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Celtic beat Hearts 4-3 amid VAR controversy in Tynecastle goal-fest

Celtic beat Hearts at Tynecastle in Saturday's early kick-off.

Celtic beat Hearts 4-3 amid VAR controversy in seven-goal thriller at Tynecastle SNS Group

Celtic have moved five points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership after getting the better of Hearts in a seven-goal thriller in Edinburgh.

A Lawrence Shankland hat-trick wasn’t enough to get the home side anything from the game as the Hoops won 4-3 at Tynecastle.

James Forrest continued his good run of form with a goal for Celtic before Shankland levelled from the spot amid a first half full of VAR drama.

VAR: Referee consulted monitor before awarding penalty to Hearts.SNS Group

Celtic should have had a penalty for a handball at the end of half and they would have felt a goal from Anthony Ralston should have stood earlier in the game, but referee Nick Walsh waved away both.

The whistler did consult the monitor before awarding Hearts their first penalty of the afternoon before making them retake another in a day of high drama in the Premiership.

The floodgates opened after the break with five goals, and one chopped off, and two penalties in a frantic second half.

Forrest opened the scoring in the first half when he headed home from close range for his fourth goal in only his second start this season to put the league leaders 1-0 up.

The game was less than 20 minutes old when VAR had its first intervention when an Anthony Ralston header was ruled out.

The referee blew for a foul straight away but then took around a minute and a half before restarting play as he discussed the incident with the officials checking video replays.

Penalty: Lawrence Shankland scores to make it 1-1.SNS Group

Hearts were forced into the first change of the game when Humphrys was replaced by Lawrence Shankland after being forced off injured with just over five minutes left of the first half.

VAR was involved again this time for a penalty check when Devlin and Carter Vickers clashed in the box.

Walsh went to watch a replay of the incident on the monitor before awarding the penalty to Hearts on the stroke of half time.

Shankland stepped up to blast the ball past Joe Hart and bring the scores level to make it 1-1 in first half injury time.

Moments later the referee there was another VAR check for a potential penalty, but this time Walsh decided against giving Celtic a penalty despite the ball coming off the arm of Smith in the Hearts box.

It was all level at the break, but the second half was only seconds old when Shankland scored his second to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

Mooy should have had Celtic level again just five minutes later but the Australian directed his shot wide of the post from point blank range following good work by Hatate.

It was end to end at the start of the second half and Devlin was next up for a shot at goal but his effort flew over Joe Hart’s crossbar before Gordon was forced into action to save a Forrest strike down the other end.

And it was 2-2 soon after when Giakoumakis found space in the box to meet an O’Riley corner and head past Gordon for the equaliser.

Less than four minutes later after that the Hoops were ahead again after Maeda was first to pounce on the rebound when Mooy’s shot was saved.

The Japan forward put the ball in the bet for his second league goal of the season to put Celtic 3-2 up before celebrating with the supporters.

It had barely restarted again when Jenz was penalised for a late tackle in the box and Hearts were handed their second penalty of the game.

Hart saved Shankland’s penalty, but Josh Ginnelly was the first to react and he scored to make it 3-3 but VAR delayed the celebrations, and the referee awarded the penalty to be retaken.

This time Shankland made sure from the spot to get his hat-trick to level the scores.

But the goals weren’t finished yet and the seventh of the afternoon came from Greg Taylor who scored his first Premiership goal to make it 4-3 to the champions.

Celtic held out for the last 15 minutes to increase their lead at the top of the league.

Second placed Rangers play Livingston at Ibrox at 3pm as they look to cut the gap back to two points.