One of the few frustrating elements of Sunday’s emphatic 4-0 success at Aberdeen was the amount of second-half stoppage time dished out by referee John Beaton.

The 37-year-old, who has come under fire from Hoops supporters before, elected to add just one minute on at the end of the second 45. Given that there had been three substitutions and a number of other regular stoppages, you feel that three or four minutes would have been a fairer tally.

(Photo by Andy Buchanan/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Put it this way – if the score had been 1-1 do you think Beaton would have added on a single minute?

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In a season when things are already threatening to be closer than ever at the top of the Premiership every single minute could matter in the hunt for goals. Prior to Sunday, Celtic and Rangers were level on points and goal difference, almost a quarter of the way into the season.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Celtic must be given fair stoppage time regardless of the score

While most rational football fans would expect the eight-in-a-row champions to stroll clear from this point, you never know how things will be in the end up. And with so much on the line, surely every effort should be taken to keep the variables as similar as possible.

Take Rangers’ win over Motherwell on Sunday for example. There were five minutes of time added on at Ibrox due to the scores still being tight at 2-1.

 

That’s four minutes extra Steven Gerrard’s men had to improve their goal tally compared to us. If that was to happen around 20 times this season then they’d effectively play a full extra match more than ourselves. When you add in the fact that these minutes are against tiring opposition, the advantage becomes even more apparent.

This may seem really pedantic but the truth is that every little matters over the course of the season. Celtic are effectively being punished for being so far ahead of their opposition at present. That situation must be avoided by all refs from now on.

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