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‘IT WAS DEFINITELY A PENALTY-KICK,’ INSISTS RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS insists under-fire referee Craig Thomson was CORRECT to award Celtic a penalty-kick in the 2-0 Betfred Cup Final win over Motherwell.

Fir Park gaffer Stephen Robinson was raging at the match official when he made pointed to the spot in the 58th minute following Cedric Kipre’s tug on Scotty Sinclair.

Rodgers’ side were already leading 1-0 at that stage after a marvellous goal from James Forrest.

The Hoops boss said: “I looked at it and think it’s a penalty. It’s a great ball and Scotty makes the run and is getting there.

“Obviously, the defender cannot get there, so he impedes him. He pulls him. So I think it’s a penalty.

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“I’m not sure what the rules are now, so I’m not sure it’s a sending-off. I’m sure Stephen (Robinson) will feel the sending-off is a bit harsh.

“But I definitely thought it was a penalty. He has impeded Scotty when he’s in the box and Moussa Dembele scores it.”

Rodgers, who became the first Celtic manager to win his first four domestic trophies and the first to lift four in a row since the legendary Jock Stein in the late sixties, said: “I didn’t know that up until Saturday.

“Someone mentioned it to me. Of course, it’s a very special thing to have happen to you, when there have been so many great managers.

“But I think it is a trophy for everyone at the club.”

Brendan is correct.

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From a personal point of view, and unusually at Hampden, I got a perfect view of the incident.

There was a tug on Scotty Sinclair, one of those sly ones that some defenders do. However, unfortunately for a player who had no right to be involved in the game at that stage after his assault on Moussa Dembele, the referee was also in an ideal position to see it.

The guys watching and commentating for BT Sports were all in the South Stand and were relying on the cameras to make their minds up. They can only comment on what they saw, but from the North stand it was a penalty all day long.

Zombies are digging up the penalty Scotty won at Dens Park earlier in the competition and the same thing applies. At the game from behind the goal the contact was clear and right in front of us. Stonewaller.

However there was a TV angle that didn’t show the contact. Afterwards we were surprised that thus was even being discussed as a ‘dive’.

Sinclair also showed against Hibs when fouled not once by twice by Efe Ambrose that he is an honest player. Had he gone done that day it would have been a penalty and Celtic could have won that game instead of dropping two points.

Just saying…

LISBON LION Jim Craig is the very special guest on the new CQN Podcast – out now!

Jim releases his new book, Right Back to 67, The Lisbon Lion Diary next week and we are pretty confident that this will be regarded as one of the classic Celtic books of all time.

There has been so much written about 1967 in some very fine books to-date but nothing like this. Jim kept a diary of his time at Celtic and in Right Back to 67 he is able to provide the authentic, inside story. It really is too good to miss.

You can order the book now from CQNBookstore.com and you will receive a signed copy. You can also add a personal dedication which is ideal for a Christmas gift. Simply email david@cqnpublishing.co.uk with your dedication after you have ordered and Jim will sort this for you next week.

Jim is on fine form in the Podcast too, you’ll love it.

A Celtic State of Mind presents its 25th instalment of insightful discussion around the culture of Celtic Football Club, the city of Glasgow, and fans of the reigning invincible Scottish champions.

Jim Craig joined Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham in the Tolbooth Studios in Stirling to discuss the Lisbon Lions’ 50th anniversary celebrations in a year which also saw Celtic winning an invincible treble, a prestigious award from FIFA naming their fans as the best in the world, and even a BAFTA!

In this emotional interview, Jim reminisces about Jock Stein, Billy McNeill, Neilly Mochan, Bertie Auld, Tommy Gemmell, Joe McBride and George Connelly.

He also discusses his latest book, his magnificent Lisbon Lion Diary: Right Back to ’67. This memoir is a real fly-on-the-wall recollection of events from 50 years ago, brought to life by Jim Craig’s intelligent and humorous brand of storytelling. Order HERE.

The CQN Podcast has gone from strength-to-strength over the last few months, and there are many more guests lined up in the months ahead from the world of sport, music, film, art, broadcasting, literature and politics.

Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes, @anorthernprose and @CQNMagazine and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.

ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPY OF JIM CRAIG – RIGHT BACK TO 67, A LISBON LION DIARY TODAY!

SIGNED COPY!

SIGNED COPY!

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