Rangers’ title ambition was dealt a huge blow following a 2-1 loss at the hands of Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
Ryan Kent gave the Light Blues the lead two minutes into the second-half following a beautiful counterattack, but the hosts pegged them back through Steven Naismith 10 minutes later.
An 83rd-minute goal from Liam Boyce sank Rangers, handing them their second defeat of the Scottish Premiership campaign and ending their run of six consecutive victories.
The loss means Rangers remain five points behind Celtic with a game in hand after the Hoops secured a 3-0 victory at Ross County’s expense on Saturday.
Celtic legend Christ Sutton, Alex Rae and BBC pundit Tam McManus reacted to the result thus on Twitter:
Fair play to Hearts huge guts and big win against Rangers👏👏
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) January 26, 2020
— Alex Rae (@alexrae1969) January 26, 2020
Hearts look a different animal. Tremendous performance full of energy and graft. Been bang at it from the first whistle. Bravely played a high line (no Berra) and pressed Rangers into errors. Rangers missed Morelos massively but this been coming after two v sloppy performances
— Tam McManus (@The_Tman10) January 26, 2020
Manager Steven Gerrard’s 100th game in charge of Rangers didn’t go as he would have loved, and the absence of Alfredo Morelos surely affected them.
The Light Blues’ first league defeat of the season came on the first day of September at the hands of Celtic, and while it has taken them to lose another game, the latest defeat has come at a wrong time.
Rangers host Ross County on Wednesday before welcoming Aberdeen to Ibrox on Saturday, and they need to pick up all six points in order to keep their title challenge alive.