Neil Lennon hits out at "shocking" challenge on Scott Brown during Riga vs Celtic
Neil Lennon has hit out at the nasty challenge on Scott Brown during Thursday night’s win in Riga, but says that the player himself is fine.
The Hoops managed to secure a 1-0 win in Latvia to secure progression to the Europa League playoff round against Sarajevo this Thursday. However, the game had more to it than just Mohamed Elyounoussi’s late winner.
With the game stretched at 0-0, Riga midfielder Vladimirs Kamess lunged into Brown’s heel as the Celtic captain was striding away from him down the left flank. The Latvian caught the Hoops icon, who was clearly in pain as he writhed on the ground.
However, only a yellow card was flashed Kamess’ way for the over-the-top dive into Brown. And Lennon isn’t amused by it even a couple of days on.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, the manager said: “Scott was OK after the game in Latvia. He was scraped down the back of his calf. Talking to him on the flight back home, he didn’t seem too concerned about it.
“It was a shocking challenge and I thought it warranted more than a yellow card.”
The kind that you feel always go against you
We’ve had more than our fair share of unfortunate decisions in Europe over the years.
Sometimes it can feel as though any signs of overagression and a Celtic player is sent off. Yet, when it happens the other way around, referees appear to be more lenient and tend to only flash a yellow at the opposition. Perhaps that’s just my paranoi talking right enough.
Brown, of course, is no stranger to a nasty tackle. He takes plenty of them and can certainly give plenty of them too. He’s that kind of player, and has always thrived on the physical aspect of matches.
The fact he didn’t pick up a severe injury is a boost for Celtic. Yes, many will want him rested on a more regular basis this season, but the last thing we need is our captain picking up any nasty bruising around the ankle that would keep him out for weeks or months.
As things stand, Brown appears to be fit for the visit of Hibs today. Lennon will be delighted with that, regardless of whether supporters feel he should be dropped for it or not. The manager has always been a massive fan of the captain.
But we can all agree on one thing – Kemess’ challenge wasn’t a good one and should’ve seen him sent off at such a crucial time in the game on Thursday night. Thankfully, we got what we wanted overall.