Leigh Griffiths could face SFA rap over comments

Leigh Griffiths insisted referee Craig Thomson would have produced a red card had the roles been reversed at the penalty. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Leigh Griffiths insisted referee Craig Thomson would have produced a red card had the roles been reversed at the penalty. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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LEIGH GRIFFITHS could face disciplinary action from the SFA for criticism of referee Craig Thomson after Celtic’s 2-1 defeat by Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

The Celtic striker claimed Thomson favoured the home side when he only booked Aberdeen defender Andrew Considine for the foul which conceded a first-half penalty.

Griffiths converted the spot-kick to put the Scottish champions ahead but Aberdeen stormed back with a penalty equaliser of their own through Adam Rooney and a late winner by Paul Quinn to move two points clear at the top of the Premiership table with a game in hand.

On an afternoon of contentious decisions by Thomson, including a straight red card for Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes when the score was 1-1, Griffiths insisted the official was wrong not to send off Considine for the foul on him.

“I was very surprised it was only a yellow,” said Griffiths. “I was going to score, there was no doubt about. I was about to whip it around the ’keeper. I was only three or four yards from goal, so he has got to be sent off.

“If it was up the other end of the park, I’d put my mortgage on it that Craig would send one of our players off.

“What makes me say that? It’s what happens. If it’s up the other end, the Aberdeen players would have surrounded him and you can guarantee he sends him off. That’s 100 per cent.

“The ref said I was going away from goal, but I was going to whip it round and put it to the goalie’s left-hand side. But he grabbed a hold of my shirt, I came back inside him and he birled me around.”

SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan may have a busy Monday morning assessing the fall-out from a raucous contest. As well as Griffiths’ comments, he may look at a kick by Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean at the head of Celtic defender Mikael Lustig.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, who thought Hayes’ dismissal for a foul on Lustig was “harsh”, felt there could be no debate over the merit of his team’s success.

“It’s nice to get the reward. There’s no question the better team won,” said McInnes. “It was tough to accept being behind at half-time. To win it like we did, a lot of people probably thought we weren’t capable of that.

“It is not a result I am surprised about. I felt confident we could get a result the same as I was confident last season and the season before when we played Celtic.

“I am really pleased with everyone but it is only three points.”

Celtic manager Ronny Deila was unhappy at the manner his team conceded another late goal from a set piece, which has been a damaging theme for them this season. “We’ve worked on it but need to do more work,” said Deila. “We’re leading in games, then getting lazy and teams are all over us.”

Celtic must now regoup for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Ajax in Amsterdam.