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Dublin: 4°C Friday 5 March 2021

'Rangers should have been down to 9' - Celtic boss wanted more dismissals in Old Firm derby

Neil Lennon feels that the referee should have awarded a second red card to their bitter rivals.

Rangers and Celtic took part in a tempestuous Old Firm derby on Sunday.
Rangers and Celtic took part in a tempestuous Old Firm derby on Sunday.

CELTIC BOSS NEIL Lennon is adamant that Rangers should have been reduced to nine men during the Old Firm derby at Celtic Park after Ryan Kent was not spotted hitting Scott Brown.

With just over half an hour played, Hoops captain Brown provoked Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos and the Colombian retaliated by lashing out with an elbow and was correctly sent off.

However, late on and with Celtic 2-1 up, Kent was seen either pushing or striking Brown in the face, but the incident was not spotted and he was not dismissed, something which Lennon feels aggrieved about, despite coming away with the victory.

“I’m not happy with the treatment Scott Brown got today,” Lennon told BBC Sportsound. 

“He’s been elbowed in the face [by Morelos] and he’s been punched or pushed in the face by Ryan Kent. 

“Rangers should have been down to nine. It’s unacceptable.”

Despite the on-field discrepancies, Lennon was very satisfied with a result that all-but-confirms their retention of the Scottish Premiership title, pushing them 13 points clear of second-placed Rangers.

The win was particularly pleasing for Celtic considering that – having gone 1-0 up through a superb Odsonne Edouard solo strike – they were pegged back by 10-man Rangers as Kent levelled the scores. 

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However, James Forrest netted a late winner just four minutes from time after a sloppy giveaway by Rangers captain James Tavernier at the back.

“We’ve come away with a fantastic win against a very motivated Rangers side. I can’t ask for any more from my players.

“Rangers’ goal made everyone a little anxious. We should have been on the front foot but it was all or nothing for [Rangers] today.

At 1-0 the game’s always in the balance even against 10 men. We looked a little naive at times but we re-galvanised and scored a great goal to win.

“I thought Odsonne Edouard was the best player on the pitch by a country mile.”

Celtic take on second-bottom St. Mirren next, while Rangers host Hearts in a crunch fixture as Steven Gerrard’s men start to look over their shoulders at Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, who may fancy their chances of sneaking into second if Rangers’ poor form continues.

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