BRENDAN RODGERS branded Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna’s challenge on Odsonne Edouard “very reckless” in Celtic’s 1-0 win at Parkhead this afternoon.
The Scotland international’s wayward attempt to clear was so wild the French striker had to leave the pitch in the first-half to be substituted by eventual matchwinner Scott Sinclair.
McKenna, a £3.5million target for Rodgers in the summer, ended Edouard’s involvement in the action with his wild lunge and the Celt is now struggling to be fit in time for the Europa League encounter against RB Salzburg in Austria on Thursday.
Rodgers hit out at the challenge and also expressed his surprise it went unpunished by referee Bobby Madden who waved play on with Edouard lying in agony.
Asked if the £9million frontman would be fit for the tie in Austria, the Irishman answered: “We will have to see, it was a dead leg.
“It was a very reckless challenge I have to add. When you see the challenge back, I don’t think it was a penalty as it’s just outside the box.
“But when a centre-half comes across like that and jumps off the floor that high with two feet then catches the player high up on his thigh – which he has the marks to prove – then it’s a clear foul.
“So, a dead leg sometimes you can run off, but if it’s a deeper pain than that then it’s difficult.
“Hopefully, he should be okay for Thursday.”
Rodgers added: “It was always going to be a tough game for us. But I thought we deserved the win, we scored a goal that was great improvisation by Scotty.
“We had other chances in the game, as did Aberdeen. Okay, we are not scoring lots of goals as of yet maybe as we have done before. But what is important is that you win and have a spirit and resilience to get that.
“So there was some positive play today, other parts where we had to dig in and show courage and we did that. A very pleasing win.”
Referee Madden, of course, is no stranger to controversy at Parkhead and was involved in another almost identical incident in Rodgers’ first season when he ignored a challenge from Sevco Rangers’ Clint Hill on Leigh Griffiths in the fading moments of a Glasgow derby.
Th ex-Ibrox defender told Rodgers he “had got away with one” following the 1-1 draw and onlookers at the game and on TV were left astounded at Madden’s decision at the waist-high challenge from behind that got none of the ball and a lot of the Hoops player.
Madden was similarly minded not to deem McKenna’s assault worthy of even a free-kick today.