Hearts boss Craig Levein should be proud of his team despite their 2-1 defeat to Celtic. His side bravely battled on with 10 men for almost 50 minutes following the sending-off of Jamie Brandon and only lost out to an injury time goal by Odsonne Edouard.
Hearts played excellently in the game, with Uche Ikpeazu in particular a stand-out performer. He bullied and harassed Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer. He can consider himself unfortunate to be on the losing side.
Levein’s recent decision to reinstate Zdeněk Zlámal in goal also paid off. He produced a series of excellent saves, and had no chance of either of Celtic’s goals.
Hearts can take plenty of heart from the defeat, and can look forward to Monday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final with Partick Thistle full of confidence.
They will be huge favourites to defeat the team that’s currently bottom of the Championship. And if they play similarly to how they did against Celtic, it should be a comfortable night for the Tynecastle side.
If Hearts end up facing Celtic in the Scottish Cup, they can look forward to the game despite the defeat on Wednesday night. They have showed that on their day they can match Celtic. And with a full complement of players on the park they would be confident of pulling off a victory.