Scott Brown calls Jamie Walker a 'cheat' as Celtic beat Hearts
CELTIC captain Scott Brown described Jamie Walker as a "cheat" after the Hearts midfielder won and scored a controversial penalty in the Hoops' 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Tynecastle.
Scott Sinclair came off the bench just hours after his move from Aston Villa was confirmed to score a dramatic winner for the champions but there had been some previous drama.
The 27-year-old, who signed a four-year deal for a fee reported to potentially reach as much as £4.5million, watched from the bench as James Forrest drove Celtic into the lead in the eighth minute.
However, in the 36th minute Hearts drew level when referee John Beaton adjudged Parkhead left-back Kieran Tierney to have fouled Walker, who despatched the spot kick.
Walker was adamant that there was contact but when Brown came into the media room immediately afterwards, he said: "It is brilliant how well he dives. He is really good at that. He should have been in Rio.
"It was a dive. Cheat. What else can you say?
"The referee came out at half-time and said he got it completely wrong. He made the decision, he hasn't seen it and the linesman's not puts his flag up.
"It was always a hard game when you come here, a great atmosphere and you expect a hard challenge like they gave us.
"They tried to play football and mix it up as well.
"Hearts are great at that but sometimes there is no place in football for cheats and that's been a couple of times here now."
Moments earlier Walker had said: "I knocked the ball on and I've seen him (Tierney) coming out the corner of my eye and felt contact so I went down.
"At the end of the day I am not the referee, I don't give the decisions."
Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers was less strident in his assertion of the incident.
"The referee made the mistake and thankfully it didn't cost us," he said. "The young guy took a dive which was clear."
Rodgers was pleased with the immediate impact of Sinclair and insists there is better to come from the former Manchester City forward.
He said: "He wants to score goals. He scored 27 goals for me in the Championship when he got promoted with me at Swansea.
"Scott has always been about enjoying his football. The last four years have been really difficult.
"I had him as a kid at 16 at Chelsea, he played in a really good youth team I had there.
"He went out on loan to a couple of clubs then I brought him to Swansea and he was outstanding and that got him a move to Manchester City and from there, really, his career has stalled.
"No one has really seen the best of him and probably forgotten about his quality.
"He is still young, he is 27 years of age, physically strong, very robust, he can play in big games, he loves the big occasion and still has a lot to learn so I think he will be a really big player for us.
"You get to 29 and from then until 35 you arguably play your best football because you have better knowledge of the game and for him he is not even at that stage yet."
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson claimed his side should have got a second penalty after the break when Celtic defender Kolo Toure tangled with substitute Robbie Muirhead.
The former Jambos defender said: "People said was there was light contact (for the penalty) but in the second-half the Muirhead one was a penalty.
"Toure goes in and there is definite contact which makes Robbie Muirhead slip. It is inconsistency.
"If it is a penalty it is a penalty. If he gives one in the first-half it shouldn't influence him at all."