69 and out for Celtic as unbeaten run comes to an end

Kyle Lafferty scored for Heart

The former Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths was given his first Celtic start since November and Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kieran Tierney also returned for a match that began in typically frenetic fashion and hinted at the shock to come.

The Hoops had not lost in the league in 18 months - having set a new Scottish record.

The former Liverpool boss told Sky Sports 2: "Credit to Hearts, they were the better team, they were physically better than us in the first half and thoroughly deserved it. Congratulations to them on their victory".

"We weren't so good today, we made too many mistakes to warrant getting a result".

In those 69 games, Celtic scored an outrageous 197 goals - at an average of 2.9 goals per game.

After the final whistle, the Celtic boss and his players formed a huddle on the pitch, with Rodgers saying he was eager for the squad to reflect on the pain of defeat, and the magnitude of their achievements.

And Rodgers made sure he reserved some praise for his own stars.

Celtic have started the season in imperious form and have yet to taste defeat in their opening 17 games.

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"Of course it's a sore one when you are beaten like that", Rodgers said, "but they (Celtic's players) can hold their heads up".

"They have been absolutely incredible over those 18 months".

"To go this far without losing a match in the league or cups in Scotland is quite remarkable".

'Early on, we had a couple of chances after breaking from midfield and I felt we had some space to play football.

There are little more than three days for the Bhoys to lick their wounds before they play a home fixture against Partick Thistle on Wednesday.

And he's confident the Hoops will very quickly go back on a winning run as they seek to maintain their grip on every domestic trophy. All credit to the players.

"They put pressure on the ball and managed to unsettle Celtic as a team".

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