• July 25, 2024

Chris Sutton criticizes Rangers vs Celtic referee for controversial penalty decision in football match.

Chris Sutton accused Rangers forward Fabio Silva of ‘cheating’ after he was awarded a penalty in the Old Firm derby against Celtic. The Hoops were leading 2-0 at Ibrox when in the second half, the Portuguese forward seemingly tumbled theatrically under the challenge of Alistair Johnson in the area, and was duly booked for diving. To the astonishment of the ex-Celtic striker, the official then rescinded the caution and awarded a spot-kick. “It’s cheating that’s what it is,” Sutton had said, before Beaton reversed his decision.

And he then accused the official of an “embarrassing climbdown” as James Tavernier lined up the penalty. He made no mistake, blasting the ball expertly into Joe Hart’s top corner to bring Rangers hope after 55 minutes. Just moments later, Sutton was getting vociferous again after Cyriel Dessers had seemingly levelled matters from a goalmouth scramble. John Beaton points to the spot after a VAR check.

Instantly Sutton, long accused of being biased towards his former side with his punditry, was calling for a foul in the build-up. And this time, he was left grateful for Beaton being called pitch-side, with the goal duly ruled out. This time though, it was the home fans left berating the referee. With no away fans allowed at the fixture, a stunned silence greeted O’Riley’s goal, but the atmosphere ramped up as Rangers fought back after the break.

Celtic began the clash a point ahead of their rivals, but having played a game more in the Scottish Premier League. As the second half wore on, Sutton became increasingly animated, especially when Abdallah Sima levelled for Rangers late on. But then with three minutes left, Adam Idah put Celtic back in front – only for Rabbi Matondo to astonishingly seal a point for the home side with a stunner in the 93rd minute.

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