STEVEN GERRARD has made the extraordinary claim Ryan Kent’s punch in Scott Brown’s face was NOT violent.

The on-loan Liverpool winger lashed out at the Celtic captain during the champions’ 2-1 win over the Ibrox outfit at Parkhead on Sunday.

It floored the 33-year-old midfielder, but, remarkably, none of the match officials spotted the assault and Kent was allowed to play on.

However, he was caught on film making the vicious attack on Brown in the immediate aftermath of the Hoops’ second and winning goal from James Forrest.

Gerrard said he didn’t believe Kent struck Brown in the face and insisted the images made it look worse than it was.

THUMPED…Kent punches Brown.

DUMPED…Brown hits the deck.

The Govan gaffer was talking before he was given a one-match ban for comments made to referee Bobby Madden after the defeat condemned his side to trailing the title kings by 13 points.

Gerrard, speaking to STV,┬ásaid: “We don’t think it was violent conduct and we don’t think it was in the face, simple as that.

“It is always easy in hindsight to look at pictures which look worse than they are.

“I have known Ryan since he was eight, nine years of age, he hasn’t got a violent bone in his body. He has never been involved in something like this before.

“I think Ryan was merely pushing him away to get him out of his face after being provoked. That’s our side of it.”

Celtic, Rangers, Gerrard and Brown all learned this morning they were facing SFA charges over the fracas at the end of a tense encounter at the weekend.

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