4 Rangers vs Celtic referee decisions put up for heated debate as ex-ref clamps Hoops red card theory

Dermot Gallagher has explained why referee John Beaton made certain decision during Sunday's Old Firm clashDermot Gallagher has explained why referee John Beaton made certain decision during Sunday's Old Firm clash
Dermot Gallagher has explained why referee John Beaton made certain decision during Sunday's Old Firm clash
Rangers and Celtic played out a classic Old Firm 3-3 draw at Ibrox to leave the Scottish Premiership title race still finely poised.

Former English Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has dissected the major flashpoints from Rangers 3-3 draw with Celtic at Ibrox - and threw his support behind John Beaton’s big calls.

There was plenty of hysteria following the Scottish FA’s decision to allocate Beaton as the man in the middle for Sunday’s Old Firm encounter, and the whistler had a hectic afternoon, facing several contentious decisions to make with the help of VAR.

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But Gallagher felt he handled the occasion well overall and reckons he got most if his key decisions spot on before shutting down a claim that Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers could easily have been sent off.

Here is what Gallagher had to say about four huge decision on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch segment on Monday morning...

Connor Goldson handball & Celtic penalty


The Hoops were given a first-half spot kick following a clear-cut Goldson handball, which allowed Matt O’Riley to score with a cooly taken panenka to make it 2-0.

Gallagher said: “Good intervention, the referee can't see it on the field. You actually see he lifts his arm up and there's no doubt in my mind he puts his arm towards the ball. John Beaton goes to the screen, sees it, comes back and shows it tapped him on the elbow.”

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Off-the-ball Fabio Silva play-acting

Wolves loanee Silva had gone to ground on a number of occasions rather easily, including under Johnston’s deliberate block before being replaced with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Gallagher added: “This was a really, really interesting situation wasn't it? Has he been punched in the face? I think Alistair Johnston has put his arms up to block him off there. He puts his arms up and knows there's gonna be a collision, almost to brace himself if you like, but he certainly doesn't commit an act of violent conduct.”

Controversial Silva penalty award & “dive” overturned

The Light Blues earned a penalty of their own when Alistair Johnston was adjudged to have tripped Silva in the box, with captain James Tavernier making no mistake from 12-yards. Beaton initially dished out a yellow card to Silva for simulation - but he was sent to the monitor to review the decision, with replays appearing to show Johnston flicking the ball before Silva hits the deck.

Gallagher commented: "This is an interesting clip, he gets a yellow card for simulation but when you see it again, Alistair lifts his leg, catches him on the knee. It's a penalty. The referee then has an even bigger dilemma because of the pressure he's put under. He goes to the screen, comes back, the yellow card is overturned, he gives a penalty but then it ramps up because the Rangers players are saying, 'Well Alistair Johnston has already had a yellow card, he should get a second one'.

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"For me it's a foul, just a foul. It's not a second yellow and not a red. The interesting thing there is you've got a complete pendulum swing. You've gone referee going no foul, yellow card simulation, to going the other way. To think if he'd then gone penalty and second yellow card, that would be such a massive swing. I don't think it is, but you could imagine the swing."

Cyriel Dessers’ disallowed goal

Gers’ frontman Dessers thought he had levelled the game at 2-2 – but Nick Walsh on VAR and John Beaton chalked off his close-range finish for a foul on Tomoki Iwata by Tom Lawrence at the start of the attacking phase.

Gallagher stated: "They travel a long way, there's a lot of time to reset. I know they don't get the ball back but the referee goes to the screen and decides it's a foul. I don't think there's any doubt it's a foul, it's a matter of is that foul in the immediate build-up? Is it in the attacking phase. VAR felt it was and sent John Beaton to the screen for the third time in the match. I don't think we'd argue it's a foul it's just is it re-refereeing?”

Carter-Vickers dismissal claim


Sky Sports pundit and ex-Liverpool star Stephen Warnock put Celtic centre-back Carter-Vickers under the spotlight, saying: "I watched the start of this game and Carter-Vickers kicked a ball away. I listen to the commentary and they say they are reluctant to give a yellow card because it's the magnitude of the game. And I think, it's the law. And then Carter-Vickers made another foul and I'm thinking 'he should be off the pitch'. Is that something we will be talking about in a game of this magnitude?"

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Gallagher disagreed, responding: "I think there is a few issues with that, Firstly, you go into that game and the referee would not want to give out a yellow card. He would not want the players to put him in that position. If he gives Carter-Vickers a yellow card he is massively under pressure - the player and himself. You can't ever say he should be sent off for a second yellow card because he didn't get the first one. You are right, you don't want it to happen but every challenge has to be dealt with individually."

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