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Keane misfires but Celtic back on track

Celtic scored two goals in a minute after the break against Hearts at Parkhead to close the gap on Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to eight points.

After a frustrating first half, defender Glenn Loovens drove the home side ahead four minutes into the second period and around 60 seconds later striker Marc-Antoine Fortune slipped the ball past Jambos keeper Marian Kello for number two.

With Rangers drawing 1-1 at Motherwell, Celtic nudged closer to their Ibrox rivals and deservedly so after an indifferent first half.

In the 26th minute Kello was the Hearts hero when he made a double save, first from Scott Brown when the Celtic captain tried to chip him from eight yards out and then from Fortune, who blasted the rebound off the stopper for a corner.

Aiden McGeady picked up a booking from referee Brian Winter, apparently for dissent, after the half-time whistle sounded which summed up Celtic's frustration.

Four minutes after the restart Diomansy Kamara swung a corner over from the right and from 10 yards out Loovens had two attempts to get his shot in, the second one whistling in to the net.

A minute later, with the Jambos still in disarray, McGeady sent Fortune clean through down the right channel and he drove into the box before slipping the ball past Kello.

McGeady should have made it 3-0 when he was put in by Robbie Keane but the midfielder fired wide from just inside the box.

As Hearts all but crumbled, Keane missed another chance, again from a tight angle.

In the 62nd minute new signing Thomas Rogne replaced Loovens to make his Celtic debut.

It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Keane as he missed another two opportunities to get his first goal in front of the Parkhead crowd. McGeady tried time and again to set up his Republic of Ireland captain but it simply would not fall right for the on-loan Tottenham man.

With seven minutes remaining he blasted over the bar from 10 yards when it looked he would at last get his goal but the points were secure and progress had been made.

Belfast Telegraph