Monday 18 February 2019

Below-par Celts go ten points clear

Motherwell 0-0 Celtic

Celtic’s Scott Sinclair unleashes a shot during the Scottish Premiership match at Fir Park, Motherwell
Celtic’s Scott Sinclair unleashes a shot during the Scottish Premiership match at Fir Park, Motherwell

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson claimed referee Craig Thomson left Cedric Kipre "distraught" after sending him off for a second time this season in Sunday's goalless draw against Celtic at Fir Park.

The 21-year-old French defender was shown a straight red card in the 41st minute of the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter after appearing to flick out his foot at Scott Brown after they tumbled to the floor in a challenge in which the Hoops captain had pushed him.

Kipre was also sent off by Thomson for conceding a penalty in Celtic's Betfred Cup final win at Hampden Park in November. The Fir Park club will appeal the decision.

Robinson denied having words with Brown in the tunnel at half-time and said: "I have had to put my arm round him because he is distraught.

"We all felt we could take the game to them in the second-half so that was disappointing.

"It ruined the match because there were two good teams going for it and we had to sit back which was inevitable against a team of that quality.

"I think everyone in this room knows it wasn't a sending off. Two people coming together. It was nothing. It certainly wasn't a stamp as was indicated as the reason.

"If it had been two yellow cards you might have thought it was harsh.

"Scott Brown gives him a little shove and Cedric brushed his calf against him. It definitely wasn't a red card and it spoiled a very good match

"I am proud of each and every one of my players. It was a well-deserved point."

When reminded that Thomson had issued five red cards to Well players this season - three against St Johnstone early in the campaign - Robinson said: "Five red cards from the same referee and he hasn't sent another Premiership player off - you take out of that what you will. I am not saying anything."

Brendan Rodgers' side moved 10 points clear of second-placed Rangers with a game in hand and when informed of Robinson's disguntlement regarding the red card, he said: "I can probably see a wee bit why he (Robinson) would feel it isn't. Initially the reaction was that I thought it was a foul.

"Browny looks like he's getting up, sort of pushing the guy to get up. Then I think the guy's intent was to kick out.

"The only thing I would say is that Craig Thomson is right up level with it by the time the incident happens, he's looking straight in at it."

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