Kyogo Furuhashi’s controversial strike gave Celtic a 1-0 win over Hearts as it closed the gap on Scottish Premiership leader Rangers on Thursday.

Furuhashi benefited from a close call that went his way as the Japan forward converted Anthony Ralston’s cross at Parkhead.

Referee Bobby Madden allowed the first-half goal to stand, even though it seemed Furuhashi may have been marginally offside.

The victory left Celtics four points behind Rangers after the reigning champions won 1-0 at Hibernian 24 hours earlier.

Craig Gordon tipped a deflected effort by Callum McGregor wide, but Celtic’s pressure paid off in the 33rd minute, when Ralston drilled in a cross that Furuhashi turned home at the near post. The goal was allowed to stand as Hearts’ offside appeals were in vain.

Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley had a brilliant chance when he ran unguarded to the near post to meet Barrie McKay’s corner, but his header flashed past the far post.

Gary Mackay-Steven looked set to equalize in the closing stages, but stumbled.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was booked as he argued with the officials, claiming Mackay-Steven had his heel clipped.

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