BRENDAN RODGERS raged at VAR official John Beaton after a controversy-laden confrontation at Tynecastle this afternoon.

The champions missed the opportunity to go back to the Premieship pinnacle in a 2-0 loss to Hearts in a game laced with talking points on AND off the field.

Beaton intervened three times in the first-half – two of the occasions leading to a Celtic player being red-carded and a puzzling penalty-kick awarded to the hosts from which Jorg Grant drilled in the opening goal.

The other interruption concerned a 12th-minute spot-kick awarded to the visitors after Yang Hyun-jun had been tripped in the box by Alex Cochrane. Onfeld official Don Roberston unhesitatingly pointed to the spot, but the kick was delayed while the VAR assistant insisted in reviewing the incident.

Once he was satisfied his colleague’s judgement was correct, the spot-kick got the go-ahead and Adam Idah made a mess of his effort with a shot that hit keeper Zander Clark.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT…Brendan Rodgers still finds time to applaud the Celtic support after a calamitous VAR-induced result against Heats at Tynecastle.

Yang and Cochrane clashed again two minutes later when a high boot from the South Korean appeared to touch the face of the defender. It was clear he was trying to bring the ball under control, but he was booked by Robertson for careless play.

Beaton intervened again, Robertson was required to look again at the incident and, remarkably, he returned to the pitc tp flash a red card at the Hoops winger.

It got worse when the VAR official again stepped in to flag up what looked a complete accident when the ball struck the elbow of Tomoki Iwata in the box while the Japanese midfielder was looking in the other direction.

Robertson was once again instructed to review the incident and once more he came back onto the field to bewilder everyone, friend and foe alike, with a spot-kick award to the hosts. Grant couldn’t possibly pass up the gift to send the champions topplig to an stonsihing loss.

A clearly upset Rodgers said: “Listen, firstly I want to give credit to my players as they fought from the very first whistle.

WHISTLE STOP…Brendan Rodgers attempts to attract the attention of his Celtic players.

“I never like to comment on officials. It is not something I do. I’ve been stood here long enough, but that cost us today. The officiating. From on field to John Beaton in VAR – that was really, really poor.

“If you put the still on that [Yang red card] it looks dangerous, but that is not the reality of the move. There is no force there. The ball has popped up. Okay, if it is a booking it is a booking. But that was really disappointing to go down to 10 men with that.

“They are not looking at the reality of the action and move. If you freeze frame in what we check to see and what we see all the time, of course, it looks dangerous, but that wasn’t the reality.

“You’ve got to see it in the whole context.”

Rodgers, speaking to Sky Sports in the immediate aftermath of the setback, added: “But to receive the penalty against us. Wow! That was even worse.

“You watch the incident again, Tommo jumped and is on his way down.

BLUNDER BHOY…Adam Idah after his woeful penalty-kick miss.

“He’s not looking and been nudged a bit and that pushes his arm out. If that is a penalty, you will have penalties every single game and every single week in a match because of that.

“That there is absolutely shocking decision-making and I feel really, really disappointed. One, for the players and, two, for the supporters.

“We are down a man, we get a poor penalty against us and, all of a sudden, we are chasing the game.”

Quizzed on the flashpoint and costly decisions, Rodgers added: “You’d have to ask John Beaton on VAR what he is saying.

“If he is saying that is dangerous play and handball then he is probably seeing something different to everybody else. Unless you are connected to Hearts, of course. They are seeing a different game.

“That is why officials and referees get challenged because that is not knowing the game. That is not seeing the game.”


Click Here for Comments >

About Author