith, his players can soon find the trigger again.
All is not lost
Although the past week has been a difficult one to digest for the club both on and off the park, here we are just seven weeks away from Christmas and Hearts are still top of the Ladbrokes Premiership. The visit of Kilmarnock this weekend completes a tough period of fixtures for the Tynecastle outfit before a more favourable run-in could see the Jam Tarts rediscover their mojo. Celtic are closing in, make no mistake about it, but there’s still a five-point gap over Rangers and Kilmarnock, not to mention an eight-point lead over Capital rivals Hibs.