Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie says he was “shocked” that he didn’t receive a penalty during the 1-1 draw against Rennes.
The 24-year-old looked to have a real case for a spot-kick when he was clipped by defender Joris Gnagnon after knocking the ball past him at the start of the second-half. Referee Jose Maria Sanchez waved away the claims but later awarded the Hoops a penalty after James Forrest was fouled in similar circumstances.
Christie converted that penalty but feels he could perhaps have been at the double.
“I think it was definitely a penalty,” he told the Herald. “At the time I looked back and I expected to see the referee giving it. I was shocked when he didn’t.
“I saw it again in the changing-room after the game and it’s a definite penalty. It was a relief when we got James’ one to even it up. It was maybe what it was going to take to break the deadlock for us and it was a relief to come away with a point.
“It was a strange one. If it’s not a penalty, then he had to book me, but he awarded a throw in.”
If it wasn’t a penalty then Christie should have been booked
The final point Christie makes is a very pertinent one. The Spanish referee had already booked Odsonne Edouard for simulation in the first-half so surely if he felt Christie’s incident wasn’t a penalty then he had to do the same there.
The fact he didn’t suggests that he wasn’t 100% sure about the decision. Referees are told to put all external influences to one side, and for the most part they’re very good at it, but you just wonder if the vocal home support had anything to do with the decision.
You feel that it’s a penalty we would have got at Celtic Park had the Jock Stein Stand been yelling for it. At least we’ve got that to look forward to when Rennes come to town later this year.
We’re in a good position after matchday one. And if these incidents even themselves out then we’re surely due another penalty in the coming months.