Luis Palma struck a late winner as champions Celtic twice came from behind to see off St Mirren 3-2 on the final day of the Scottish Premiership season.

It was a day of celebrations at Celtic Park for Brendan Rodgers' side, who wrapped up their third successive domestic title in midweek.

However, St Mirren threatened to spoil the party when Mark O'Hara fired them in front after just seven minutes.

Top scorer Matt O'Riley equalised for the hosts in the 21st minute, but they fell behind again just five minutes later when O'Hara doubled his tally from the penalty spot after Stephen Welsh fouled Toyosi Olusanya.

Kyogo Furuhashi levelled for Celtic before half-time, and the Hoops completed the turnaround with Palma scored the winner with four minutes remaining.

Rodgers' side finished eight points clear of second-place Rangers, who were held to a 3-3 draw by Hearts.

Despite falling behind to Lawrence Shankland's strike, goals from Ross McCausland, Todd Cantwell and Fabio Silva seemingly had the visitors on course for a comfortable win at Tynecastle.

However, there was to be a late twist with Dexter Lembikisa pulling a goal back in the 82nd minute, before Kyosuke Tagawa struck deep into stoppage time to rescue a point for the hosts.

There was also nothing to separate Dundee and Kilmarnock, who drew 1-1 in the other match on the final day.

Luke McCowan cancelled out Gary Mackay-Steven's earlier effort, though the Dundee captain squandered a glorious opportunity to complete the turnaround when he missed a penalty two minutes from time.

Leon Balogun believes Rangers showed resilience to overcome Hearts 2-0 in their Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park on Sunday.

Eyebrows were raised when Gers boss Philippe Clement left regular centre-back Connor Goldson on the bench with the 35-year-old Nigeria international Balogun making his first start since a 3-0 win over Livingston at Ibrox on February 3.

After just two wins in eight in all competitions and on the back of a goalless draw against Dundee on Wednesday night, which followed their first ever defeat by Ross County in the cinch Premiership in Dingwall the previous Sunday, the pressure was on the Ibrox side.

However, a Cyriel Dessers double set up an Old Firm final on May 25, the first since 2002.

Balogun, in his second spell at the Ibrox club, said: “I think at this club, it felt like we had a few horrible weeks and it’s been two games only, obviously very important games, but within a week.

“So I think it was very important to bounce back against a team that has put in good performances in every game we have played this season so far.

“They never make it easy for us and certainly didn’t on Sunday.

“But it felt good to be out there and show some resilience and get a good result, 2-0 and a clean sheet. Overall I can be can be happy.

“For me, it was just to make sure to prepare well and to have a good start to the game and do what I’m supposed to do and serve the team.

“I think overall as a team, as a unit, we did really well.”

Balogun revealed Clement has tried to keep the Rangers squad focused on the positives during the recent ropey spell which leaves the Light Blues three points behind cinch Premiership leaders Celtic.

The Light Blues begin their five post-split fixtures next weekend with a trip to St Mirren on Sunday.

He said: “He’s been really good with us because he makes sure that we don’t get too emotional because it’s always very easy to watch those games back and then just feel sorry for yourself, talk yourself down.

“He just reminded us of things that, even though we had bad performances, we still did good.

“He makes sure that he reminds us of what we have to do and repeats that quite heavily as well.

“Then you can see throughout the training sessions how the confidence slowly builds back up.

“I think it’s not a surprise that we had a few difficult spells in the game on Sunday as well.

“But then again, we showed the character that he was able to instil in the team.”

Philippe Clement is adamant under-pressure Rangers will focus fully on playing to their own strengths in Sunday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final with Hearts.

The Ibrox side head into the Hampden showdown on the back of a damaging run of two wins from their last eight games in all competitions, with their cinch Premiership title bid having been dented significantly by a return of just two points from their last three matches.

Hearts, by contrast, go into the match buoyed by back-to-back wins over St Mirren and Livingston and are 11 points clear of their nearest rivals in their quest to secure third place in the table.

Clement dismissed any notion that his side must adapt their game-plan in any way to deal with Steven Naismith’s on-form team and instead must simply attempt to play their own game to a higher standard than they have been recently.

“I don’t counter anything,” he said. “We will play our own game, we don’t need to counter another team.

“We are going to play our own game and believe in ourselves and show our qualities.

“To win we need a better performance than we had on Wednesday (in the 0-0 draw at Dundee), for sure. We need to do the right things against Hearts who have played a very good season.

“It’s a very interesting test for the players and I know they are all hungry to go to the final. They’ve had the experience of going to a final and winning it (the Viaplay Cup) and some of them have won several already so the mood is big.”

Clement felt some anxiety crept into Rangers’ play on Wednesday and caused them to go too direct, so he has called for them to rediscover their composure when in possession.

“Against Dundee we were too direct so we lost the balance in that way,” he said. “Sometimes we wanted to play too fast and it’s finding that good balance by showing it with images and what we need to do and take lessons out of that.

“Maybe the hunger was too big to go too fast forward. We need to find a good balance and do that in a better way against Hearts.”

Rangers have been subjected to ferocious criticism recently and Clement admits he will find out a lot about his players in terms of how they respond under pressure in the coming weeks.

“It is easy to be good and be happy when it goes easy,” he said. “It is when the going gets tough you see the personality and the character.

“Players can grow in this. It is a growing experience. It is not only from nature that you have this, you can grow in that.

“That is an important part of being part of this club. It is also something that Nils (Koppen, director of football recruitment) knows really well, it is something to look at in recruitment also.”

Hearts manager Steven Naismith admitted he always expected his team to respond after coming from two goals down to beat Livingston 4-2.

The hosts were punished for a slow start after going two down inside 22 minutes following a Stephen Kelly brace.

But Hearts fought back in emphatic fashion after scoring through Jorge Grant, Yutaro Oda, Cammy Devlin and Lawrence Shankland before the break.

The win kept Hearts 11 points clear in third place in the cinch Premiership and confirmed European football for next season, with the Jambos now guaranteed at least a top-four finish.

Naismith insists he was not surprised by the manner of his side’s comeback.

He said: “We didn’t come out the changing room for the first 10-15 minutes. It was a poor start, really poor, really sloppy, and then brilliant.

“We lost two goals but it’s the third time we have come back. When the second goal goes in there’s a frustration from me and the fans.

“I knew when we were 2-0 down we’d come back into the game because we have shown it before. The element of having a ruthless streak and being more clinical is something we have talked about.

“And that part I am really happy with because our speed of attack, our bodies in the box, that’s what gets us back in the game. There were some really good goals.”

Naismith handed Craig Gordon his first league start since Christmas Eve 2022 ahead of the goalkeeper playing in next Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

He added: “He’s been playing in the cup and I thought it was a good opportunity to get him a game before the semi-final. That was the decision.”

Livingston remain nine points adrift at the bottom ahead of the final five post-split matches and manager David Martindale insists the way the match unfolded summed up their season.

He said: “I think what you saw there in the first half was the story of our season played out in 45 minutes.

“We started the game really well and should have scored a third when Tete (Yengi) was clean through against Craig Gordon. That was an unbelievable chance.

“Stephen came up with two good goals. To give Hearts their due, they scored two decent goals but we gifted them the goals.”

Asked why Tete Yengi received a second yellow card just seconds after being substituted, Martindale added: “The kid comes off the park frustrated, he’s kicked one of our bottles. He’s kicked it into our dugout.

“I’m not saying what he’s done is right but I think you need to give him some leeway. I just think there has to be a bit of common sense applied.”

Hearts secured European football for next season after coming from two goals down to beat Livingston 4-2.

Basement team Liv stormed into a two-goal lead after 22 minutes courtesy of Stephen Kelly’s brace.

But Hearts produced an emphatic response to score four goals before the interval, with Jorge Grant, Yutaro Oda, Cammy Devlin and Lawrence Shankland all finding the net.

The victory meant Hearts, who remain 11 points clear in third place, can finish no lower that fourth in the cinch Premiership, while Livingston remain nine points adrift at the bottom.

The big team news pre-match was the return of Craig Gordon in goal for Hearts for the first time in a league match since Christmas Eve 2022.

The 41-year-old goalkeeper’s inclusion was with an eye on next weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final with Rangers.

But it was a difficult start for Gordon and his team-mates against a Livingston team fighting for their lives.

The Lions started well and wasted a great chance to open the scoring after nine minutes.

Sean Kelly’s pass down the left was missed by Hearts defender Frankie Kent and Tete Yengi came in on the blindside but his tame shot was easily saved by Gordon.

That warning was not heeded by the hosts as the away team stormed into a two-goal lead.

The first came just a minute later when a long ball over the top was intercepted by Gordon outside his area.

But the Scot allowed his touch to get away from him and Stephen Kelly swept a stunning first-time shot into the unguarded net from 40 yards.

The boos rang around Tynecastle in the 22nd minute as Livingston doubled their lead. Kent’s attempted clearance was charged down by Yengi and the ball broke to Stephen Kelly, who slammed a right-footed drive past Gordon from 18 yards.

But Hearts’ response was emphatic as they scored four unanswered goals before half-time.

The first arrived in the 29th minute when Shankland’s left-footed cross was forced in by Grant.

The equaliser was a near mirror imagine as Oda tapped in another Shankland cross at the front post.

Hearts kept coming and added a third with another delivery from the left flank, this time Alex Cochrane’s low pass being squeezed in by Devlin.

And the fourth arrived from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time when Shankland slotted home after Lions goalkeeper Shamal George tripped Oda.

The second half was less eventful although Livingston striker Yengi was shown a second yellow card by referee Colin Steven just seconds after he had been substituted.

Hearts controlled the half and went close through Shankland and Devlin.

Manager Stephen Robinson praised his St Mirren players for sealing top-six football for a second successive season and urged them to now aim for Europe.

The Paisley side lost 2-1 at home to Hearts, who forged into a two-goal lead thanks to Jorge Grant’s penalty and a Mikael Mandron own goal.

Toyosi Olusanya’s strike wasn’t enough to prevent St Mirren slipping to defeat but Hibernian’s failure to win against St Johnstone confirmed a top-half finish for the Buddies.

Robinson said: “The top six is achieved over 33 games and you get your rewards. We are five points clear in fifth place and this group thoroughly deserves that.

“It’s the first time the club has achieved successive top-six finishes in 39 years. People’s expectations have risen massively and that’s down to the players.

“With the resources we have, we shouldn’t be in the top six. We are punching way above our weight in terms of the clubs we are competing with.

“Credit to the staff who work tirelessly to drag every bit of energy and quality out of the squad. And to the board who have backed us for the last two years and tried to push the club forward.

“Now our aim is can we get into Europe? It’s 37 years since we managed that but now we can breathe a bit, relax and play our football.”

Opposite number Steven Naismith was equally satisfied as Hearts ground out their 10th away victory of the season to strengthen their hold on third place.

He explained: “I said that to the squad after the game. I think this is probably the stereotypical game Hearts have been questioned in over the years.

“Can you deal with the fight? Add to that St Mirren are going for the top six so when we take the lead, we know they were going to go gung-ho.

“They did and brought more attacking players on and we had to deal with it – and I think we did.

“We did it without three of our most consistent players this season and we did it in terrible conditions that both teams had to play in. So for me it’s a fantastic win.”

Derek McInnes was proud of his Kilmarnock side for securing their place in the top six of the cinch Premiership with two games remaining before the split.

Killie finished 10th last year but are now guaranteed to be competing for a place in Europe in the closing weeks of the campaign after their 1-1 draw away to Hearts took them seven points clear of seventh-placed Hibernian.

The fourth-placed Ayrshire side claimed their point when Marley Watkins’ stunning second-half strike cancelled out Kenneth Vargas’ 10th-minute header for the Jambos.

“I’m very much a happy man, to do it with two games to spare is testament to so much good work within the club, particularly from the players, the staff, the board,” said manager McInnes.

“The club was in a poor place three years ago, we came in just over two years ago as a Championship team and managed to get out at the first attempt.

“This time last year we were still punching, fighting and scrapping to try and make sure we stayed in the league. A lot of changes in the summer and we’ve managed to deliver a top-six finish, which is terrific.”

McInnes was encouraged by the way his side came back strongly after the break at Tynecastle.

“A response was needed at half-time, we passed up a couple of really good chances in the first half,” said McInnes. “But I thought we were terrific in the second half.”

Hearts boss Steven Naismith felt his side lacked sharpness, with several players having been on international duty, but he was pleased that neither Killie nor St Mirren were able to eat into their 11-point advantage in third place.

“After the international break, another game has gone by and the teams below us haven’t gained any ground on us,” he said. “That’s a positive.

“On the back of a defeat (at Ross County last time out), the biggest thing is that you get some sort of points in the next game and we have done that.

“For me, the hardest games to deal with are the ones after the international breaks. It’s really difficult because four or five of our players didn’t get back into training until Friday.

“We started the game well, asked the question and got on the front foot, and then we get the goal at a good time. But then in those wee moments when we did break through, we just didn’t have that sharpness.

“We knew it was going to be a battle and a fight, Kilmarnock are really good at what they do. They are direct and the one time we don’t set up properly they get their goal. It’s a brilliant finish from Marley, who is having a really good season.”

Marley Watkins scored a stunning second-half equaliser as Kilmarnock guaranteed their place in the top six of the cinch Premiership with a 1-1 draw away to Hearts.

The hosts seized the initiative early on when Kenneth Vargas nodded home the opener at the end of a week in which it was confirmed that the Costa Rica forward – initially signed on loan – had agreed a five-year contract with the Tynecastle club.

However, Killie hit back for a point in an entertaining match that could have gone either way.

The result ensured the fourth-placed Ayrshire side – who remain 11 points behind third-placed Hearts – cannot be overtaken by seventh-placed Hibernian before the league splits next month.

Hearts made four changes to the team that started the 2-1 defeat at Ross County prior to the international break as Kye Rowles, Toby Sibbick, Nathaniel Atkinson and Aidan Denholm made way for Frankie Kent, Dexter Lembikisa, Jorge Grant and 18-year-old Macaulay Tait, who was handed his first start.

There was just one alteration to the Kilmarnock side that began the 5-2 home win over St Mirren as right-back Lewis Mayo replaced David Watson.

The visitors had the first notable attempt in the fifth minute when Watkins headed Matty Kennedy’s cross straight at Zander Clark.

Two minutes later the Hearts keeper had to race back to his line and tip over a speculative Liam Polworth effort from close to the half-way line.

From the resulting Killie corner, Vargas burst upfield from the edge of his own box and slipped the ball into the path of Grant, whose stinging strike from 25 yards out was pushed behind by Will Dennis.

The Jambos took the lead in the 10th minute when Vargas nodded in from a couple of yards out after Lawrence Shankland got on the end of Alex Cochrane’s delivery from the left and clipped the ball back into the danger area from the right edge of the six-yard box.

Hearts had a good chance to double their advantage two minutes later but Grant shot tamely at Dennis after being picked out by Shankland cutback.

Killie threatened an equaliser in the 27th minute when Stuart Findlay glanced a header just wide from Kennedy’s free-kick into the box.

At the other end, Shankland tested Dennis with a low strike from edge of the box on the half-hour.

Killie finished the half strongly, with Joe Wright powering a header over the bar before Watkins saw a header brilliantly clawed out by Clark.

Hearts started the second period on top and Vargas went close to a second in the 50th minute when his shot from 20 yards out was pushed behind by Dennis.

But just as the Jambos were starting to look reasonably comfortable, Killie equalised in the 67th minute as Watkins arced a stunning strike high beyond Clark and into the net from just outside the box.

Ross County interim manager Don Cowie was in no doubt how important their three points against Hearts will be in the club’s battle to avoid relegation this season.

A double from Simon Murray led the way for the Staggies in a 2-1 victory over the Jambos, who are still sitting comfortably third in the table.

While County remain in the play-off position, the result did move them 10 points clear of Livingston at the foot of the table – and kept them within reach of both St Johnstone and Aberdeen, who they play next.

“Any three points is massive,” said Cowie.

“We were playing against a very good team, comfortably third in the league for a reason, but I’m proud of the group for standing up to that and getting three points.

“I’ve been a little bit disappointed with the way we’ve responded after half-time in games, especially at home, so it was just a case of making sure they came out flying and ready in the second half.

“We expected a reaction from Hearts, so getting a second goal was vital.

“Hearts are an excellent team. Beating them here has to give us confidence going into the last eight games of the season.

“We’ve taken eight points at home, and I’m really happy with that, but now we’ve got to transfer that to away games because we’ve got two very tough games coming up.”

Jambos boss Steven Naismith, meanwhile, was frustrated over VAR’s involvement in the match.

Video referee John Beaton recommended an on-field review to Grant Irvine when Lawrence Shankland was deemed to be in the way of County keeper George Wickens from an offside position at a free-kick, which Stephen Kingsley sent into the back of the net.

“When the free-kick goes in, there are 15 minutes to go so I’m confident we would score again,” Naismith said.

“I thought that was a poor decision, and it was a big moment. I don’t understand why it was chalked off.

“The fourth official said that the goalie had to look around Shanks to see the ball, but I think it’s a really poor decision.

“We could have done better in the game, and what cost us was poor defending. How we defended gave us a big challenge as the game went on.”

Simon Murray starred as Ross County secured a vital 2-1 win against Hearts in Dingwall.

The former Hibernian striker scored either side of half-time to put the Staggies in a commanding position.

Despite hitting the woodwork multiple times and having one goal ruled out for offside, Hearts could only muster a single goal in response through Yutaro Oda in stoppage time.

The Staggies were hit by an early setback before a ball had even been kicked as Connor Randall – who had only returned from injury against Hibernian midweek – was forced out of the starting line-up after the warm-up, replaced by Max Sheaf.

Early on, Jordan White may have been guilty of one of the misses of the season. Murray did brilliantly on the right flank to get past his marker and send a low cross into the middle, where White stretched for the ball and somehow managed to loop it over the bar from just a yard or two out when it looked easier to score.

Hearts would create the better chances as the half went on, with Kenneth Vargas seeing his thunderous his effort crash back down off the crossbar, but it was County who would take the lead two minutes before the interval through Murray.

A wonderful ball from Yan Dhanda sent the tenacious forward through on goal and though Murray’s initial attempt was saved by Zander Clark, he responded quickly to score at the second attempt.

Murray claimed a second four minutes after the restart, smashing Josh Reid’s cross past Clark to make it 2-0.

Hearts tried to find a way back into the contest and put their hosts under considerable pressure, with Alan Forrest hitting the woodwork after fashioning just enough space to shoot inside County’s box.

The visitors thought they had one back when Stephen Kingsley scored directly from a free-kick, only for VAR to recommend a review for Lawrence Shankland standing in an offside position – with the goal then disallowed.

They finally cut the deficit in stoppage time, when Oda expertly finished past Wickens via the inside of the post.

Hearts could not find a second to equalise though, and County were able to celebrate a crucial victory to boost their survival fight.

Steven Naismith believes Stephen Kingsley can still earn more Scotland caps even though the on-form defender did not get the nod to join three of his Hearts team-mates in the latest squad.

Free-scoring captain Lawrence Shankland plus goalkeepers Zander Clark and Craig Gordon were included in Steve Clarke’s 25-man pool for the national team’s pre-European Championship friendly double-header against Netherlands and Northern Ireland later this month.

Kingsley, who won the last of his two caps against Ukraine in September 2022, was also understood to have been in the thoughts of the Scotland boss after returning to his best form at Tynecastle this term.

However, the prospects of the 29-year-old former Swansea and Hull defender – who can play at centre-back or left-back – going to Germany this summer appear slim after he did not make the squad announced earlier this week, with Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson, Liam Cooper and Scott McKenna the left-sided options preferred by Clarke.

“The fact he’s being talked about as being part of the national set-up, he can be proud of that,” said Hearts boss Naismith.

“You never know what can happen. He’s been in the set-up not so long ago after a long period out, and that’s what he’ll strive for.

“The whole Scotland squad has gone up a few notches so he can take credit from making the last squad he did (in 2022) because the competition at that point was really good.

“Yes, there’s a lot of left-sided players but that versatility Stephen’s got probably puts him in a slightly different bracket. It will be hard work for him to make the Euros squad but he will never give up.

Despite his international omission, Naismith has been hugely impressed with the way Kingsley has asserted himself as one of Hearts’ key men since arriving in 2020 after injuries derailed his career down south following his first Scotland cap in 2016.

“I’d argue he’s in the running for our club player of the year,” said Naismith. “He’s consistent, he’s the ultimate professional and he’s somebody who has had to work really hard in the last five years because of the injuries he’s come through.

“I played with him in the national set-up and to go from how promising that part of his career was to then have such a long period out, your career will go one way or the other so he’s worked really hard to maximise himself.

“He probably came to Hearts at a time when he could have been at a higher level but his (injury) history counted against him. He’s come in here and the fit has been brilliant.

“He’s a leader, he’s versatile and he’s got real quality. I think he’s been one of our best players this season.

“The biggest thing for him is that he’s enjoying everything at the moment, he’s enjoying his football and where he sits within the squad. He’s a big help for me personally.”

Craig Gordon is adamant he would feel equipped to go to this summer’s European Championships with Scotland even if he is unable to win back his Hearts starting place from Zander Clark.

The 41-year-old was undisputed number one for club and country before suffering a double leg-break on Christmas Eve of 2022 that sidelined him for almost a year.

Gordon returned to contention in December but has so far been restricted to just two Scottish Cup appearances against lower-league sides Spartans and Airdrie, with Hearts boss Steven Naismith keeping faith with Clark for cinch Premiership duties.

With the Euros kicking off in just over three months, the former Sunderland and Celtic keeper is running out of time to re-establish himself at club level.

Asked if he feels he would be fit and sharp enough to go to the showpiece in Germany even if not playing regularly for Hearts, Gordon – capped 74 times by his country – said: “Absolutely, yes. I feel really good.

“My body’s in the best shape it has been in years. There’s no doubt in my mind I’m capable of doing that. I just hope I get the opportunity to show everybody else as well.

“I’ve not spoken to Steve Clarke but I’m still hopeful. I still feel as if I’m capable, I feel my body’s in a good place, I feel ready to play. I definitely feel like I can still play at that level but that’s a choice for Steve.”

Gordon is expected to get another timely run-out for Hearts in Monday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final away to Morton, with the Scotland squad for the March friendly double-header against Netherlands and Northern Ireland due to be named just days later.

The veteran appears to be vying with current number one Angus Gunn, clubmate Clark, Motherwell’s Liam Kelly and Rangers number two Robby McCrorie to make the squad.

“We’ll see,” said Gordon, regarding the prospect of being selected by Clarke next week. “I’ll hopefully get the nod for the game on Monday (at Morton), and if I continue playing in the cup, it gives me another appearance, another chance to play.

“I don’t know what the manager (Clarke) is thinking but I’m certainly ready and able to join up if he decides to choose me.”

Asked if he could envisage a scenario whereby both he and clubmate Clark go to the Euros, Gordon said: “Anything’s possible. I don’t know what the manager’s thinking, what he sees as his best options but I’m still hopeful.

“There are nine league games to go, potentially three cup games, so I’ve got a lot still to fight for. I need to play as many of those as possible and try and force my way in there.”

Gordon has generally been a number one throughout his career and admits he is in a “strange” situation whereby he finds himself cast as a back-up despite never having been dropped due to his form at Hearts.

“Being a goalkeeper, it seems to change things slightly in terms of people’s views,” he said. “There’s two sides to it. If you’re in my camp, you say I only lost my place because of an injury, and if you’re not then you say the man in possession keeps the gloves.

“There’s two ways to think about it. It’s not fallen on my side just yet but I can only do what I can do. I feel like I’m training really well and giving myself that opportunity.”

*Craig Gordon was speaking as Hearts launched their Maroon Mile project to mark 150 years of history in Edinburgh’s Gorgie and Dalry area. The Jambos have announced plans for a trail dedicated to their existence and achievements within the local community.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been charged by the Scottish Football Association for his criticism of the match officials after his side’s 2-0 defeat by Hearts on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman has been cited by the compliance officer and faces a hearing on March 28 after his contentious comments following a showdown at Tynecastle in which he claimed “the game was decided by the officials, on the field and outside of the field”.

Rodgers was particularly angered by the decision to send off Yang Hyun-jun in the 16th minute for catching Hearts’ Alex Cochrane with a high boot and also the call to award the hosts the penalty from which they scored their opening goal after the ball landed on the arm of Tomoki Iwata – who knew little about it – as he tried to win an aerial duel.

Rodgers was particularly scathing of VAR John Beaton for intervening in the red-card incident.

“For John Beaton to actually look at that in VAR, supposedly under no pressure, and say that was a sending off, I find that incredible,” said Rodgers on Sunday.

Rodgers went on to label the officiating of the match as “incompetent”.

“In my time up here I’m not one to have a go at refs because I understand it’s a very, very difficult position they are in,” he said.

“I try to respect decisions and give the benefit of the doubt. But I think when I see that level of incompetence, which is the only word I can use, then that makes me worry for the game.

“In such a tight title race, which it is and it’s fantastic and great to be involved in, that can make the difference. And that today made the difference for us.”

Rodgers has been charged for a breach of the SFA’s rule 72, accused of “criticising the decision(s) and/or performance(s) of any or all match official(s) in such a way as to indicate bias or incompetence on the part of such match official.”

Rodgers’ charge comes 24 hours after it emerged that Celtic had failed in overturning Yang’s red card.

If found guilty at his hearing later this month, Rodgers could find himself banned from the technical area for the April 7 showdown with title rivals Rangers at Ibrox.

Steven Naismith condemned the “idiots” who threw objects at Lawrence Shankland as he waited to take Hearts’ penalty in their 1-1 draw at home to Hibernian.

The Jambos top scorer had to hold his nerve before he equalised from the spot just before half-time after a range of items rained down on him from the stand behind the goal housing Hibs fans.

Shankland was struck by more objects when defending a corner later in the game, while Hibs goal-scorer Emiliano Marcondes was also hit by something thrown from the Hearts end.

Hearts boss Naismith said: “I think it was everything that was in everyone’s pockets, whether it be coins, vapes or whatever. All the stuff getting launched on, it’s just not acceptable.

“If that then gets looked at, what’s going to happen is they are just going to reduce the amount of fans that can go into that stand and that’s going to impact what I think is a good atmosphere, a good derby which has a fierce rivalry.

“It’s just idiots that are going to spoil the party for everybody. It’s just not good enough, end of.”

Shankland’s penalty – contentiously awarded after Hearts forward Kenneth Vargas went down while trying to get away from Will Fish – just before the break cancelled out Marcondes’ 27th-minute opener for Hibs.

“It was end to end at times, both teams had chances and, ultimately, that bit of quality was the thing that was missing in the game,” added Naismith.

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery was adamant his team deserved to win the game and felt referee Kevin Clancy made an error by sticking with his decision to award the penalty to Hearts even though he was advised by VAR to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.

“The VAR is there to call the referee over so he doesn’t make a mistake and when he called him over, I looked at it on the monitor and my opinion is no way it’s a penalty – and I don’t think anybody else probably thought it was,” said Montgomery.

“And then, lo and behold, he’s got a clear view of it, he can slow it down, he can watch it. Yeah, he gives a penalty. I’m just really disappointed that we don’t take three points. It cost us two points.

“Maybe we’ll get another apology this week like we did after Aberdeen. Maybe we won’t. But at the end of the day, what we won’t get back is any points.”

Asked about the objects being thrown from the stands, Montgomery said: “I don’t condone it, Steven doesn’t condone it. Neither do the clubs. Unfortunately there were a few things.

“Emi Marcondes had it in the first half as well when we had serious pressure on them.”

Hearts forward Lawrence Shankland scored his 26th goal of the season from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw at home to city rivals Hibernian.

The Easter Road side went ahead through on-loan Bournemouth playmaker Emiliano Marcondes.

But they were pegged back just before the break when Hearts were awarded a contentious spot-kick, and in-form Shankland fired home his sixth Edinburgh derby goal since moving to Tynecastle in the summer of 2022.

Despite being unable to find a winner in an end-to-end second half, Hearts increased their advantage in third place in the cinch Premiership to 12 points over fourth-placed Kilmarnock, while the Hibees moved within a point of the top six.

Hearts manager Steven Naismith made three changes to the team that started Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Rangers as Kye Rowles, Beni Baningime and Jorge Grant dropped to the bench and were replaced by Cammy Devlin, Scott Fraser and Alan Forrest.

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery selected the same side that started the 2-1 win at home to Dundee – a result that stemmed a run of eight games without a league victory.

The visitors – seeking a first triumph at Tynecastle since Boxing Day 2019 – settled well and they threatened after three minutes when Marcondes picked out Joe Newell just inside the box with a cleverly-worked corner, but the Englishman’s shot was blocked by his own team-mate Lewis Miller.

Hibs forward Martin Boyle almost got himself clear in the 25th minute when Rocky Bushiri’s headed clearance from his own box bounced into the Hearts half but the Australia international could not get the ball fully under control and Nathaniel Atkinson got back to snuff out the danger.

The Hibees, who had looked the likelier side, made the breakthrough in the 27th minute when Marcondes calmly slotted home the rebound from 10 yards out after Boyle was released in the box by Dylan Vente and clipped the ball beyond Hearts goalkeeper Zander Clark, only to see Atkinson scramble it off the line.

The hosts had offered little in the first half but they managed to get themselves level just before the break when they were awarded a penalty after Kenneth Vargas fell to the ground as he tried to seize on a loose touch from Hibs defender Will Fish.

Referee Kevin Clancy was advised by VAR to review the incident on the pitchside monitor but he felt there was enough contact to justify sticking with his initial decision. Shankland was pelted by objects thrown from the away end as he waited to take his spot-kick but, after the penalty area was cleared of debris, he fired emphatically past David Marshall.

The second half was far more open, with good chances at both ends. Vente, Boyle and Myziane Maolida all went close for the Hibees, while Vargas, Shankland, Forrest and Calem Nieuwenhof had opportunities to win it for the Jambos.

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