Hearts 4-0 Celtic: Unbeaten run may stand forever, says Brendan Rodgers

Hearts will likely turn to McDonald centre and his fellow 16-year-old Cochrane

There will come a time for Mikael Lustig to look back with pride on how Celtic rewrote the history books through their epic 69-match unbeaten domestic run.

It left Celtic suffering their first domestic defeat since they lost 2-1 away to St Johnstone in the Premiership on May 11, 2016.

Goals from Harry Cochrane and Kyle Lafferty put Hearts two up by half-time before David Milinkovic's brace sealed Celtic's fate in the Scottish Premiership clash.

But the Northern Irishman, whose side eclipsed their own British record when they reached 63 matches without defeat last month, revealed his pride in his players' historic run.

"I don't want to blame the pitch today and Hearts won it fairly".

And Rodgers - whose side face a tough run of four games in 13 days including matches against Aberdeen and Old Firm rivals Rangers - backed his players to bounce back to winning ways when they host Partick Thistle on Wednesday.

"We didn't cope with their physicality in our backline, we made too many mistakes".

"But I also want to say congratulations to my players".

Rodgers continued: "There are always lessons if you win or lose but I've just said to the players they've had a remarkable run". They've been absolutely fantastic in those 18 months.

"Now we focus on these last games through to the end of the year".

"We didn't cope with the direct balls from Hearts", Rodgers admitted.

"Lafferty was a problem for us, first half in particular, with his physicality". I think three of the goals came from our players slipping.

"We did our very best and unfortunately for us our best wasn't good enough".

'Now is not the time to look back and see what we have achieved, we have to look forward and start winning again'. In that time, Rodgers has guided the team to the league, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup titles.

"I know the disappointment and the honesty of the group", he said. "It's over now and we need to get ready to go again".

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