Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal has claimed that Celtic got lucky against his side in the Scottish Cup final.
Hearts stunned everyone when they took the lead before the hour-mark yesterday at Hampden Park. Ryan Edwards poked home from close-range, and many will have wondered whether it was going to be Celtic’s day.
That was until Odsonne Edouard stepped up. The big Frenchman rounded Zlamal only to be felled. He then slammed home the penalty confidently before calmly firing Celtic ahead when through on Zlamal again.
Celtic increase their Scottish Cup trophy haul to 39, whilst Hearts went back down the M8 gutted. And Zlamal, who was one of the first Jambos player to come out post-match, has had a swipe at Celtic and Edouard for an apparent dive. Speaking in the Daily Record, Zlamal had this to say:
“For me it’s absolutely not a penalty. I’m 100 per cent sure that I didn’t touch him. But the referee said penalty. It’s very disappointing as well because I touched the ball, but it went in. It was the most important reason why we didn’t beat Celtic.
“I think we played very well the whole game but football is about small details and Celtic were more lucky. It was a big opportunity and we felt that we should win, but I have to repeat it wasn’t a penalty.
“I didn’t touch him and I’m absolutely sure I didn’t touch him.”
Hearts just didn’t do enough
Zlamal may want to take a look at his own team’s approach before having a go at Celtic for being lucky. The Jambos never had much attacking intent throughout the 90 minutes. Every time Celtic had the ball, their were two banks of four and five in front of them.
Craig Levein clearly felt that his best chance was to contain Celtic. That’s fine. But with the amount of possession we had over the course of the game, we made our own luck with it. Hearts were only 1-0 ahead due to an absolute gift.
As for the penalty itself, it was a stonewaller. Zlamal may feel he didn’t touch Edouard, but he didn’t have to in order for it to be a penalty. He slid in between the Frenchman and the ball, and Edouard jumped to evade the tackle. Nothing wrong with that. Penalty to Celtic was the right call, and no doubt Zlamal and Hearts would be seething if it was up the other end.
It’s always easy to blame anyone but yourself after a big letdown. Zlamal appears to be in that zone at the moment, and he won’t be the only Hearts player to come out and have a go at us too for winning the game.
But at the end of the day, only one team deserved to win that Scottish Cup final yesterday, and that team did just that.