CELTIC players were accused of going “down a little easily” by Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes after his side’s 1-0 dismissal of the Viaplay League Cup holders at Rugby Park yesterday.
The Ayrshire club’s gaffer admitted to being anxious after Sead Haksabanovic had been sent tumbling following an awkward outstretched-leg challenge from Lewis Mayo deep in stoppage time.
Referee Alan Muir wasn’t convinced and the flashpoint incident was reviewed by VAR before McInnes could breathe a sigh of relief.
SORE POINT…Greg Taylor receives treatment that kept him off the pitch while Killie scored the only goal of the game. Derek McInnes watches from the touchline.
In the lead-up to the tie, the former Aberdeen manager had revisted an earlier complaint concerning his team being denied a spot-kick in last season’s 2-0 semi-final loss to the Hoops in the same competition.
As CQN pointed out during the week, the one-time Rangers midfielder had conveniently forgotten two VAR decisions that went against Celtic in the same game when ‘goals’ from Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda had been disallowed after the intervention of new technology.
On this occasion, his side got the nod from the referee’s assistants and McInnes, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “I have not seen it again and you are always nervous when it goes to VAR.
“I thought one or two of them went down a little easily, I need to say that, but I haven’t seen that one again.
“But every time the fourth official tells you they are checking it, you are always nervous. But if we got a bit of benefit from that, then swings and roundabouts.”
TWO ON THE TOUCHLINE…Derek McInnes makes an appeal while Brendan Rodgers watches impassively.
McInnes didn’t reference by name any of the visiting players he insisted “went down a little easily”, but Scottish football rulers may be advised to examine his comments more closely.
The Killie manager is accusing Celtic players of cheating and, at the very least, he is bringing the game into disrepute.
The Hampden hierarchy should take action to stamp out these sort of irresponsible comments and inflammatory accusations.