Northern Ireland star Liam Boyce set to extend sideline after being stretched in Hearts win

Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce faces a spell on the sidelines after being stretched out with a knee injury while playing for Hearts yesterday.

he former Cliftonville ace scored in a hard-fought 3-2 home win over St Johnstone in the Premiership but ended up leaving Tynecastle on crutches.

Boyce, who asked not to be selected for international duty, is now anxiously awaiting a medical update after leaving the game just before half-time.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson will now have to bring in fresh talent in the transfer market following injuries to Boyce and Kye Rowles, who also scored against St Johnstone.

“They’ll be scanned and then we’ll get feedback on them,” Neilson said. “I don’t know at the moment, it could be a day, it could be nine months.

“Liam has had pain in his knee, but the good thing, despite having crutches, is that he walks upright. Fingers crossed, it’s not as bad as we initially thought.

“Kye has a little problem with his metatarsus. He stood up. He will pass a CT scan.

The Jambos are already without key men like Craig Halkett and Stephen Kingsley and the transfer window closes on Thursday.

Hearts confirmed the signing of 24-year-old German midfielder Orestis Kiomourtzoglou on a four-year deal shortly before kick-off.

Asked if the injuries will cause him to change his recruiting plans, Neilson said: “We know we have to recruit a few.

“We had Kio right there, but maybe we need another one or two.

“Today we may be a bit more aggressive, but there’s no point in worrying about that right now.”

A very different side from their Europa League play-off loss to Zurich fell behind when Graham Carey surged to score from Craig Gordon’s poor clearance.

Rowles and Boyce led the responses before both were injured.

Andrew Considine nodded to equalize but Lawrence Shankland’s penalty 10 minutes from time secured the win.

There was plenty more mouth-watering action at Tannadice, where a ruthless Celtic side hammered Dundee United 9-0.

It was a league record away win and a beating that saw the Hoops climb back to the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Ange Postecoglou’s side looked utterly irresistible in attack as they scored nine goals for the first time in 12 years to inflict United’s worst home defeat.

Hat tricks from Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada blew their hosts away, with Jota, Josip Juranovic and Carl Starfelt also scoring.

In the Premier League there were wins for West Ham and Tottenham, while Allan Saint-Maximin’s brilliant 90th-minute equalizer earned Newcastle a 1-1 draw with winless Wolves.