Greece international striker Georgios Samaras scored the vital goal as Celtic returned to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Hearts
Last Updated: October 7, 2012 6:50pm
Georgios Samaras (far right) celebrates his goal against Hearts with his Celtic team-mates
Georgios Samaras scored the vital goal as Celtic returned to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Hearts.
Samaras drilled the ball under substitute keeper Peter Enckelman from just inside the box after the Hearts defence was opened up by a wonderfully weighted pass from Kris Commons on 34 minutes.
Jamie MacDonald advanced to block a Charlie Mulgrew shot inside the box after he played a one-two with Commons before the Hearts keeper was carried off following a clash of heads with the Celtic defender as the pair challenged for an Emilio Izaguirre cross.
Hearts almost opened the scoring in controversial circumstances when Andy Driver appeared to bundle Kelvin Wilson over on the goal-line and cut the ball back for Callum Paterson who scooped wide from eight yards - the Celtic defender was booked for remonstrating with referee Craig Thomson over the challenge.
Commons then delivered a deep chip from the left side of the penalty area and Samaras cushioned his volley against the post shortly before the duo linked again to better effect.
Ryan Stevenson crashed a drive inches wide from 25 yards and Fraser Forster tipped a fierce shot from Mehdi Taouil over the bar, while Gary Hooper was a foot away from turning a low delivery from Commons over the line at the other end.
In injury time Samaras broke forward and found Miku in the right side of the penalty area and the substitute's low return zipped past the big Greek across the six-yard box, before Driver caused a scare for the home fans when he dragged a low shot wide after slack play from Efe Ambrose.