FORMER Celtic skipper Scott Brown was in the thick of the action as Aberdeen drew 1-1 with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s 10-man Ibrox side at Pittodrie last night.
Ryan Kent was banished eight minutes from time following a blow-up with the 36-year-old midfielder.
And ex-boss Neil Lennon, watching the encounter in his guise as a Sky Sports News analyst, admitted the veteran anchorman would “be enjoying this and smelling blood”.
A BIG HAND…Scott Brown has a message for Ryan Kent as he leaves the Pittodrie pitch.
POINTING THE WAY…Scott Brown helpfully directs Kent to the dressing room.
BYE-BYE, BAD BOY…Scott Brown waves farewell as James Tavernier tries to console the red-card culprit.
The stalemate in the north east saw Ange Postecoglou’s men edge to within four points of the Govan outfit at the Premiership pinnacle with the second Glasgow derby of the campaign looming at Parkhead in a fortnight’s time.
Broony was involved right from the start in a controversial confrontation that saw the Dons denied what looked a stonewall penalty-kick in the first-half just moments before Ianus Hagi put the visitors ahead.
Goalkeeper Allan McGregor wiped out Ryan Hedges as the winger attempted to get on the end of a long ball. It looked a stick-on spot-kick, but the incident went unheeded and the visitors made the most of their good fortune.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHOW SO FAR? Scott Brown exchanges views with Ibrox skipper James Tavernier.
Lewis Ferguson thumped in the equaliser from the penalty spot in the second-half before the one-time Celtic warrior, now 36, got involved with his old adversary Kent who had just been booked for a skirmish with another ex-Hoops star Jonny Hayes.
The Englishman and Broony have history, of course, and the winger escaped on-the-spot punishment when he lashed out to punch his opponent in the face after James Forrest had just scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Steven Gerrard’s outfit in April 2019.
Amazingly, none of the four officials on duty in the east end of Glasgow that afternoon spotted Kent’s indiscretion, but justice caught up with him when he copped a retrospective two-game ban.
Last night, though, the former Liverpool flanker was immediately dismissed by referee Kevin Clancy after going in late with a challenge as the Dons’ onfield leader prepared to clear the ball on the right wing.
WALLOP…Ryan Kent smashes a fist into the face of Scott Brown during a 2-1 win for Celtic in April 2019. Remarkably, the impromptu pugilist escaped on-the-spot punishment.
THAT’S MY BHOY…Neil Lennon with his captain Scott Brown during their days together at Celtic.
A second yellow was flashed and Kent began the long walk to the dressing room. As he left the park, he had a few words to say to his old rival. TV cameras caught a beaming Broony pointing him in the direction of the tunnel while waving farewell to his assailant.
Asked if he had been surprised by the reaction from his one-time captain, Lennon answered: “Not really. He’ll be enjoying this and smelling blood.
“You can see why Celtic fans love him. There’s obviously a bit of history there, not just with Ryan Kent, but with a lot of players.
“Scotty is very good at the noise up.
“He’ll be loving it, he’ll be revelling in it. He has done for the last 10 or 15 years.”
Broony was on target with a flying header at Ibrox earlier in the season to give the Dons a 2-0 advantage, but the home side gained a point with a highly contentious penalty-kick decision in stoppage time which was put away by James Tavernier.