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Craig Gordon’s ‘world-class’ saves key to Hearts victory, says Robbie Neilson

By August 28, 2021No Comments

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson hailed “world-class” saves from goalkeeper Craig Gordon for helping his side seal victory over Dundee United at Tannadice.

The visitors scored just before the break through Liam Boyce, following up after his penalty was saved, and at the death through Armand Gnanduillet to complete a 2-0 win.

Between the goals, though, Gordon pulled off a series of stunning stops, the pick of them from a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick.

Neilson said: “I would agree with the saves being called world class. He had nothing to do for 70 minutes and then Charlie Mulgrew hits a free-kick into the top bin and I always thought he would save it because he can read it.

“His experience now and his quality and his reactions are top level.

“Hopefully, he will get three more caps to his collection with Scotland.

“I’ve said since he came in the door that he should be Scotland number one. He’s 37 but he’s still got a number of years left in him.

“He’s looked after himself and he’s not got that many miles on the clock because of his injury issues in his career. He’s still fresh and I am delighted to have him.”

On his side’s display, Neilson added: “I thought first half we played really well.

“We had a lot of possession and opportunities. If we had got more than one it would have been more comfortable in the second half, but one is always difficult.

“So I am delighted with the three points. It has been a really good start and now we can focus on Hibs.”

United boss Tam Courts agreed that Gordon’s heroics were the difference between the teams.

He said: “As the second half wore on, we gradually took more of a foothold in the game.

“We were in the ascendancy and it was wave after wave of attack.

“But, unfortunately for us, Hearts have a world-class goalkeeper. Craig made two world-class saves and then we were caught with a sucker punch to make it 2-0.

“We know he’s a top keeper and we have celebrated him being a top keeper for Scotland.

“But the free-kick stop from Charlie Mulgrew – I was behind it and thought it was going in the top corner.

“You face that type of quality against the top teams, but I felt we were worthy of something from the game.”