While we’re not going to pretend Rangers 100% deserved the three points at Parkhead, serious questions now are being asked over how the Famous was effectively ‘cheated’ out of four definitive decisions over a spread of recent matches at Parkhead.
There are now genuine investigations under way into what’s going on at Parkhead which has allowed four massive calls to go Celtic’s way and potentially cost Rangers 6 points in both matches.
Case 1: Alfredo Morelos’ legitimate goal disallowed over a ‘foul’ on Alistair Johnston last season, which only he and the ref thought was one. VAR did not intervene and the decision stood.
Case 2: two clear and distinct second yellows at Parkhead today which were not administered to either home player, and got them both away with clear sendings off.
This is the one that really has set the cat among the pigeons. As we all know, serial cheater Johnston punched the ball out for a goal kick. The replay was clear that it was a penalty. At the time, it was rejected by VAR as a clear and obvious error, which of course was patently wrong, only for VAR chief Willie Collum later to notice that Abdallah Sima was offside (fractionally) in the build up.
The problem was this was NOT the reason he’d offered at the time of the offence, and as media partner Heart and Hand have said, Collum has lied to cover his own ‘error’.
This is disquieting and troubling.
Rangers might have probably been second-best overall in Glasgow’s East End, but that may change if the opponent is down to 9 men or the visitors are given the penalty they should have received. Same with Morelos’ denied goal in April.
It is true Rangers get quite a few penalties in general, but very very few of them are not justified. Whereas it’s become quite the thing that the side hasn’t received a penalty at Parkhead for over a decade. 2010 was the last one any Rangers side received, and there’s been tonnes of legitimate cases.
Is this systematic cheating?
We don’t want to go that route, but it absolutely looks like it – like officials are letting their own allegiances cloud their judgement, or are making ‘mistakes’ hoping no one will notice.
But that’s only ‘looks like’ – in reality they’re not fit for purpose by a long way.
Whether it’s for honourable or dishonourable reasons, officials today were appalling, and that includes Nick Walsh.
They might not have been the reason Rangers lost, but they did make it a lot harder for the visitors to do so.