Bobby Madden was right to send Nir Bitton off for his foul on Alfredo Morelos, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher claims, and Shane Duffy was fortunate not to see red as well.
In the second half of Celtic’s 1-0 defeat to Rangers, Bitton was sent off despite teammate Kris Ajer saying he was covering for him.
Madden pulled the card immediately, and Gallagher said that he was right to do so. Gallagher told Sky Sports, “I was watching the game live and I thought he was going to be sent off,” “As soon as Morelos is over, he goes straight for goal and the rule says ‘Has he got a scoring chance?’
That means he has a scoring chance, and long before Ajer gets past, I would suggest he has a scoring chance, because he’s parallel, and there’s a great gap between them.
That’s a challenge that Bitton doesn’t have to make. You know there’s going to be a red card when you make a foul play like that. I think a player should sometimes let him go and take the chance that the goalkeeper makes a save or that the player doesn’t score.
“To me, it’s a red card.”
Gallagher also discussed Duffy’s lunge on Ryan Kent, which resulted in a yellow card. And he claims that on another day, the Irishman would have got a red card. “That’s the highest yellow card you can get,” he said. “That’s the highest yellow card you can get.”
“It’s bordering on red, not so much for the first leg, but for the fact that he’s straggling. The referee saw that he had just sent Bitton off, he had to make sure he was really forced over the line, but he gave Shane Duffy the benefit of the doubt because he was right on that. Like I said, another day, another referee, maybe a red card.