In keeping with the traditions of the season, Celtic headed East bearing gifts.

Slipping and sliding they made their offerings; gifts of penalties, of goals and of records. They bowed down before Hearts and handed over an afternoon that will go down in Tynecastle folkore as the Edinburgh side rocked their biggest win over Celtic since 1895.

That the sequence of 69 unbeaten games came to an end was not entirely unpredictable but what would not have been called beforehand was the meekness with which it was relinquished.

Tony Mowbray’s ill-fated reign that ended with a 4-0 defeat to St Mirren in 2010 was the last time the Parkhead side have shipped four without reply.

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Since their own messiah arrived at the club 18 months ago, they have not had a domestic afternoon quite so sobering as the one served up inside Tynecastle yesterday afternoon.

Celtic were crushed by Hearts. They offered little bite in attack, they were overrun in the middle of the park. Defensively all the frailties that have been glimpsed this season but papered over by their relentlessness at the other end of the pitch had a brutal light shone upon them.

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Two down at the break after goals from 16-year-old kid Harry Cochrane and Kyle Lafferty, their afternoon grew considerably worse as they chased down a game that had bounded well clear of them by the break.

A goalkeeper whose nerves appear shot offered a needless penalty to compound the anguish and complete the rout.

The unbeaten sequence of results halted, this was also the first game in a domestic context where Celtic have not scored a goal. Indeed, for the previous 76 Scottish outings before this, they had netted in every one.

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Rodgers led an on-pitch huddle with his players in the aftermath of the defeat.

The Celtic manager called his squad together before instructing them to stand before the travelling support where the run was applauded.

What will be of note now is the response to this defeat, to a performance that was so entirely out of the characteristics of Celtic under Rodgers.

Celtic could barely stay on their feet; Kieran Tierney lost his footing for the opener, Callum McGregor at the second. Jozo Simunovic fell on his backside to gift a third.

It was Celtic encapsulated as they floundered all over the pitch.

If they were on the ropes at the interval, they had hit the canvas almost immediately after the restart.

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When Simunovic lost his bearings to tee up a third, Tynecastle was in full voice.

Leigh Griffiths was back in the starting line-up but he too was complicit in the defeat.

The striker looked out of sorts and off the pace and scorned the first chance of the game when James Forrest cut a decent ball across to him.

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He sclaffed at the chance, hitting it a mile high and wide – and would repeat the trick with two similar chances.

In truth, openings created by Celtic were few and far between.

It took until deep into the second period when they were already out on their feet before Hearts keeper Jon McLaughlin had a decent save to make.

Dedryck Boyata, who would go on to have an afternoon to forget along with Simunovic, was culpable in both opening goals. The Belgian defender played a short pass out to the feet of Kieran Tierney but the left-back lost his footing, allowing David Milinkovic to send the ball across the face of the penalty box to Cochrane.

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The teenager, slight and small, took a touch before curling an effort inside Craig Gordon’s post.

And how he enjoyed his celebrations.

A second would go on to follow but in the frantic aftermath of the first, Hearts almost immediately doubled their advantage.

Gordon was called into a fingertip save to deny Milinkovic but it proved to be little more than a stay of execution.

Hearts, with their tails up, continued to probe- and find - frailties within Celtic’s backline.

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Under pressure, Boyata cleared towards Callum McGregor but, with two Tynecastle shirts beside him, McGregor slipped and Milinkovic took full advantage. His ball to Kyle Lafferty was met by the striker whose clipped shot from the edge of the box off the inside of the post beat Gordon to double the lead of the Gorgie side.

Celtic responded by ringing the changes at the break. On came Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Dembele as Tierney – who took two particularly hefty fouls in the opening period – and Olivier Ntcham stayed inside.

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It meant a back three for the Parkhead side and a front pairing of Griffiths and Dembele as they went in search for a way back into the tie.

Within minutes, though, Celtic’s task was grimmer still.

Simunovic slipped and Milinkovic was on it. Taking the ball round the advancing and exposed Gordon, he had the simple task of knocking it into an empty net despite the desperate lunge of Simunovic to get back and clear.

McGregor was next to make way as Odsonne Edouard came on to make up a three-pronged strike force.

It made little difference. There was some bluster as Celtic tried to force their way through but the joy was all Hearts’.

A long ball over the top took out Mikael Lustig and as Ross Callachan looked to have overrun his effort, he found Gordon willing to offer further presents. The Celtic keeper stuck out a hand to inexplicably haul down a player who was going nowhere.

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Milinkovic, one of Celtic’s chief tormentors, was on hand to bury the resultant spot-kick.

As Celtic stood forlornly with the celebrations ringing around Tynecastle, their shock was palpable.