HEARTS pulled off arguably their best ever European victory as they stunned the mighty Bayern Munich at Tynecastle
HEARTS were the talk of Europe after their smashing 1-0 win against mighty Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup.
The Jambos were a 66-1 shot to win the trophy before beating Bayern but those odds were sent tumbling down with this famous win.
Munich, the team with 12 away goals to their credit, were shut out comprehensively as Hearts maintained their record of not conceding a goal at home in four ties.
In fact, Henry Smith didn't have a save to make which is another way of saying he received maximum protection from an accomplished defence.
If Iain Ferguson was the match-winner with a beautifully-struck 25-yarder, then centre-half Dave McPherson was the team's most inspiring player.
He organised the back division superbly and his confidence in dealing with the Germans spread through the side to dispel any feeling of inferiority.
Bayern were not accustomed to being ruffled and the rumbustuous style of Hearts reduced the free-scoring men from Munich to an ordinary side.
While Alan McLaren and Ferguson were singled out by manager Alex MacDonald it was also good to see Craig Levein, who would later become a manager himself at Tynecastle, looking more like himself and there was non-stop running from Neil Berry and Kenny Black in midfield.
Bayern had looked quite menacing in the first 20 minutes before the park became churned up yet more dig was expected from a team with their reputation.
The Bayern players made a hasty exit from the ground as they were hustled back to their hotel by an angry management team.
Hearts did not create a single chance during a poor first half in which Levein escaped punishment for a penalty-box clash on Ekstrom. But Hearts turned on the pressure after their half-time talk. Eamonn Bannon had a vicious drive blocked and then, on 55 minutes, the goal arrived.
A foul on Black allowed Tosh McKinlay to touch the ball to Fergie whose terrific right-footer blasted inside the right-hand post.
McPherson had an opportunity to add a second goal in the closing minutes but might have felt he was offside and mis-hit his shot. At the other end, Grahammer wasn't far away in a last desperate throw by the Germans.
Wayne Foster took over from John Colquhoun with nine minutes left and Gary Mackay had an even briefer run as a replacement for Ferguson who signalled he was suffering from cramp.
So it was a great night for more than 26,000 fans who left Tynecastle with bright hopes of being back in Gorgie for the semi-final.
Manager MacDonald praised Ferguson for his late call to the bench on account of a bout of cramp.
"I keep emphasising that this is a 13-man game and the players are told to give us a signal if they want off."
There was a pre-match shock with the omission of Mackay from the team although the skipper was given a place on the bench and subsequently appeared near the end.
MacDonald added: "It was a hard decision to make to leave him out as Gary is such an enthusiast about the club.
"But he was untested after a hamstring injury and that influenced me."
Hearts: Smith, McLaren, McKinlay, McPherson, Berry, Levein, Galloway, Ferguson (Mackay), Colquhoun (Foster), Black, Bannon