12 Aug Week to forget for Celtic as ‘proper Hearts’ return
Hearts top the Ladbrokes Premiership after ending the second weekend of action as the only team on maximum points.
Here are five other things we learned from the latest fixtures.
1. Celtic’s week went from bad to worse
After losing out on John McGinn to Aston Villa, Brendan Rodgers’ frustration with the club’s transfer progress was compounded by a score draw at Parkhead against AEK Athens in the Champions League qualifiers. But events deteriorated further as Dedryck Boyata’s agent hit out at the club following Fulham’s failed £9million bid for the defender. Boyata was absent from Celtic’s 1-0 defeat by Hearts amid what Rodgers described as a “couple of issues medically” and his agent insisted the Belgium international would not play unless 100 per cent fit.
2. The “old Hearts” are back
According to Kyle Lafferty, Hearts are back to “fighting” their way through 90 minutes after his goal downed Celtic in a physical contest at Tynecastle. “That’s the proper Hearts that I used to play against eight-nine years ago,” he told BBC Scotland.
3. Aberdeen may have to place their faith in teenager Bruce Anderson
The 19-year-old made himself an instant Pittodrie hero on his debut last week when he climbed off the bench to score a stoppage-time equaliser against Rangers. And he came close to another stunning introduction against Dundee on Saturday when he came on midway through the second half and swiftly cracked the crossbar with a stunning volley. In the end it took a Gary Mackay-Steven penalty to seal a 1-0 win at Dens Park after frontmen Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove again failed to prove a realistic threat to their opponents. Derek McInnes is set to step up his bid for a new striker this week but if he is foiled again the Aberdeen boss may have no other option but to chuck his boy wonder into his starting line-up.
4. Steven Boyd has magic in his boots
The Hamilton forward produced one of the best first touches in a football match when he volleyed home from 25 yards seconds after coming on against Motherwell. Boyd was loaned to Livingston for the second half of last season and failed to net for the promoted side, but Martin Canning was effusive in his praise for the 21-year-old’s talent after his side’s 1-0 derby win. “It was a fantastic strike, but he has so much magic in him – it’s just a question of getting it out,” Canning said.
5. Livingston will be competitive
After refusing to fold in a 3-1 opening defeat by Celtic, Kenny Miller’s side faced a more telling challenge against Kilmarnock in the first top-flight match at the Tony Macaroni Arena for 12 years. A hard-fought goalless draw, against a team that have only lost five times since September last year, showed they can mix it in the Premiership.