Celtic player ratings vs Hearts: One gutted star on a 3 as Rodgers hit with brutal 'sacked' chant - gallery

Celtic faced Hearts with a major incentive after Rangers dropped three points at Ibrox.

Celtic lost 2-0 Hearts in a crucial Premiership clash that could prove costly for their title ambitions.

Adam Idah missed an early penalty and that misery was compounded by a Yang high boot resulting in a red card. Jorge Grant scored a spot-kick at the other end after Tomoki Iwata was deemed to have handled the ball inside the box, with Lawrence Shankland denied doubling Hearts' lead by a slim offside call.

He would not be denied after half-time as the Hoops backline was left at sixes and sevens with his drive forward, which he finished off expertly. Rangers' shock loss to Motherwell just shy of 24 hours provided added intrigue to Tynecastle proceedings but Brendan Rodgers' men passed up a huge chance to go top. The result keeps Celtic two points off Rangers while Hearts extend their grip on third over fourth-placed Kilmarnock to 13 points.

A gift had arrived for Celtic pre-match. Rangers' top form deserted them at home to Motherwell as they lost 2-1, and handed the Hoops an unexpected chance to go top of the table again with a win.

Away to the country's undisputed third force this season - and a side that beat them 2-0 - this was going to a huge test of Rodgers team. How would their mettle cope and how would they deal with the absence of ever-present captain Callum McGregor through injury?

Like they started at the win over Motherwell a week earlier, the start was shaky. But they were presented a chance to score only six minutes later than their first goal in a 7-1 midweek romp over Dundee. Matt O'Riley played in Yang and Alex Cochrane sent him tumbling.

It was up to Idah to fire home from 12 yards but he sent a tame trundler towards Zander Clark that the Hearts goalkeeper saved with ease. If that didn't get the home crowd fired up, Yang's high boot on Cochrane was referred to VAR, with Don Robertson changing a yellow card to red.

Now this test was a whole lot more difficult. Within 13 minutes they could have been a goal up, but after 15, it was 0-0 and they were down to 10 men. And that wouldn't be VAR's only involvement in the half.

Matt O'Riley would be flagged offside after finishing Idah's neat run and pass. Then a cross into the Celtic ball came down upon a pile of bodies, with Robertson called over by VAR official John Beaton at Clydesdale House to have a second look. The ball did appear to come off Tomoki Iwata's arm and the spot-kick was given, which Grant converted. Debate will rage on how harsh this was.

VAR then intervened to deny Hearts a crucial second. Shankland was put through on goal by Alan Forrest and buried past Joe Hart, but by the thinnest of margins, the lines had him offside. Chaotic is probably a fair way to sum up the first 45 that left the Hoops with an almighty second half task.

They didn't lay a glove on Hearts, and Shankland made them pay. His drive forward wasn't dealt with and he clinically finished beyond Hart to put the result of this one beyond any doubt.

Idah had chances saved by Zander Clark, but only one side looked like scoring next, and it wasn't Celtic. They had been presented a huge chance but brutal chants of 'sacked in the morning' towards boss Rodgers, 'can we play you every week' and 'cheerio' to the departing away fans from the home end proved a sobering reality check. Glasgow World rates the Celtic players on a disappointing day Gorgie.

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