Dundee United were left furious after Sunday afternoon’s match at Tannadice, as once again a Scottish referee bottled out of crucial decisions against the Old Firm.
There were no less than 4 penalty claims by Dundee United during the match, but not a single one was awarded, as Celtic benefitted from another inept refereeing performance.
In the 1st half, Lee Wilkie was gripped tightly from behind by Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, as referee Charlie Richmond didn`t just overlook Wilkie being impeded, but also missed van Hesselink handling the ball.
Into the 2nd half, Celtic defender Gary Caldwell blocked 2 consecutive Dundee United crosses with his right arm, but still no penalty was awarded.
Just 5minutes after Paul Hartley had given Celtic a lead, Dundee United had their best penalty claim of the match.
On-loan Sunderland striker Roy O`Donovan was brought down by Celtic defender Gary Caldwell at the edge of the 6-yard box, but despite having a clear view of the 55th minute incident, Charlie Richmond waved play on.
The Dundee United players were outraged, surrounding Richmond to complain after his distinctly biased decision, but the referee was unmoved.
Moments later, Charlie Richmond limped off with a suspected broken ankle, after a clash with Nakamura, with substitute ref Iain Brines taking his place.
Fortunately a 79th minute equaliser from Spanish substitute Francisco Sandaza made sure that United took at least a deserved point out of the match, but it could have been much better if only for a decent refereeing performance.
Celtic = 4 Decisions For (Penalty claims)
Dundee United = 4 Decisions Against (Penalty Claims)
There was also some controversy in the Hearts vs Rangers match, as referee Stuart Dougal sent off substitute Mikoliunas after only 9 minutes only the park.
Mikoliunas was booked for diving after he`d been clearly impeded by the Rangers player, and was then sent off for a 2nd bookable offence after a poor challenge on Kenny Miller.
There were also claims for a penalty kick, after Madjid Bougherra appeared to block Andrew Driver`s shot with an arm, but the Rangers defender had his back to the ball, so it would have been a soft decision.
Rangers were already 1-0 up at that stage, but sealed the win with a late penalty when Lee Wallace brought down Kenny Miller, allowing Kris Boyd to score from the spot.
If Mikoliunas hadn`t been sent-off, then perhaps Hearts would have had a chance to get back into the match, but you almost expect these stupid refereeing mistakes to go against you at places like Ibrox and Parkhead.
Rangers= 1 Decisions For (Yellow card leading to Red)
Hearts = 1 Decisions Against (Yellow card leading to Red)
So, match changing decisions resulted in a win for Rangers and a draw for Celtic, but how does that affect our leader board???
To see the ‘Ref Watch’ league table after Weekend 2, Click Here
To see the ‘Ref Watch’ archive, Click Here
More Ref Watch next week…..probably!!!