Celtic came out with a 3-1 win against Hearts in a game that could’ve ended vastly different if the visitors had taken their chances. But a brace from Bayo in his first start of the season and a long-range stunner from Callum McGregor was enough for the three points on the day.
With a devastating loss at the hands of CFR Cluj and protests brewing among their fans, Celtic’s season was in danger of going off the tracks this time last week. And while a 2-1 win against second division, Dunfermline Athletic, would not have done much for their confidence, two wins on the trot against AIK Stockholm and Hearts FC certainly has helped steady the ship.
While Sunday’s performance was far from convincing, Hearts were always expected to be tough opposition. Despite dominating possession and scoring three goals, the defence looked shaky and if the Hearts attackers would have been more clinical, the scoreline could have been much different. A win is a win though and Celtic fans will surely be happy with the three points and a third successive victory.
Here is how we rated the players on Sunday in their 3-1 win over Hearts:
Fraser Forster – 6.5
Had a horror moment in the first half when he came out of his area but failed to clear and then took out a Hearts attacker to earn himself a yellow card. Made some decent saves though even saving the penalty but was unlucky that the rebound fell to Washington.
Kris Ajer – 7.5
We are quickly running out of superlatives for the Norwegian. Playing out of position again in the absence of Elhamed but did brilliantly throughout the game. Bombarded down the right flank and grabbed an assist with a brilliant grounded cross for Bayo to make it 3-0. An injury scare at the end for the second week running though will have the fans sweating with the important second leg against AIK coming up.
Nir Bitton – 6.5
Had a few shaky moments at the end but was solid for the most part. His passing was hot and cold, with some falling at the feet of his teammates while others 50 yards off target. Not bad though from the man Neil Lennon relies on to fill in gaps whenever somebody is injured..
Christopher Jullien – 6.5
The Frenchman is slowly starting to settle in after a shaky first few appearances. While his passing was off, he was solid in all other aspects and Celtic fans will hoping this is only a sign of things to come.
Boli Bolingoli – 6
The Belgian has faced the ire of fans and pundits alike since his move to the Scottish Champions earlier in the season. And while his earlier performances certainly deserved criticism, it appears that the left-back is finally finding his feet at Parkhead. After a solid display against AIK on Thursday, Bolingoli backed it up with another decent performance against Hearts. Of course there are still holes in his game but he appears much more reliable now than he did just a few weeks ago.