Bhoys undone at Tynecastle
10-man Celtic succumb to Bouzid's headed winner
Last Updated: 20/12/09 4:20pm
Hearts come from behind to win
Celtic lost ground on Rangers in the SPL title race after slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle.
The visitors dominated the opening exchanges and they went ahead when Georgios Samaras stabbed home from close range after Scott McDonald's backpost header crashed off the post from Barry Robson's corner.
However, the game turned in an instant when Gary Caldwell hauled down Jamie Mole in the penalty area resulting in a red card and Hearts levelled matters from 12-yards out through Michael Stewart.
The 10-men were unlucky not to retake the lead when Aiden McGeady's shot struck the post and they paid the price with Ismael Bouzid heading home David Templeton's peach of a cross on 77 minutes.
Celtic threw everything at the home side in the closing stages with Marc-Antoine Fortune heading against the post, but they were unable to prevent slipping to their second SPL defeat of the season.
The Hoops looked solid enough in the early stages and midfielder McGeady, booed by the home fans with his every touch, set Scott McDonald up in the ninth minute but he blazed his right-footed drive from 30 yards high over the bar.
A minute later, though, Eggert Jonsson, playing in the Hearts midfield, tested Hoops' keeper Artur Boruc with a drive from similar distance before Samaras' header was saved by Jambos keeper Marian Kello at the other end.
In the 16th minute McGeady drove forward and released Samaras on the left side of the box and this time Kello pushed the side-footed shot on to the post and behind for a corner, which the Edinburgh side survived.
Moments later, Templeton mis-kicked his volley from 12 yards but still had time to have another attempt with his head but the ball went wide of the far post.
However, in the 21st minute, after the impressive McGeady won a corner, Celtic took the lead.
Robson's inswinging cross from the right was headed off the back post by McDonald but the unmarked Samaras swept the rebound into the net from eight yards.
It was the fifth consecutive game in which Samaras had found the net and his 10th of the season. It looked like the visitors would cruise to three points but in the 31st minute the Jambos were back in the game.
Caldwell was controversially sent off after conceding a last-man penalty on Mole, after Hoops defender Glenn Loovens had allowed McGeady's header to go through into his own box.
Stewart sent Boruc the wrong way with spot-kick and immediately substitute Stephen McManus replaced Marc Crosas to shore up the Parkhead defence.
Off the post
The game's dynamic had changed by the time the second half began but in the 51st minute the home side rode their luck when McGeady's wonderful right-footed strike from 30 yards sped past Kello only to rebound off the post.
The Parkhead side took heart from that near miss and moments later Samaras fired just wide of the target from the edge of the box after he had again turned the Hearts defence with ease.
Moments later, Hearts left-back Lee Wallace did well to thwart McDonald at the near post after great work again by Samaras who had left Bouzid in his wake.
Jambos' substitute striker Christian Nade replaced Scott Robinson just before the hour mark as the home side tried to make the most of their numerical advantage.
But it was Samaras who missed a good chance in the 61st minute, blasting over the bar from 16 yards after McDonald had robbed Goncalves to set him up.
Fortune then came on for McDonald. Celtic were clearly on top but the game dramatically turned Hearts' way in the 76th minute when Templeton's deep cross from the right was headed in by Bouzid for his first goal for the club.
The Algerian defender, booked earlier for gesturing at the visiting support, was immediately substituted for Marius Zaliukas as Mowbray, in an act of desperation, sent on winger Niall McGinn for right-back Andreas Hinkel.
The Parkhead men threw everything forward and with five minutes remaining Loovens had a net-bound header cleared off the line by Craig Thomson before Kello made a point-blank save from Fortune as somehow Hearts managed to see the game out.