Neil Lennon fumes at Old Firm ref after Celtic lose to Rangers

The Bhoys boss was not a happy man after he was sent from the dug-out and two of his players were also red carded.

Image: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said he had the right to question referees after being sent off at half-time during his side’s 3-2 loss to Rangers.

Celtic could have secured the Scottish Premier League title with a win at Ibrox, but they were outplayed by the hosts, who went ahead in the 11th minute thanks to a fantastic goal from Sone Aluko.

The match turned just before the half-hour mark, when Cha Du-Ri pulled down Lee Wallace and was given his marching orders from referee Calum Murray, a decision that drew Lennon’s ire.

“I am entitled, as a manager, to speak to a referee,” Lennon told BBC Scotland.

“Who are they accountable to? Are they allowed to waltz through games criticism-free? I had, for me, a quiet word in the tunnel with the referee.

“I didn’t think it was a sending-off. I’m not sure Wallace would ever have got the ball. We had cover and the contact is minimal.

“I was pretty upset about that decision and others in the first half.”

Celtic had Victor Wanyama sent off on 57 minutes for a two-footed lunge on Steven Whittaker, and Rangers made them pay with goals from Andrew Little and Wallace seeing them take a 3-0 lead.

Celtic hit back late on through a Scott Brown penalty – after Carlos Bocanegra had been sent off for Rangers – and a Thomas Rogne header, but it was too little too late.

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Lennon, however, said he was happy with the fightback.

“We rallied brilliantly with nine men,” Lennon said. “I am very proud of the players and the supporters today, but I am very angry (with the referee).

“My players showed in the second half why they are going to be the champions.”

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