A TALKING point among the supporters who watched the League Cup semi-final yesterday was a ‘challenge’ by Ibrox skipper Lee McCulloch on Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths.

It happened in the 48th minute with Ronny Deila’s men already comfortably coasting to their inevitable 2-0 triumph.

Mikael Lustig lofted a high ball down the right wing and McCulloch clattered into Griffiths from behind.

Here is how co-commentator Michael Stewart, the former Scotland international midfielder who also played for Manchester United, Hibs and Hearts, saw the incident.

These are his exact words.

“That is nasty. For me, that is nasty. Now, listen, I was talking about…that was a nasty tackle. It’s not even a tackle.

“He’s put his arm right in the back of his head. Now I was talking just before half-time about Rangers* having to stamp their authority and, you know, make sure Celtic know they are in a game.

“I’m not talking about tackles like that. That’s poor.

“I’m talking about hard, fair tackles in the middle of the park when you’re winning the ball and making your opponent know you’re in the game.

“Sticking your arm in the back of somebody’s head is not good.”

Referee Craig Thomson, who had a blunder-strewn day at Hampden at the Hoops’ expense, didn’t even have a word with McCulloch.

Stewart cannot be accused of being pro-Celtic. He almost joined Rangers on loan from Old Trafford when Alex McLeish was in charge in 2004.

Will the SFA Compliance Office take any notice of the overwhelming and damning evidence in the TV pictures? Watch this space!


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