Hearts made it three wins from three in the Premiership. Here, Craig Fowler looks at the main points from the match ..
Hearts are real deal
Will they be top of the league for the entirety of this season? Almost certainly not. However, Hearts have proven that they belong in the same conversation as Hibs, Aberdeen and, for the time being, even Rangers in the “best of the rest” category behind Celtic, who themselves don’t look like the all-conquering superpower they once were. Away to Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock is one of the most difficult trips in Scottish football right now but, while they may have been aided by the red card, Hearts thoroughly deserved the three points from this encounter. With a home game against St Mirren up next, Craig Levein’s men should fancy their chances of making it four wins out of four to begin the campaign.
Who needs Kyle Lafferty when you have Uche Ikpeazu? Ok, for 82 minutes Hearts looked like they were crying out for someone of Lafferty’s ilk, as they failed to make their territorial advantage count. However, in every other aspect of his game, Ikpeazu made fans immediately forget about their former hero. He bullied defenders with his strength and danced around them with the ball at his feet. He linked well with his fellow attackers and created numerous opportunities for the ball to be delivered into the penalty box by winning fouls. Then, to top it all off, he netted a superb header to claim all three points.
Jimmy signed, job Dunne
After signing on loan from Burnley last week, Jimmy Dunne was pitched straight into the starting XI after injury ruled out Aaron Hughes. It meant that, at just 21 years old, John Souttar was the veteran presence at the heart of the defence. Although, you wouldn’t have known from their performance, as each centre-back put in a calm and authoritative display to help preserve a clean sheet. Dunne, in particular, played a vital role, including a vital clearance in the dying seconds when Kirk Broadfoot ghosted into the six-yard box. Comfortable with both feet and already showing a keen eye for danger, Dunne looks to be a strong addition.