NEIL LENNON has poured scorn of absurd claims Odsonne Edouard had been “disrespectful” to Craig Gordon when he scored his penalty-kick in the Scottish Cup Final at the weekend.

The French ace put Celtic 2-0 ahead with a dinked penalty-kick – made famous in the seventies by Czechoslovakian midfielder Antonin Panenka – as he nonchalantly lobbed the ball down the centre of the goal as his former Hoops team-mate took off to his right.

Former Ibrox winger Neil McCann, now a BBC pundit, insisted Edouard had been both “disrespectful” and “selfish” in a bizarre take on Edouard’s expertise with a deadball from 12 yards.

Lennon scoffed at the comments and, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “What? You want me to caution Odsonne for scoring a penalty in a Cup Final? Come on.

“The Panenka has been around since 1976. I have seen great players doing it, I have seen Andrea Pirlo doing it against England.

“I don’t remember any of those individuals getting actually criticised or being called disrespectful. It’s just complete and utter nonsense.

“Listen, I have seen players blast it over the bar, I have seen players hit the post, I have seen players scuff it, I have seen players miss penalties. I have seen Odsonne miss a penalty this year already. I have seen goalies making good saves.

“That’s his way at that moment of assessing the situation and executing it, so he has my full blessing to do whatever he wants as long as it hits the net.

“You cannot ask anyone to warn a player after he has scored a really beautiful goal in a really important game in a Cup Final: ‘Don’t do that again, Odsonne, because some people think it’s disrespectful’.”

Edouard missed a spot-kick against St Mirren in September when Bobby Zlamal, on loan from Hearts, dived to his right to push away a softish strike.

The former Paris Saint-Germain varied his finishing on this occasion and got his reward on a dramatic day when it went all the way to a spot-kick shoot-out before the holder won 4-3 to complete the phenomenal quadruple treble.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Ross County this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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