Celtic travelled to Ibrox yesterday to face “rangers “, their hostile support and the Lanarkshire Referees Association, who seemed to be staying in a van somewhere near Aberdeen, presumably to aid a quick getaway.
VAR in the back of a van today in Aberdeen pic.twitter.com/7SlK7RMxUd
— Scottish Football Away Days (@days_scottish) January 2, 2023
They would have needed it, as well.
Celtic escaped with a 2-2 draw, the late equaliser from Kyogo was no surprise, Celtic hadn’t played well, some of the players looked like they had either just got over the winter bug sweeping through the club, or they had lied about not having it.
Although the game started well for the hoops when on loan for five minutes Alfredo Morelos sent Daizen Maeda through to score after just a few minutes, a barrowload looked on the cards.
The Ibrox side looked uncomfortable, devoid of ideas and lacking in confidence….and it stayed like that until half time,
When the game restarted, it was Celtic who looked hesitant and unsure, and when Joe Hart dithered with the ball and belted it off a “rangers ” forward, Celtic didn’t recover.
Their collective energy, confidence and ability seemed to evaporate.
Maybe it was the bug, maybe it was the conditions, which suited the long ball of “rangers ” and seemed to hinder our passing game.
Or perhaps it was just a bad day at the office.
Ryan Kent equalised and then the inevitable penalty, awarded on one of the few occasions they had an opportunity to award one.
Fashion Sakala, enjoying a free run at Celtic against ans under par Juranovic….Ange had said pre match he wasn’t one hundred per cent, then stood on Carl Starfelt’s leg, and fell over.
If you watch his fist clenched celebration at being awarded a penalty, whilst on the ground, it’s hard to believe he wasn’t playing for the award…..
That put the home side ahead, and it took a great save from Conor Goldson to keep them there.
No penalty, no surprise.
The media narrative has shifted the blame to the VAR official, willie Collum, as indeed, it appears has John Beaton.
The debate will now be about who has the final say in these decisions, the referee or VAR.
Not about the fact that yet again, one team is benefiting at the expense of another.
It’s time for shareholders to bypass our club, who clearly have no interest in righting this perennial wrong, and to write to UEFA and demand an investigation into the ongoing corruption at the SFA.
It works, as we have seen with the decision by UEFA to watch what goes on between “rangers ” and the SFA off the pitch….now we need to force them to look at what happens on the pitch.
As we know, we weren’t paranoid enough last time, and it looks like we’re not being paranoid enough this time either.
Celtic are too far away in the league for “rangers ” to catch, but several decisions this season have allowed them to open up a gap from third place, which should ensure them a crack at the champions League qualifiers,
There’s a few quid in that for them, and a guaranteed Europa group stage as well.
And they need money, more so than they are letting on.
They will see out the season with less on the field than they have now, so it’s important they get all the help they can to stay in second place.
Credit has to go to Celtic players for not panicking yesterday, they kept their discipline and kept playing the way they can to get another late goal.
The point keeps the gap at nine and put simply, Celtic won;t play that badly again, they can;t really play any better than they did. And still, they weren’t able to win.
When the dust settles, they will realise that, and even second may be a struggle, although they should be safe.
Once more, however , it seems our board have phoned the Ibrox board and asked what we can do to help in their hour of need.
Which is unacceptable.
It’s our club, and we have no intention of helping out our neighbours, and the board might just realise that of we can put something together and send it to UEFA.
To let them off once is a mistake. To do it twice is just plain stupid.