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HOOPS COULD FACE HEARTS BARRIER

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HEARTS will bar Celtic’s path towards the history books – if, of course, Neil Lennon’s men overcome Aberdeen in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.

The Edinburgh side booked their place in the silverware showdown at the national stadium on May 25 with a 3-0 win over Inverness Caley Thistle today.

And if the Hoops do not slip up against the Pittodrie outfit in their last-four shoot-out, they will be zeroing in on an unprecedented treble treble, the phenomeal feat of nine successive domestic honours.

Craig Levein was delighted as his side eased past the Highlanders with a second-half salvo with goals from Uche Ikpeazu, John Souttar and Sean Clare (pen).

The Tynecastle boss, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “We’ve haven’t been in the best of form recently, so it was important to play with a calmness and clear heads.

“Once we got in front, I thought we were comfortable. We’ve sent our supporters away happy, which is the main thing, and we will be back here in May.

ON THE SPOT…Sean Clare nets with a penalty-kick for Hearts’ third goal against the Highlanders.

“We had opportunities, but not as many as I’d have liked. I didn’t think we’d lose a goal, but the occasion maybe got to the players – it’s the first time a lot of them have played here.”

If there are no mistakes at Hampden tomorrow, it will be the second time this season the Hoops have faced the Edinburgh outfit in Cup competition.

They played them at Murrayfield in the semi-final of the League Cup in October where Ryan Christie, who had come on as a substitute, helped turn the encounter around.

The Scotland international playmaker, ironically a former Caley Thistle player, scored one of the goals in a 3-0 triumph and the Highlander went on to score the only goal of the game when the Parkhead men won the trophy for a third successive season.

Christie’s volley on the stroke of half-time was enough to beat Aberdeen in the Final at the start of December.

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