Celtic star Griffiths rubs salt into Hearts wounds

By David Walton

December 21, 2020

You can always rely on Leigh Griffiths to cause Hearts some misery, and he piled on more for them yesterday.

The former Hibs striker and supporter has been a constant thorn in Hearts’ side. Yesterday, he only proved to be so once again with an instinctive finish that looked to have won us the Scottish Cup. In the end, the game went to penalties, and Griff cooly converted his own.

He more than played his part yesterday and not for the first time this season. However, what many may know is that Griffiths had some previous cup final heartache vs the Jambos. Back in 2012, he was part of the Hibs side mauled 5-1 by Paulo Sergio’s Tynecastle outfit.

So yesterday’s quadruple treble secured a sweet measure of revenge for Griff, and he was happy to soak it in. So much so that he couldn’t help but fire a dig. In what were comments that will sicken the Tynecastle club, the Celtic star said the following via the Daily Record:

“I’m delighted. I’ve been humiliated in a cup final by Hearts before so I wanted to get revenge. It might not have been a 5-1 scoreline but it’s another medal around my neck, so I’m buzzing.

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“It’s hard for teams to do one Treble and that’s us completed four on the bounce now. I think we need to get the credit we deserve. We have jumped every hurdle that’s been in our path and I don’t think this will be seen again in British football.

“We have been criticised this season and rightly so as our performances haven’t been great.But hopefully this is a turning point now and we can start picking up three points before the big match at the start of January.”

Cup final must be a springboard for Celtic

Griffiths makes a good point at the end about this needing to be a turning point. Sure, it may not have been the most convincing performance, but it’s a win. And a morale-boosting win at that. We have to move forward with some optimism now.

So much will be made of the defensive errors that were on show once again. Fair enough. But you also have to remember that this was a Scottish Cup final. It was never going to be easy for us and Hearts made sure that was the case. Should these lapses continue in the coming games then we’ll have a problem.

We now have games against Ross County, Hamilton, and Dundee United before we face Rangers at Ibrox. You have to be targeting nine points out of nine in those ones. With a bit of luck, our rivals will drop a couple of points to help give us the chance to really blow the title race wide open.

Leigh Griffiths fires Celtic ahead in extra-time vs Hearts (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As for Hearts fans, they’ll be sickened. They carry so much pride over that 2012 cup final hammering of Griffiths’ Hibs. The fact that Griff now has his own piece of revenge against them is the last thing they want. Especially considering the rivalry between Griffiths and Hearts.

Griffiths would’ve loved for his extra-time strike to have been a winner. It would’ve been so deserved too given we were still the better team for long spells. But credit to our rivals who fired themselves back into the game on two occasions.

But, as is always the case, Celtic prevailed. And given what happened eight years ago, you can’t help but feel buzzing for Griff.

In other news, a struggling Celtic star was last night feeling the love of the Hoops fans.