Vakoun Issouf Bayo’s chance to impress for Celtic tonight was taken away from him by Edouard Mendy’s dreadful play-acting.
The Rennes goalkeeper was clearly seen holding his head after an apparent “collision” with the Hoops forward. Bayo was only brought on for the final few minutes after Odsonne Edouard had run himself into the ground in Brittany.
However, footage from the game clearly proves that Bayo didn’t touch the shot-stopper. Instead, he was up and running as soon as the Ivorian was sent off.
Former Scotland and Everton star James McFadden told the BBC (19:46) in the final few moments that referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez had “lost the plot”.
You can view the footage below if you missed the game and see the sending off for yourself. It’s fair to say that Bayo was certainly robbed by sheer play-acting on the Rennes number one’s part.
"That is ridiculous. The ref must have been influenced!"@chris_sutton73 was not convinced as Vakoun Bayo was sent off shortly after coming on as a sub for Celtic…
It certainly does look like the referee changed his mind without consulting his assistant 👀 pic.twitter.com/dxEnBMyGYc
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 19, 2019
It’s fair to say that Martinez was particularly card-happy with the Hoops players. Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie, and Scott Brown were all booked in harsh fashion. Bayo’s, however, was perhaps the most ridiculous of the lot.
The striker now has to deal with what he’ll likely feel was letting his side down. However, you’ll struggle to find a Celtic fan who will want to blame him for the incident.
Can Bayo bounce back from Rennes disappointment on Sunday?
At the end of the day, Celtic have left France with a fine result. They’ve got an exceptional away point, and come back from the contest with plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
The French side, in truth, also disappointed to an extent. Many expected more from the likes of Raphinha, Mbaye Niang, and Eduardo Camavinga respectively. But on the night, it’s difficult to really give them pass marks for a home performance.
As for Bayo, he’ll be looking to bounce back as soon as possible. Sunday’s home clash against Kilmarnock can’t come quickly enough for him.
There’s surely a good chance that Edouard sits out for a rest. He did all he could tonight, but with Bayo and Leigh Griffiths waiting in the wings, it’s time to rotate up top.
And, hopefully, after some shocking play-acting has robbed him of his chance, Bayo can bounce back in style if he’s selected this weekend.