All season long, one pitiful pattern has repeated itself over and over and over again; no matter who we play against, no matter how we win, the opposition and Ibrox’s media spin machine has found some mitigation, some excuse, some decision that went the way it shouldn’t, some reason other than us just being too good for why we won a critical game.
And in the aftermath of last night, I was sure that I knew what that something would be in this case and of course I was correct because it was the kind of excuse I knew people would cling to like a life raft on stormy seas. And you know what? It’s pathetic.
A few weeks back, when Callum McGregor was floored, the referee didn’t automatically stop the game, although the seriousness of it was obvious.
This website reamed him out for it, and it was right to because it was clear that the game should be halted and he let it go on.
Nobody, not one outlet, went after Don Robertson for that … the focus was all on the yellow card he gave for the challenge on Ideguchi, but more attention should have been paid to that decision.
The media whiners who were, and have been, utterly silent on that don’t get to climb onto the moral high horse here and start talking this absolute rot. Because that’s what it is, with the difference between last night and the Robertson incident clear.
These people are suggesting that the goal should have been chopped off.
But none of them has mounted a coherent argument as to why it should have been chopped off. As usual with some of these clowns, they are linking two separate things and getting themselves tied up and looking and sounding absolutely ridiculous in their attempts to do so.
There are two different issues here; the accident and the finish.
Once the referee lets the game continue after the collision, on what possible grounds can he decide not give Hatate the goal? The ball was in open play, and Hatate finished it beautifully.
If their argument is that the ref should have stopped the game, I agree with it.
But the moment the ball breaks to Hatate there is nothing whatsoever in the rulebook which would remotely justify chopping the goal off. So their argument is really a non-argument, it’s wailing and whinging for the sake of it.
It’s bitching and moaning to cover the scale of the defeat.
Ask these people what they would chop the goal off for.
There was no foul.
The players were onside.
The ball doesn’t come off the hand of a Celtic player on the way into the net.
So this idea that it shouldn’t have stood is either a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules which frankly should render the whole argument meaningless, or it’s hysterical pish.
What’s more, the referee responds to the head-knock the second plays stops and he realises what happened. I don’t think he has a clear view of it at first; you see him going over to the linesman to clarify what took place.
There are literally two seconds between the collision and the ball being in the net; this is not Robertson allowing McGregor to lie on the turf for over a minute here. This is wham-bam-goal, in less time than it took me to write this sentence.
The so-called experts should be putting anyone peddling this garbage on notice by reminding them of the rules. The rules.
And they’re quite simple.
If the ball is still in play Hatate is perfectly entitled to stick it in the back of the net. Two players from the same team bumping into one another isn’t a foul, no matter how much certain Peepul wished it was last night.
All this is, to me and most Celtic fans, is yet another effort on the part of a beaten opponent to cast some kind of shadow after we’ve won. Earlier in the season, it was Hearts moaning about a damned throw-in they should have got … this is up there with that as a convenient fig-leaf to cover up their own embarrassment, and it won’t wash.
They were outmuscled, outthought, outfought and outplayed.
We should have been six up at the break and they all know it, which makes this even more pathetic.