"They need to clarify"; Ange Postecoglou reacts to dramatic Celtic win over Dundee United and VAR call

By John McGinley

November 5, 2022

Ange Postecoglou has given his thoughts on a dramatic afternoon at Celtic Park, which resulted in a 4-2 Bhoys victory over Dundee United.

Celtic found themselves ahead early in the match thanks to Sead Haksabanovic, but a bizarre VAR penalty call allowed a Steven Fletcher equaliser for United after Alexandro Bernabei was deemed to have handled the ball.

Haksabanovic had the Bhoys on top again before half-time with a shot from Giorgos Giakoumakis’ knockdown. Just minutes from time, United scored another leveller that looked to have earned a share of the points.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

However, Postecoglou’s undeniable Celtic again found a way to win with substitutes Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada scoring in stoppage time to send the home supporters into raptures.

Reflecting on the match on BBC Radio Scotland after the match, the Celtic manager said: “I’m pretty sure people realise now that late winners aren’t by chance. It’s just who we are. It’s a little bit of a cliche but I did say from the first day that we’re going to be a team that doesn’t stop. The players have shown that. It’s just part of who we are.

“The players don’t lose their composure because we’ve conceded and there are three or four minutes. They know what we can do in that time. We’ve done it often enough that they just get really focused and credit to them. They’re showing that resilience in abundance.

“It impresses me. That’s bearing the fruit of what we do every day. At training, we don’t stop. It becomes part of who you are. You don’t pick and choose your moments. We do it every week, respective of the game.”

Asked about the handball incident that drew the ire of supporters, Postecoglou went on to say: “The way it looks now, apart from if we’re playing Hearts away, if it hits your hand in the box it’s a penalty. I don’t know why they bother with natural or unnatural. Bernabei wasn’t even looking at the ball – how is he supposed to know his ball is in an unnatural position?

“It basically means if the ball hits your hand in the box it’s a penalty. If that’s the way they want to define it, it’ll change the game, it’ll change the way people defend because you’ll stop trying to put your body in line with the ball.

“If somebody can explain to me how, if Bernabei is going for a header and the ball has gone behind him to hit his arm, he can adjust his position to let that ball go. That’s more about the rules of the game.

“That’s something they need to clarify, why one is handball and one is not. The crazy thing about the one at Tynecastle is that the referee wasn’t even asked to go and look at it. It’s hit his hand. I’m sure there’s an explanation out there somewhere.”

The result has sent the Bhoys seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, with second-place Rangers set to visit St Johnstone on Sunday afternoon.

In other news, It’s clear some pundits have been left fuming that Celtic aren’t in crisis.