Celtic should feel hard done by after the decision to award Ross County a penalty against Matt O’Riley.
This has been suggested by former professional referee Dermot Gallagher, who has slammed the decision on the latest instalment of Sky Sports’ Ref Watch.
Ange Postecgolou’s men increased their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to nine points after a hard-fought victory at Parkhead this past weekend.
However, the points certainly did not come easy, as the Hoops saw the visitors take the lead after O’Riley was deemed to have handled the ball in his own box, with VAR deciding against overturning the original call.
Gallagher shared his sympathy for Postecoglou and those at Celtic as he firmly believes this is a decision that the officials got wrong on the day as they continue to get to grips with VAR in the Scottish game.
He said: “I think he’s really, really unlucky, isn’t he? What can he do? It flicks up, it definitely hits his elbow, there’s no doubt about that. But it was given, that’s it – you have to accept that it’s not going to be utopia straight away.”
TIF Thoughts on Gallagher’s comments…
We cannot understand how the referee thought O’Riley intentionally handled the ball when it was at such close proximity and deflected up onto his arm.
Has VAR been against Celtic so far?
We can almost understand why VAR did not overturn it as the referee judged it to have hit O’Riley’s arm, which it did. However, there should be some consideration for the player’s intent.
This is not the first time O’Riley has had a questionable handball ruled against him, and if this is how referees are going to officiate the game, it probably won’t be the last contentious handball decision in the Premiership.