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Neil McCann delivers verdict on Yang Hyun-Jun red card in Celtic loss v Hearts

Celtic lost 2-0 against Hearts in a VAR-dominated encounter on Sunday as they failed to go to the top of the Scottish Premiership. 

The Hoops were handed a big opportunity to regain the top spot after Rangers lost 2-1 against Motherwell at Ibrox on Saturday.

Celtic missed an early penalty to take the lead, and shortly afterward Yang Hyun-Jun picked up a red card that swung the fortune in Hearts’ favour.

The challenge from Yang was “reckless”, but Neil McCann points out that there was no real malice from the winger to hurt Alex Cochrane.

Brendan Rodgers also vented his frustration at major referring decisions that went against them after the game.

Speaking on Sportscene, McCann says that it was definitely not a red card, that the referee made a big mistake by overturning the original decision after checking the pitchside monitor.

“No, pure and simply, no,” said McCann when asked if the sending off was the right decision.

“I don’t think there is any real malice in the challenge at all. Yes, it is reckless because the foot was high. I don’t think there was any intention by the boy to hurt Cochrane.

“I feel the referee’s on-field decision was right. It’s a yellow card. To be overturned and asked to go back and have another look was completely wrong and the red card should not have been shown.”

Frustration for Celtic

Chris Sutton also took to X to share his reactions after the game. The popular pundit felt that it was a harsh decision but at the same time, he says that he understands why it was given.

Nowadays, challenges like these get punished by the referee, and while pundits may argue that referees should take into consideration whether the challenge was malicious or not, that’s not how it works.

So, as it stands, Celtic remain two points behind Rangers in the SPFL title race. Rodgers will be frustrated because they came into this match on the back of a 7-1 win over Dundee, and it seemed like they were getting back to their old best.

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