EDINBURGH (AFP) – Celtic booked their place in the Scottish Cup fifth round with an emphatic 4-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday after the Edinburgh side played 82 minutes with 10 men.
Hearts captain Morgaro Gomis was handed a straight red for an early reckless tackle before Virgil van Dijk fired Celtic into a 29th minute lead. John Guidetti earned and despatched a controversial 52nd minute penalty before Anthony Stokes added a third two minutes later.
Van Dijk headed home his second of the game in the 61st minute as Celtic emphatically ended Hearts’ perfect record at home this season.
It was the Scottish Premiership leaders’ 10th consecutive win against Hearts. Celtic also knocked them out of the League Cup earlier this season. Celtic will be joined in the draw for the fifth round by Old Firm rivals Rangers, who easily saw off Premiership side Kilmarnock 3-0 at Ibrox.
A breath-taking start at Tynecastle saw runaway Championship leaders Hearts go straight on the attack with James Keating testing goalkeeper Craig Gordon with an early shot from outside the box.
However, the home side were dealt a huge blow in the eighth minute when Gomis saw red for a reckless two-footed challenge on Celtic captain Scott Brown.
Celtic began to see more and more of the ball but without troubling ‘keeper Neil Alexander with Adam Matthews firing wildly off target before Nir Bitton saw his deflected effort trundle wide of the post.
However, Celtic weren’t held back for long and took the lead in the 29th minute through Van Dijk.
The Hearts defence failed to clear a corner and the Dutch defender was able to stick out a foot to steer a sliced shot from Stokes into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Van Dijk then missed a golden chance to grab his second of the game when he somehow scooped the ball over the bar from a couple of yards out after connecting with Stokes’ low corner.