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Brendan Rodgers: Celtic manager slams 'absolutely shocking decision-making' by officials after defeat at Hearts

Brendan Rodgers was furious about Celtic's red card and a penalty for handball as they lost 2-0 at Hearts; Celtic's loss means they failed to capitalise on Rangers' defeat to Motherwell on Saturday and remain second in Scottish Premiership table

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Celtic Brendan Rodgers slammed the decisions that were made against his side during their defeat to Hearts

An angry Brendan Rodgers described the officials in Celtic's 2-0 defeat to Hearts as "really, really poor" as he hit out at "absolutely shocking decision-making".

It was an incident-packed first half at Tynecastle Park which started with Celtic being awarded a penalty after Alex Cochrane's barge on Hyun-Jun Yang.

Minutes after Adam Idah's spot kick was saved, Yang was shown a red card following a VAR check for a high boot on Cochrane.

That decision left Rodgers fuming with the Celtic boss then adding it was "absolutely shocking" that Hearts were awarded a penalty for Tomoki Iwata's handball after referee Don Robertson went for a second look at the monitor.

"I never like to comment on officials but that cost us today. The officiating from on-field to John Beaton being on VAR, was really poor.

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Celtic find themselves down to ten players after Yang Hyun-Jun was shown red for a high boot

"I look at the first incident [red card] and if you put a still on that it looks dangerous, but that's not the reality of the move.

"There's no force there, the ball's popped up. It's a booking. That's really disappointing to go down to 10 men for that but to receive a penalty against us - wow, that was even worse.

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"If you watch the incident again, Tomoki's jumped, he's on his way down and he's not looking as he's been nudged a little bit which then pushes his arm out.

"If that's a penalty then you will have penalties in every single game, every single week.

"That is just absolutely shocking decision-making and I feel really disappointed for our players and our supporters.

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Jorge Grant's penalty gives Hearts the lead against Celtic after VAR ruled that Tomoki Iwata had handballed in the area

"They're not looking at the reality of the action and the move. If you freeze frame then of course it looks dangerous, but that's not the reality and you've got to see it in context.

"I thought the officials were very, very poor and it was really disappointing.

"You'll have to ask John Beaton in VAR what he's seeing. If he's seeing that as dangerous play then seeing that as handball then he's probably seeing something different to everyone else, unless you're connected with Hearts of course!

"I just think they're seeing a different game and it's incidents like that is why referees and officials get challenged because that's not seeing the game."

'It's been a bad week for VAR'

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Neil Lennon and Kris Boyd review the two penalty decisions, red card, and disallowed goal during Celtic's defeat to Hearts

The Sky Sports pundits agreed with the Celtic manager with Kris Boyd confused by the penalty award and Neil Lennon baffled by Yang's red card.

"There's no force from Yang, he's actually just trying to flick it and Alex comes in with his head. There is contact, but it's minimal," said Lennon.

"Alex goes down as you would expect him to but you know in football when someone is trying to boot someone in the head and when someone's not.

"Yang isn't that type of player. I don't understand how you can deem that a straight red card."

On Hearts' penalty award Boyd said: "It's been a bad week for VAR.

"Alistair Johnston goes into the back of Iwata and I'm not sure what he's meant to do.

"His hand is out, but come on! If we're giving penalties for that then where is the game going."

Former Celtic manager Lennon added: "Shambles, Iwata isn't even looking at the ball, Johnston pushes him and he's trying to make a genuine attempt for the ball.

"How you can deem that a penalty is beyond me.

"Those two are big moments in the game for Celtic."

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