Celtic manager Neil Lennon was left frustrated by two penalty incidents during the Bhoys’ victory over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup on Saturday evening.
The comfortable 2-1 win against the Scottish Championship side was a decent return to action after the winter break and ensures the team continue their defence of the trophy.
Lennon was left pleased overall with the evening and the performance of his players, but did take aim at referee Alan Muir and his Scottish FA officiating team for two penalty incidents across the 90 minutes.
The first came when Jeremie Frimpong was pushed to the ground inside the box in the first half, with appeals for a spot-kick waved away.
Then, in injury time, Frimpong appeared to make a goal-saving challenge on Dario Zanatta, but the officials gave Thistle a penalty that allowed them to narrow Celtic’s two-goal cushion late on.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Lennon said of the decisions: “It was a definite penalty. It was a push in the back. He’s gone past him, the guy’s pushed him in the back. Jerry’s at full pace, he’s not dived and he’s gone over.
“I don’t know how that can’t be a penalty.
“The second one, I think he’s got his body across Zanatta. There’s an inference that his heels were clipped but you can clearly see he’s got his body across him. Frimpong’s recovery and his desire to get back was fantastic and he didn’t deserve that.”
More woeful Scottish football decisions
As we discussed earlier, Celtic fans were left similarly perplexed as to how Muir and his team failed to make the right call in both passages of play.
The push on Frimpong was rather blatant and while the flurry of activity in the closing stages of the game was hard to call in real-time, the officials looked to get that one wrong too.
Following on the bizarre suspension handed out to Ryan Christie for an adjudged offence in the derby against Rangers, it’s particularly galling. The standard of refereeing and the disciplinary procedure in Scotland continues to plumb the depths.
Ultimately it didn’t cost us this weekend but Lennon is right to point out his unhappiness from a position of victory, which always lends a bit extra credibility.