Date: 5th August 2017 at 6:35pm
Written by:

Champions Celtic made a confident 4-1 winning start in the early kick-off against Hearts at Celtic Park.

Leigh Griffiths scored twice, including opening their account from Nir Bitton’s through pass on the half-hour.

Scott Sinclair then took advantage of poor defensive work to add another early in the second-half before Griffiths headed a third goal.

Callum McGregor’s firm strike duly made it 4-0 with seventeen minutes remaining, until Isma Goncalves snatched the visitors a consolation.

The recalled Bitton headed an early Griffiths corner into the side-netting before Arnaud Djoum’s reply was easily dealt with by Craig Gordon.

His opposite number Jack Hamilton was certainly challenged by Griffiths’ powerful drive, but was though beaten when the same player took advantage of Bitton’s searching through ball.

Christophe Berra soon denied Griffiths a second, while Hamilton kept out James Forrest prior to the break and also McGregor from distance following it. But Sinclair then turned in Griffiths’ resultant corner.

McGregor subsequently twice tried his luck from distance before setting-up Griffiths for a close-range third goal.

That was soon added to when Sinclair turned sharply and allowed McGregor to lash in a fourth – that ahead of Goncalves grabbing the well-beaten visitors a late consolation.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Simunovic, Bitton, Tierney, Ntcham (Armstrong 87), Brown, Forrest, McGregor (Rogic 75), Sinclair, Griffiths (Hayes 67)

subs (unused): de Vries, Ajer, Ralston, Kouassi

Goals: Griffiths (29, 63), Sinclair (51), McGregor (73)

Hearts: Hamilton, Brandon, Hughes, Berra, Grzelak (Esmael Goncalves 69), Smith, Buaben (Randall 62), Cowie, Sutchuin-Djoum, Moore, Lafferty (Sammon 71)

subs (unused): Souttar, Nowak, Martin, Noring

Goals: Esmael Goncalves (84)

Ref: K. Clancy