Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon believes that Jon Flanagan should’ve seen red at Ibrox this afternoon.
Rangers dumped Celtic 2-0 today. It was by far a deserved win, with Celtic barely laying a glove on the Ibrox side all afternoon. It was, in truth, an embarrassing performance from Lennon’s side.
In recent matches this season, Rangers have suffered from discipline problems. This was striker Alfredo Morelos’ first match since returning from an incredible four-match suspension picked up in the last match against Celtic. Flanagan, meanwhile, was at it today when he threw an elbow in Scott Brown’s face.
And speaking on the Flanagan incident post-match, Lennon went through referee Kevin Clancy for failing to produce a red. Flanagan did pick up a yellow card, showing that Clancy did spot the elbow.
Neil Lennon not happy with Jon Flanagan's elbow on Celtic captain Scott Brown: "totally unacceptable…unacceptable for the referee not to give a red card…i'm not distracting away from the rest of the game when we were second best but the laws of the game are it's a red card"
— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) May 12, 2019
A scandalous decision on a dark day
Lennon is right to highlight it. It was an embarrassing decision from Clancy, with Flanagan clearly in his line of sight when he elbowed the Celtic captain.
You can view the incident below if you missed the game or the key moment Lennon is highlighting.
Jon Flanagan elbow on Scott Brown. Yellow card given. pic.twitter.com/aTiXV51hti
— TheRenderNHL (@TheRenderNHL) May 12, 2019
It’s a shocking piece of play from Flanagan. Brown was poor all game, but he should’ve been given more protection here.
Clancy was willing to let Rangers away with whatever they wanted. Heavy challenges from the likes of Scott Arfield, Flanagan, and Ryan Jack in particular all went unpunished. There was a slightly odd and overaggressive nature to Rangers’ tackles today. But Clancy never put a lid on things.
Even so, it doesn’t hide from the fact that Celtic were totally outclassed in every department. Rangers dominated us to a standard not seen in a long time. Heading into the summer, that’s a worrying sight, but it couldn’t come at a better time.
Even if Flanagan was sent off today, there’s no guarantee we were getting an equaliser. Oliver Burke missed a sitter at the death, but the Hoops were so poor that you struggle to believe we would’ve had the character required to haul ourselves level.
At the end of the day, this was a deserved win. Should Flanagan have been sent off? Undoubtedly. Does it matter? Not really.