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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dream start for Sinclair

Hearts 1 Celtic 2: Scott signs for Celtic and scores on same day

Leigh Griffiths (l) and Scott Sinclair after their league opener Photo:Ian Rutherford/PA
Leigh Griffiths (l) and Scott Sinclair after their league opener Photo:Ian Rutherford/PA

Scott Sinclair kicked off his Celtic career in style by coming off the bench to score the late winner in a 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership victory over Hearts.

The 27-year-old's four-year deal following a transfer from Aston Villa was only announced yesterday morning and he watched from the dugout at Tynecastle as James Forrest drove the visitors into the lead in the eighth minute of a typically feisty encounter between these two teams.

Gorgie midfielder Jamie Walker won and converted a penalty in the 36th minute and the second half continued to ebb and flow before Sinclair replaced Stuart Armstrong just after the hour mark.

Tucked

In the 81st minute he showed why Brendan Rodgers had brought him to Glasgow when he tucked away a Leigh Griffiths cross for a dream debut.

With Rangers drawing 1-1 with Hamilton at Ibrox on Saturday and Aberdeen playing out a goalless draw with St Johnstone earlier yesterday the champions took the chance to put immediate pressure on their realistic title challengers, thanks to their newest recruit.

It was a confident start by the Jambos but they fell behind following a swift Celtic break where Callum McGregor was challenged inside the box by defender Igor Rossi.

The ball fell invitingly to Forrest, who smartly sent his shot past the hands of Gorgie keeper Jack Hamilton. However, Armstrong appeared to be offside and in his line of vision.

However, Hearts drew level in controversial circumstances when referee John Beaton adjudged Parkhead left-back Kieran Tierney to have fouled Walker in the box and after keeper Craig Gordon was booked for delaying the spot-kick, the Jambos midfielder sent him the wrong way with his shot.

Tempo

There was no let-up in tempo although the windy conditions played havoc with play. Hearts finished the half stronger, drawing two saves from Gordon, the second one especially impressive from a powerful drive.

There was a Hearts penalty claim when substitute Robbie Muirhead, on for Watt, was challenged by Kolo Toure but this time it was ignored by Beaton.

However, moments later there was even more drama as Griffiths raced down the left before sending in a cross which Sinclair flicked past Hamilton to the glee of both the former England Under-21 player and the Hoops fans behind the goal.

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