Chris Sutton has called out the "wooden, rigid thought process" over handball decisions after Dermot Gallagher defended the penalty awarded to Hearts against Celtic.

The former Parkhead forward responded to the ex-Premier League referee after he had credited Scottish officials with consistency over handball decisions in Scotland - even if he branded the call "harsh".

Don Robertson pointed to the spot at Tynecastle after the ball struck the arm of Tomoki Iwata in the box - however, the midfielder had collided with team-mate Alistair Johnston in the air before the ball struck his arm.

On Sky Sports Ref Watch, Gallagher said: "I think so [harsh decision]. But what you would say is, we've seen this in the Scottish league all season.

"The one thing they've been consistent about, any incident like that has been penalised for handball.

"I think harsh, I think very, very unlucky. But to their credit, every single one they've given."

Responding to Gallagher's verdict on X, formerly Twitter, Sutton wrote: "Dermot Gallagher giving credit to the officials for awarding penalties similar to the one Iwata was penalised for yesterday pretty much sums up the wooden, rigid thought process when looking at incidents such as these north of the border… the whole incident wasn’t looked at…"

READ MORE: Celtic manager admits he fears for Scottish game due to 'incompetence'

Commenting on the refereeing performance, Brendan Rodgers said: “My feeling is that the game was decided by the officials. On the field and outside of the field. I don’t really comment on officials, they make mistakes and whatever else. But today that felt like really, really poor officiating. 

“The first one is the sending off when there is no force. Show a still image of that and of course and you will see a foot up with the head near it. But it’s not the reality of the move. 

“Don got it actually right on the field. It was a high boot, so it’s a yellow card – no malice or force. For John Beaton to actually look at that in VAR, supposedly under no pressure, and say that was sending off? I find that incredible. 

 “The second one is worse. If you have a penalty go against you for that then there will be penalties every single weekend and midweek. I don’t know what he is supposed to do. 

“Tomo is jumping, he got a nudge, he is coming down, the ball falls on to his arm and there is no intention to move. Then you get the penalty against and he gets the chance to look at it and see it. 

“That really left us with an uphill task in the game and credit to my players.  They kept going, their keeper has made a few good saves. If we get one of them it changes the momentum of the game. But it was a poor day for the officials.”