Forgot Password




Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications

Login using

Email Reset


Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Europe

Gary Hooper © Action Images

Hooper's double keeps Hoops clear at top

In-demand striker Gary Hooper showed his worth to Celtic on Saturday as he grabbed a double in their 4-1 win over Hearts that keeps the Hoops nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Celtic looked re-energised after the two-week winter break and it took just 90 seconds for Hooper, who was the subject of a rejected £5 million bid from Premiership side Norwich City in midweek, to open the scoring when he prodded home Adam Matthews' cross.

The Hoops quickly doubled their advantage in the 12th minute when Samaras was on hand to tap home after Jamie MacDonald had saved Kris Commons' initial shot.

Hooper then thought he had grabbed a double when he converted a Commons cross in the 51st minute only to see the flag up for offside.

However, despite dominating proceedings, the home side failed to kill off Hearts' hopes and they found a way back into the match through a deflected Jason Holt strike in the 69th minute to set up a nervy finish.

With time running out Hooper fired a fierce strike past MacDonald in the 85th minute before substitute Lassad Nouioui wrapped up the scoring in stoppage time to keep them nine clear of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who claimed a 3-0 win over Aberdeen.

At Celtic Park, Lukasz Zaluska was handed a rare start in place of injured keeper Fraser Forster while Commons and Joe Ledley returned from injury.

Hearts were without suspended captain Marius Zaliuskas and Ryan Stevenson but handed a debut to on-loan Liverpool defender Danny Wilson.

However, the former Rangers player had a horror start to his Hearts career when his side found themselves 1-0 down after just 90 seconds. Matthews got the break of the ball off a Hearts player and broke into the box before squaring the ball to Hooper who prodded it home from six yards out.

The Hoops didn't have to wait long to double their advantage with Samaras making it 2-0 in the 12th minute. Commons turned Kevin McHattie on the right wing before racing in the box and firing in a shot that keeper MacDonald could only push into the path of the Greek striker who rolled the ball into the net from eight yards.

Zaluska was having a quiet day deputising for Forster but had to be alert to stop substitute Jamie Walker's low drive after he had raced into the Celtic box just after the interval.

Celtic had the ball in the net again in the 51st minute when Hooper converted a Commons cross but his celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee's flag.

The Jambos showed more fight in the second half and Walker cleared the crossbar with a shot from just inside the box before Holt handed Hearts hope when he pulled one back in the 69th minute with a shot that took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Zaluska on its way into the bottom left-hand corner.

After some nervy moments Celtic made sure of the points when Hooper made it 3-1 in the 85th minute. Brown burst into the box and rolled the ball to the English striker whose low angled strike flew past MacDonald for his 20th of the season.

There was still time for substitute Lassad to make it 4-1 when he met Emilio Izaguirre's cross at the far post to fire high into the net from close range.


Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
Xbox 360
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk

Carol Radull
Was Arsenal playing football?
What on earth was that? What was that game Arsenal were playing in Germany on Tuesday night?

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The pressure is on at Man United
By the time the summer transfer window closed in Europe, Manchester United had spent heavily. Times...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Reds back in Europe with a win
The Champions League is all about high octane action and last minute goals and that’s exactly what...

John Dykes
Copa BPL is the way to go
Monday night’s game at the KC Stadium provided another reminder that 2014/2015 could well turn out...

Gary Al-Smith
What Appiah's axing says about Africans
Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah knew he would be sacked. He did not expect it to be so messy though.

Claudia Ekai
How the mighty fell
African football history tells many stories of the rise and fall of stars that once had the world...