Celtic-Hearts reaction: invaluable Giakoumakis antithesis of Morelos; Neilson a stuck record; Hearts fans show little respect

The 2-0 home win over Hearts that sent Celtic top wasn’t a day to relish for quite a few inside the arena.

Celtic's Giorgos Giakoumakis's attitude this seaosn has been first-class...which isn't a given for those strikers having to play the role of off-the-bench back-ups. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic's Giorgos Giakoumakis's attitude this seaosn has been first-class...which isn't a given for those strikers having to play the role of off-the-bench back-ups. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Giakoumakis the antithesis of Morelos

It was impossible not to draw parallels over the fates of strikers at each of the Scottish title rivals currently enduring meagre rations of game time. Giorgos Giakoumakis has yet to start for Celtic this season, despite excelling in the second half of the club’s title winning campaign. He is unfortunate to have Kyogo Furuhashi blocking his path. As a result, yesterday the Greek was only called on with 72 minutes on the clock.

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His response, though, was to channel his energies furiously in absolutely all the right ways, proving an integral, all-action team-mate, both through putting himself about in his opponents’ penalty box and haring back to help out his defence. All before he bagged the clincher second goal with seconds to go. Giakoumakis is a crucial presence for the Scottish champions, making his opportunities count and exhibiting a fantastic attitude when he could be forgiven for taking the hump. His manager Ange Postecoglou said this is “non-negotiable”. Yet, it isn’t a given. You need only look at the day before at Easter Road. The petulance then shown by Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos to get himself sent off for throwing an arm in the face of Marijan Cabraja – only 13 minutes after arriving as a 62nd-minute substitute – seemed borne of frustration at playing second fiddle to Antonio Colak this season.

Neilson a tiresome stuck record

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What do you do as a manager when you lose two players to two bookable offences when there is no dubiety over the four cautions that brought these dismissals about? If you are Hearts manager Robbie Neilson, you complain anyway. He is becoming a stuck record (ask your grandparents, kids) about refereeing in Glasgow. And, at the risk of mixing metaphors, he didn’t have a little toe – never mind a leg – to stand on in nipping about Kevin Clancy essentially not being strong enough in handling his team’s Celtic Park visit.

Rory Loy, co-commentating on Sportscene, provided a typically astute summation, in essence saying the two yellows shown to Alex Cochrane and the pair collected by Toby Sibbick for 89th and 90th-minute dismissals were bookings “all day long”.

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Hearts fans lack respect

A group of fans in the away end chose to sing through the early part of the minute’s applause in honour of a genuine Scottish football titan, John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, who died recently. It wasn’t a case of these Hearts supporters being unaware of the protocol. They acted deliberately, setting out to show a lack of respect. Glasgow’s big two don’t have a monopoly on undesirables. They simply have far more of them because they have far larger followings. Other fanbases too often are not held to high standards, which followers of the Tynecastle club fell way below here.

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