Neil Lennon has finally given his view on the weekend red card suffered by Sam Cosgrove at Celtic Park.
The Aberdeen frontman was given his marching orders by referee Euan Anderson after a forceful challenge on Hoops defender Kristoffer Ajer. Dons boss Derek McInnes confirmed they would be appealing the decision after the match (BBC), saying that his player “won the ball clearly”.
But Lennon disagrees that the offence shouldn’t have been a red card as he opened up to press on Friday. The Northern Irishman wasn’t on press duties for some reason post-match on Saturday so we’ve had to wait a few days to hear his views.
But now Clyde Superscoreboard reporter Andrew Maclean has relayed those on Twitter.
🗣 Neil Lennon on Sam Cosgrove tackle:
"There's intent there. I don't think he needed to make the challenge.
"Kristoffer's maybe lucky he didn't come off with a bad injury".
"In hindsight – the way the game is now – it probably was the correct decision". pic.twitter.com/QdYZa66sOP
— Andrew Maclean (@_AndrewMaclean) December 24, 2019
Lennon is spot on three times over Cosgrove
All three of Lennon’s statements made there are correct and impossible to argue with. There was certainly intent from Cosgrove, given the way he sprinted over to Ajer after the Norwegian had made an impeccable sliding challenge.
Ajer could easily have come off with a horror injury had his foot been planted as Cosgrove left the ground. The ball is kind of irrelevant when a player is going in with that force as the player’s safety must always be paramount.
And his final comment on the game evolving is spot on too. Maybe you could have got away with a challenge like that 20 years ago. But the game has changed nowadays and we can only govern with the rules that are in place today.
Using those rules, it was a clear red card for Cosgrove. And Lennon is totally vindicated in saying that.