Dermot Gallagher’s analysis of Alistair Johnston’s penalty challenge

Former match day official, Dermot Gallagher, has given his view on Alistair Johnston’s challenge on Fabio Silva, which resulted in a penalty. Celtic travelled to Ibrox yesterday to face theRangers in a massive SPFL clash. Despite having no fans allowed in the stadium, and 50,000 opposing fans, the Hoops dismantled theRangers’ defence and closed the first half with a two-goal advantage.

A Swing in Momentum

Although Celtic were 2-0 up, a penalty shout from Fabio Silva caused referee, John Beaton, to check with VAR and award a penalty to theRangers. Initially, Silva was shown a yellow card for simulation, as he had been throwing himself to the ground consistently throughout the match. In any case, many referees, such as Steve Conroy, have agreed with Beaton’s initial decision and backed him to stick with his on-field decision.

However, Beaton overturned his original ruling and awarded a penalty, which was put away by James Tavernier. This undoubtedly changed the momentum in the game, which allowed theRangers to get back into the match and clutch a draw. Furthermore, it has raised claims by theRangers support, who claim that Johnston should’ve received a second yellow for the foul, which resulted in Celtic’s unfair advantage.

Gallagher’s View

While Gallagher agrees that the challenge certainly wasn’t a yellow card, he concludes that the out-stretched leg from Johnston that struck Silva was enough to warrant a foul, so believes that the penalty should stand. Speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, Gallagher said…

‘This is a very, very interesting clip in so much as he gets a yellow card for simulation. When you see it again, you see the angle, Alistair lifts his leg and catches him on his knee, it’s a penalty.’

“So the referee then has an even bigger dilemma because of the pressure he’s put under. So he goes to the screen, he comes back, the yellow card for simulation is then overturned and he gives a penalty.

But then it ramps up because the Rangers players say, ‘Well, Alistair Johnston’s already had a yellow card, he should get a second one.’

“But for me, it’s just a foul. It’s not a second yellow card. He goes it goes to screen, he has all options.

“So he can come back and yellow card him, but I don’t think it’s a yellow card challenge. I think it’s a foul.”

So, even though Gallagher settles the red card debate, his view on the foul leaves much confusion. Although he believes it is a foul, other former officials disagree, which leaves an air of confusion around the whole topic. We can all see the same footage, so how is it possible that two top referees cannot reach a consensus?

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