BLUNDERING Celtic carelessly threw away two crucial points in stoppage-time when they allowed Kilmarnock to snatch an equaliser at Parkhead this afternoon.

The hosts were hanging on grimly to Kyogo Furuhashi’s first-half goal when David Watson was left unmarked at the far post to head in the leveller with Joe Hart left stranded.

It was another anxious outing as the Hoops stepped onto the title tightrope and the lack of a cutting edge cost Brendan Rodgers’ side dear.

They failed to kill off the stubborn Ayrshire outfit as the game wore on and anxiety was evident on the pitch and in the stands.

The defence was posted missing when a left-wing cross from Fraser Murray came in and Watson got behind substitute Alexandro Bernabei to direct an effort low into the net.

BREAKTHROUGH GOAL…Kyogo Furuhashi is smiles better after the opening goal before Killie came back to snatch a late point.

The champions went into the encounter in the realisation only a win would be acceptable to stretch their lead at the top to three points with their nearest challengers in action against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park at noon tomorrow.

But they blew it in the second minute of added-on time as the game ended with obvious frustration from the home fans.

On-loan Norwich City striker Adam Idah was obviously eager to make a massive impression on his first appearance at Parkhead and the Republic of Ireland international looked lively as he dovetailed well with Kyogo.

The first chance fell to the hosts after a delightful touch from Idah sent Callum McGregor clear as he surged through from midfield. The captain held the ball until the precise moment to set up Luis Palma coming from the left.

The Honduran winger cut inside onto his right foot to have a shot at goal, but, unfortunately, his final drive lacked precision and keeper Will Dennis blocked the effort and Lewis Mayo hoofed the rebound to safety.

OH, NO…Luis Palma shows his frustration after miss.

Moments later, Matt O’Riley, following a neat pass from Kyogo, whipped a left-foot drive from the edge of the box high and wide.

In the 25th minute, Liam Scales joined the attack to attempt a left-foot drive from outside the box, but the effort was smuggled away by the visitors’ defence.

The breakthrough strike arrived in the 32nd minute and was snapped up by Kyogo with a wonderful  header that left Dennis helpless.

Anthony Ralston, making his 100th appearance for the Hoops, slung over an inviting cross from the right after some good work by Palma and O’Riley and Japanese striker’s timing was excellent as he got in behind to nod the ball beyond the stranded Killie netminder from six yards.

Five minutes later, Hart, who has been superb in recent games, defied a Liam Donnelly header with a brilliant reflex save to his left after a cross from Daniel Armstrong after a well-worked corner-kick had exposed the Hoops rearguard.

As the end of the first-half neared, McGregor fired over from a good position as the hosts battled to double their advantage.

The alert Dennis kept it to a one-goal advantage at the interval with a fine save from an O’Riley volley and Corrie Ndaba frantically cleared the follow-up header from the Danish international playmaker off the linear the left-hand post.

GRIM VIEWING…Brendan Rodgers watches the action from the touchline.

South Korean winger Yang Hyun-jun replaced Palma at the start of the second-half and early on he displayed a positive outlook with a 50-yard run down the left that won a corner-kick.

In the 53rd minute, O’Riley and Kyogo combined on the edge of the box to set up a shooting opportunity for the midfielder, but Dennis made a stunning full-length stretch to his left to push the ball wide of his upright.

Eight minutes later, Bernabei was sent on for Greg Taylor as the comeback Bhoy toiled after four games out through injury.

It was Hart to the rescue again in the 66th minute with a point-blank save from a netbound six-yard header from Donnelly following a right-wing free-kick.

In the 68th minute, Paulo Bernardo came on for Idah while Nicolas Kuhn replaced Daizen Maeda as Rodgers sought to freshen up his side that was struggling to find their earlier rhythm.

Annoyingly, two promising moves broke down with sloppy final passes from Scales and Kuhn, much to the relief of Killie.

Twelve minutes later, South Korean hitman Oh Hyeon-gyu came on for Kyogo to add some strength to centre of the attack.

Bernardo was next to pass up an opening when he skied one over from 12 yards. It should have been a goal.

And it all came back to bite Celtic when Watson emerged unmarked and unhindered at the far post to head in the leveller.

There was a VAR check to make sure the visitor hadn’t pushed Bernabei, but there was no escape for the Hoops on this occasion.

It’s back to the drawing board for boss Rodgers to ponder on how his team can drop five points out of six in two back-to-back contests with Killie.

Worryingly, it’s far from title-winning expectations.

TEAM: Hart; Ralston, Welsh, Scales, Taylor (sub: Bernabei 61); McGregor, Kyogo (sub: Oh 80), O’Riley; Maeda (sub: Kuhn 68), Idah (sub: Bernardo 68), Palma (sub: Yang 46).

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