DAIZEN MAEDA was sent off and Scott Bain blundered as Celtic nosedived to a terrible defeat at Easter Road.

The Hoops turned in a most unlike champions’ performance as they dropped their eighth point from a possible nine in their last three outings.

Ange Postecoglou has winced as he has seen his team fail to win since they sealed their second successive title in the 2-0 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle.

Losses at Ibrox and in Edinburgh and a 2-2 draw with St Mirren at Parkhead will give the manager much to ponder with a Scottish Cup Final looming a week on Saturday.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT…blunder Bhoy Scott Bain holds his head in his hands after allowing a shot from Elie Youan to drop into the net. His team-mates look stunned.

Few of his players did themselves any favours in this fairly inept showing and Maeda’s dismissal didn’t help. He got involved in niggly and unnecessary incidents with his opponents and paid the ultimate price by being banished and he may find his season is over.

Bain, in his first appearance of the season, had made a couple of smart saves before his howler to grant the hosts a 3-2 lead.

The Hoops might have anticipated an x-certificate evening in the capital when, inside two minutes, Oh Hyeon-gyu blazed over from six yards after a left-wing cross from Alexandro Bernabei when he really should have hit the target at the very least.

Three minutes later, Liel Abada cut in from the right to fire in a 16-yarder which brought out a flying tip-over save from ex-Hoops favourite David Marshall.

It was Bain to the rescue in the 12th minute when he got down well to his left to push away a header from Kevin Nisbet as the Scotland international got an effort on target after an inviting cross in from the left by Lewis Stevenson.

OH, SO CLOSE…South Korean striker Oh Hyeon-gyu powers in a header that grazes the crossbar on its way over with the Hibs defenders stranded.

The game flowed from end to end and Oh was unlucky with a whiplash header from a Reo Hatate cross that clipped the crossbar on its way over with Marshall helpless.

The Hoops were out of luck again in the 21st minute after Oh had worked hard to fashion a shot on the edge of the box. The South Korean managed to drag the ball to his right to thunder in a vicious attempt.

Marshall dived full length to push the ball to his left. It fell to the feet of Abada who snatched at the attempt and sent the ball wildly wide of the target.

Sixty seconds later, Sead Haksabanovic, who had looked eager to get involved, limped off to be replaced by Maeda.

In the 35th minute, there was a scare for the visitors when Bain pulled up after coming off his line to claim a right-wing corner-kick. The keeper went down and received treatment before carrying on.

GREAT, SCOTT…Celtic keeper Scott Bain gets down well to push away a header from Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet. Yuki Kobayashi is too late to intervene.

Five minutes from the interval, Callum McGregor, attempting to race on to a low cross from Maeda, was sent flying following a wayward challenge from Stevenson and referee Kevin Clancy had no alternative but to point to the penalty spot.

Hatate made no mistake with a low drive to Marshall’s left as the keeper took off in the opposite direction.

The alert Bain made a good save to repel a low shot from Nisbet before Hibs equalised with a whizzbang effort from French ace Elie Youan in the 53rd minute.

Anthony Ralston’s aimless header out of defence from a right-wing cross dropped perfectly for the lively Hibs forward on the edge of the box and he let fly with a left-foot strike that was in the net before Bain could move.

PENALTY…Callum McGregor is sent crashing following a wild lunge from Lewis Stevenson that brought the Hoops their first-half spot-kick scored by Reo Hatate. David Marshall and Lewis Miller look on.

SPOT ON…Reo Hatate strokes home the penalty-kick to give Celtic the lead.

Celtic responded in the 58th minute by taking the lead again and Oh was the marksman with a typical striker’s goal.

McGregor and Bernabei combined before the Argentinian left-back whipped a low ball into the tracks of the powerhouse hitman. Paul Hanlon and the forward jostled for possession and the ball broke in front of the Celt who lashed a shot low past the helpless Marshall.

In the 65th minute, Postecoglou made three changes with Matt O’Riley, David Turnbull and James Forrest replacing Iwata, Hatate and Abada.

PICK IT OUT…Oh Hyeon-gyu prods No.2 past Hibs keeper David Marshall.

Two minutes later, Maeda, booked in the first-half, saw red in the second period after a late challenge on Lewis Miller. Referee Clancy was quick to flash the second yellow to banish the Japanese winger.

Moments afterwards, the match official then dismissed Jake Doyle-Hayes for a lunge on Oh from behind, but, after being instructed to review the decision by VAR, changed his mind and scrapped the red and settled for a booking.

Once more Bain produced an excellent diving save from Youan after the Hibs flyer had been set up by Nisbet. Worryingly, the Hoops central defence of Carl Starfelt and Kobayashi appeared too easy to be prised open.

The decisions by the referee continued to bewilder when he awarded a penalty-kick to Hibs in the 74th minute after a robust challenge from Ralston in the box at a left-wing corner-kick.

OH, HAPPY DAY – FOR THE TIME BEING…striker Oh Hyeon-gyu celebrates his goal, a rare moment of joy for the Celtic fans at Easter Road.

The defender was booked and VAR reviewed the incident before the spot-kick was given the go-ahead. Nisbet scored with a low drive as he sent Bain the wrong way.

The hosts were given oxygen and in the 80th minute, Bain made a dreadful error to present Hibs with a third goal when Youan had a go from 35 yards. It was a speculative effort, but looked easy for the stand-in netminder.

Astonishingly, he fumbled the effort and the ball dropped over his shoulder into the net.

It was a shocker – and the keeper knew it.

A minute later, Postecoglou sent on Kyogo Furuhashi for Oh as Celtic tried to salvage something from the wreckage of yet another below-par display.

In the 86th minute, the half-asleep Hoops rearguard gifted the hosts a fourth goal when Paul Hanlon easily outjumped the struggling Bernabei at the far post to get his head to a left-wing cross from Miller.

He nodded down and shell-shocked Bain could only help the ball over the line.

It was a night to forget for Celtic and one thing is absolutely certain – this is UNACCEPTABLE from any Celtic team, title winners or not.

Too many performers wearing a Celtic top this evening did not turn up.

TEAM: Bain; Ralston, Starfelt, Kobayashi, Bernabei;  Iwata (sub: O’Riley 65), McGregor, Hatate (sub: Turnbull 65); Abada (sub: Forrest 65), Oh (sub: Kyogo 81), Haksabanovic (sub: Maeda 22).

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