Lennon attack overshadows win

Neil Lennon was attacked by a fan at Tynecastle as Celtic kept their Scottish Premier League title hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Hearts.

Last Updated: 11/05/11 at 22:28

Lennon: Fends off Hearts supporter

Lennon: Fends off Hearts supporter

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

When Gary Hooper scored his second goal in the 49th minute - after Jambos midfielder David Obua had been sent off by referee Craig Thomson before the break for raising a hand to Charlie Mulgrew

- a supporter came out the main stand to grapple with the Parkhead boss.

An astonishing melee ensued and the intruder was eventually marched up the tunnel by police but that was not the end of the trouble as some fans in the Celtic section of the ground appeared to fight with stewards and police.

There was more controversy to come when Kris Commons grabbed Celtic's third in the 77th minute, moments after he was booked for simulation.

The Hoops midfielder was sent off for leaving the field of play in celebration as the visitors finished the game one point behind Old Firm rivals Rangers going in to the last game of the season on Sunday.

The spotlight will in time turn to Motherwell's visit to Parkhead and Rangers' game against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park but for the next few days the Lennon incident will dominate with investigations sure to to be carried out.

It was relatively calm beforehand.

As expected skipper Marius Zaliukas and keeper Marian Kello were restored to the Hearts team having been unavailable for selection in recent weeks, Kello due to a private matter and Zaliukas reportedly prevented from playing by majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.

Eggert Jonsson kept his place after the Gorgie club appealed his sending off against Rangers at the weekend which added a little more intrigue.

Ironically, Lennon had vowed to keep his cool at a venue where, last November, he had been sent to the stand by referee Thomson after clashing with fourth official Steven McLean during a 2-0 defeat, and then charged with excessive misconduct by the Scottish Football Association.

However, despite having their third-place finish confirmed with Rangers' 2-0 win over fourth-placed Dundee United at Ibrox on Tuesday night, the Gorgie club had their own concerns, not least surrounding their recent form which had left them with only one win in their previous 10 games.

Yesterday manager Jim Jefferies was forced to insist he had no intention of resigning despite the interference of Vladimir Romanov in team selection.

It was against this backdrop an enthralling game began and the Parkhead side looked more at ease on the sodden pitch and zipped the ball around with some purpose and assurance.

In the 11th minute Commons made some space 25 yards from goal before sending a vicious shot wide of the target.

A minute later the Scotland midfielder was instrumental in Celtic taking the lead through Hooper.

He dispossessed a sluggish-looking Zaliukas to leave the Jambos defence totally exposed before setting up the former Scunthorpe striker with the easy task of slotting past Kello from inside the box.

The Tynecastle side looked in some disarray and moments later Hoops stopper Daniel Majstorovic headed a Commons corner from the left high and wide.

In the 25th minute, after Jambos midfielder Ian Black was booked for a two-footed tackle on Georgios Samaras - back in the side after suspension - Commons came close again.

Another powerful drive from outside the box saw Kello push the ball on to the post and when Celtic defender Mark Wilson cut the ball back it was cleared wide of the post, fortuitously for the struggling Jambos.

There was more trouble for Hearts in the 32nd minute when midfielder Obua was shown a straight red card by referee Thomson, after consulting with his linesman, after raising a hand to Mulgrew.

Television pictures suggested the dismissal was harsh and Hearts, fuelled by a sense of injustice, battled back in some defiance to get back in to the game but could not work Hoops keeper Fraser Forster.

Two minutes into the second half Forster had something to deal with and he clutched Rudi Skacel's low, whipped-in free-kick.

But in the 49th minute Hooper grabbed his second goal when he was set up by Ki Sung-yueng, the Celtic striker poking the ball past Kello from 12 yards.

Before the restart there was the astonishing incident when the fan came over the barrier and tried to attack Lennon.

Mayhem broke out as police and stewards intervened and when the ugly tussle ended the intruder was taken away up the tunnel by police.

Moments later, as the atmosphere became increasingly ugly, trouble broke out in the Celtic section of the stadium between supporters and police.

Meanwhile, on the pitch Kello had to make a great save from Commons to prevent Celtic stretching their lead further.

The game was almost rendered irrelevant as a poisonous atmosphere enveloped Tynecastle.

There was no way back for the Gorgie men and in the 77th minute Commons grabbed the third with a low drive from around 12 yards.

To add to the night of controversy, the Celtic midfielder was promptly sent packing by Thomson who awarded him another yellow for leaving the field in celebration.

The game petered out but the fall-out will go on for days, if not weeks and months.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 24 May 2015
12:30
Aberdeen 0-1 St J'stone  
Celtic 5-0 Inverness Report
Dundee U 3-0 Dundee  
Saturday, 23 May 2015
15:00
Hamilton 1-0 St Mirren Report
Kilmarnock 1-2 Ross Co Report
Motherwell 0-0 Partick Report
Saturday, 16 May 2015
Dundee 1-1 Aberdeen Report
Inverness 3-0 Dundee U Report
Partick 1-4 Kilmarnock  
Ross Co 2-1 Hamilton  

Footer 365

Middlesbrough 0-2 Norwich: Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond strike as Canaries seal immediate return to Premier League

Norwich City gained promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, insists agent Dimitri Seluk

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, according to his agent.

UEFA chief Michel Platini says it would be good for football if Sepp Blatter loses FIFA election

Michel Platini is backing Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in Friday’s FIFA presidential election.

Mail Box

Can We Combine Danny And Theo?

The finishing of Theo Walcott and the hold-up play of Danny Welbeck would be just perfect. Plus, lots of Brendan Rodgers, some Big Sam and all hail Degsy...

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company