Former referee Dermot Gallagher has claimed that Callum McGregor deserved a red card for Celtic over the weekend as he was clearly denying a goalscoring opportunity.
In their most recent Scottish Premiership outing, the Bhoys squeezed past Motherwell, claiming a narrow 2-1 win thanks to goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate, which cancelled out Josip Juranovic’s own goal.
However, in the final stages of the game, McGregor clearly tugged down Ross Tierney in cynical fashion as the opposition striker attempted to run through on goal.
Referee John Beaton handed him a straight red card, and when discussing the incident on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, Gallagher was in agreement with the on-pitch call.
Indeed, when asked if the Celtic man was denying a clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity, the former official said: “Yes. If you show this and show when Callum actually tugs him back, the full-back on the far side won’t get there. There’s a lot of distance between them.
“All he’s [Tierney] got to do is go on one yard and chip Joe Hart.”
Do you think it was a red card?
TIF Thoughts on Callum McGregor and Celtic…
In the eyes of Gallagher and Beaton, McGregor deserved his dismissal, but manager Ange Postecoglou seemed to feel differently about the incident.
Indeed, he told BBC Sportsound (via The Sun): “It’s hard to say. From my angle, I thought we had a covering player. The referee’s made that decision so we’ve just got to cop it.”
We feel that Tierney has plenty of time to get a shot away, and with Joe Hart off his line, there’s every chance that the covering defender would have been unable to affect things. Therefore, we are siding with the officials on this occasion.
Luckily for Celtic, the red card came in the 89th minute of the game, so the Bhoys didn’t have to hang on for too long before getting across the line with all three points in hand.
As a result of the win and in spite of the key refereeing call, Postecoglou’s men remain top of the SPFL table, sitting on 21 points after eight matches.