Hearts win boosts Euro hopes

Hearts beat St Johnstone 2-0 to climb above their opponents into fifth place in the SPL and go close to clinching a Europa League place.

Last Updated: 06/05/12 at 19:46

Hearts: Won 2-0

Hearts: Won 2-0

In Hearts' final home game of the season and with many saying possible farewells to Tynecastle, Rudi Skacel converted Ryan McGowan's cross after 21 minutes for his 16th goal of the season and Andy Webster netted a second after 58 minutes as the William Hill Scottish Cup finalists ended a three-match winless run.

Saints, who have now gone six games without tasting victory, must now beat Rangers at home on next Sunday's final day of the season and hope Hearts lose at Celtic to prevent the capital club finishing fifth.

However, even if Saints finish sixth, European football could be at McDiarmid Park next season if Hearts win the May 19 Hampden final against Hibernian.

That will be the departing wish for midfielder Ian Black, who was making his final Tynecastle appearance after being told his contract will not be extended, while manager Paulo Sergio's future position is still to be clarified with his deal soon to expire.

Skacel is yet to learn if his second spell at Hearts will be extended and applauded all sides of the ground at the final whistle before joining his team-mates in a lap of honour.

The Czech forward was one of three changes, with Scotland Under-21 goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who made his first start, and Andrew Driver also coming in.

St Johnstone brought in Marcus Haber and Dave Mackay and were on the defensive early on as Hearts applied pressure.

Jody Morris shot narrowly wide in response, while Liam Craig was booked for a cynical challenge from behind on Driver.

Soon the cup final was on Tynecastle's minds as former Hibs forward Derek Riordan ventured from the visiting substitutes' bench to warm up and received a torrent of abuse. Riordan scored the winner in May 2009 when Hibs last won an Edinburgh derby.

Moments later Hearts were celebrating as McGowan attacked down the right and cut the ball back for Skacel to sidefoot in.

Suso Santana had an effort blocked and Skacel fired over as Hearts sought a second, but the hosts might have found themselves level were it not for timely interventions by Black and the assistant referee.

A Craig set-piece had Hearts in trouble as Steven Anderson's header down was helped towards goal by Murray Davidson, whose effort was blocked on the line by Black before Haber had a strike ruled out for offside.

An unmarked Marius Zaliukas should have scored Hearts' second from a Black corner but headed off target and then Saints came close before the interval.

Ridgers, who was less than convincing at dealing with crosses, palmed away Mackay's centre and responded by saving from Callum Davidson before Cillian Sheridan shot wide.

Morris had another long-range strike which Ridgers claimed at the second attempt while Hearts were temporarily reduced to 10 men, with Darren Barr undergoing treatment before going off for Scott Robinson.

Hearts doubled their lead when Saints failed to deal with an inswinging free-kick from Danny Grainger and the ball dropped for Webster to prod in from close range.

Zaliukas headed wide soon after as set-pieces continued to trouble Saints, who replaced Chris Millar with Riordan with 29 minutes to go.

Riordan, jeered every time he touched the ball, was unable to inspire a comeback and fired over after beating the offside trap as Saints fell two points behind Hearts.

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.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Monday, 07 April 2014
19:45
Hibernian 0-2 Aberdeen Report
Saturday, 05 April 2014
15:00
Kilmarnock 1-2 St J'stone Report
Partick 2-4 Hearts Report
St Mirren 3-2 Motherwell Report
12:45
Dundee Utd 0-2 Celtic Report
Friday, 04 April 2014
19:45
Ross Co 1-2 Inverness Report
Wednesday, 02 April 2014
Hearts 1-1 Aberdeen  
Tuesday, 01 April 2014
Inverness 1-2 Motherwell  
Sunday, 30 March 2014
12:45
Hearts 2-0 Hibernian Report
Saturday, 29 March 2014
15:00
Aberdeen 1-1 Dundee Utd  

Scottish Premiership

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Celtic 33 66 88
2 Aberdeen 33 17 63
3 Motherwell 33 5 60
4 Dundee Utd 33 17 54
5 Inverness 33 5 52
6 St J'stone 33 7 48
7 Hibernian 33 -15 34
8 Kilmarnock 33 -16 33
9 Ross Co 33 -18 31
10 St Mirren 33 -21 31
11 Partick 33 -21 30
12 Hearts 33 -26 13

Updated Fri, 11 Apr 2014

Footer 365

Luton Town promoted to Football League after winning Conference Premier title

Luton Town have won promotion from the Conference Premier - ending a five-year absence from the Football League.

Premier League: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability to hold their lead in the loss at Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails importance of West Ham win

Arsene Wenger hailed the importance of Arsenal's victory over West Ham as his side came from behind to win 3-1.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property