CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS must have thought he was involved in a wrestling tag-team event against Dundee in midweek.
The Celtic central defender positioned himself on the goal-line in front of keeper Trevor Carson at corner-kicks which is an action which is perfectly legal.
The Dens No.1, like every other netminder in football, hardly welcomed the intrusion – just ask Joe Hart at the other end – but it has been part and parcel of the beautiful game for decades.
Carson was clearly under pressure against the champions in his side’s 3-0 home loss with the visitors racking up an incredible TWENTY-THREE corner-kicks.
WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE…Cameron Carter-Vickers gets some close attention from Dundee duo Trevor Carson and Joe Shaughnessy.
There is always a bit of pushing and shoving in these instances and referees give a fair bit of latitude. Referee Don Robertson took that lenient approach just a little too far on Tuesday night when Carson enlisted the help of skipper Joe Shaughnessy to help deal with the goal-line presence of the Hoops defender.
CQN‘s match reporter observed that “Carter-Vickers was being manhandled” in these moments on his summary, but there wasn’t even a hint of a penalty-kick call from the onfield match official or his VAR assistant. You have to wonder why.
Say, for instance, a player is clearly impeded by two opponents as they challenge for a kick-out from the keeper. The ball is in the air and it is abundantly clear one of the combatants is being held by two rivals.
If the referee does not award a free-kick in such circumstances his credentials to be in charge of any game would surely be questioned.
WHO? ME, REF? Cameron Carter-Vickers pleads his innocence as referee Don Robertson has a word while Dundee keeper Trveor Carson and defender Joe Shaughnessy look on.
Remarkably, the roughhouse tactics on Tayside went unpunished – not for the first time as far as Celtic are concerned.
There was another situation at Ibrox earlier in the season when Brendan Rodgers’ side were denied a stonewall spot-kick – but the incident passed without a mention, as CQN flagged up at the time.
In the 25th minute, eventual matchwinner Kyogo Furuhashi raced clear into the box onto a through ball from Matt O’Riley.
The Japanese striker took the ball in his stride and sized up the situation with Jack Butland coming off his line. Connor Goldson was also rushing back to cover his keeper with Daizen Maeda offering an option for his team-mate.
ONE…Kyogo Furuhashi is confronted with Jack Butland as Connor Goldson races back.
TWO…Kyogo’s shot eludes the keeper, but Goldson slides in to block the ball.
THREE…Kyogo hurtles Butland as the ball breaks loose after Goldson’s clearance.
FOUR…Kyogo is in front of Butland as James Tavernier attempts to clear as Maeda closes in.
FIVE..the ball is cleared as Butland scrambles back into place.
SIX…Butland uses both hands to push Kyogo in the back.
SEVEN…Kyogo tumbles towards the ground after the blatant shove in the back from the keeper.
EIGHT…Kyogo is left sprawling after the push – and, remarkably, no action is taken.
Kyogo slotted the ball under the netminder, but the central defender managed to block the effort. The ball spun clear and James Tavernier, who had caught up with the action, managed to hoof a clearance into the air with Maeda poised to pounce.
At that stage, the keeper scrambled to his feet to get back on his line. Clearly intentional, he used both hands to push Kyogo out of the way.
The Hoops frontman was sent crashing to the turf such was the power of the shove from Butland. There can be no question of a dive.
All eyes were on the ball at the time and, bizarrely, the Ibrox No.1’s deliberate and forceful shove on the Celt went unnoticed.
The referee that afternoon in Govan was none other than Don Robertson. The same Don Robertson who chose to turn a blind eye to the treatment meted out to Carter-Vickers at Dens Park.
Let’s cut the referee and his standside assistant some slack and say they were following the flight of the ball, but the undisguised push into the back of Kyogo should have been noticed by the VAR officials.
Seems to be one rule for Celtic and another for their opponents.
We can only hope we are not making the same observations following the action at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon.