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McGeady reigns on Keane's day

Aiden McGeady stole the attention on Robbie Keane's Parkhead debut as Celtic beat Hearts 2-0 to trim Rangers lead at the top of the SPL back to eight points.

There were some promising signs in the link-up play between the two Irish internationals but Keane was denied three times when put through one on one against Hearts keeper Marian Kello.

Two goals within sixty seconds from Glenn Loovens and Marco Fortune early in the second half earned Celtic the points while Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw away to Motherwell.

The home supporters were denied the opportunity to celebrate a goal from Keane, but after recent defeats by Hibs and Kilmarnock they were relieved to see their side pull back two points on Old Firm rivals Rangers.

After a quiet opening 20 minutes, McGeady moved inside from his beat on the right flank and all of a sudden the chances started to happen for Celtic.

Manager Tony Mowbray said: "I think that Aiden benefitted from the rest we gave him at Dunfermline.

"We can't keep going back to the well with Aiden McGeady, he's been magnificent for five months. In the second-half in particular he showed us the rare talent that he is.

"Aiden wants to play every minute of every game but he sat on the bench and watched us playing at Dunfermline.

"He was hungry and fresh for the game tonight, Aiden gets supporters out of their seats and contributed a lot to the team."

It was a mixed night for Keane, who looked like he could have played all night without finding the net.

The on-loan Spurs striker had half a dozen chances to score but wouldn't have been unhappy to end the night on the winning side with the bonus of the Celtic defence collecting a rare clean sheet.

Mowbray added: "On another night Robbie could have scored three or four goals. What you saw was what you get from Robbie.

Punished

"I'm pretty sure that somewhere down the line someone will be punished. He gets into good goalscoring positions and that's great credit to him.

"He was a little bit frustrated tonight but if he continues like that it'll pay dividends for us. After we scored the early goals at the start of the second half the game opened up, we could have scored a few more goals.

"We did a professional job, Hearts made it difficult and frustrated us but it was the right result in the end.

"We can only look after our own results and it's important that we start winning week in week out.

"Points will be dropped and we have to win as many games as possible to put pressure on Rangers at the top of the table."

Former U21 international Jim O'Brien delivered a man-of-the-match performance for Motherwell as they drew 1-1 at home to Rangers.

Tom Hateley, son of former Rangers striker Mark, opened the scoring with a first-half free-kick but a late goal from Kris Boyd earned Rangers a point.


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