John Kennedy 'aggrieved' by Odsonne Edouard penalty call and says Celtic dominated Rangers

John Kennedy felt Celtic were denied a penalty in their 1-1 draw with Rangers as he defended Odsonne Edouard against claims he dived.

Celtic's Odsonne Edouard is booked for simulation by referee Willie Collum following a challenge from Borna Barisic. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Celtic's Odsonne Edouard is booked for simulation by referee Willie Collum following a challenge from Borna Barisic. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The incident, which came while Celtic were leading 1-0, resulted in the Frenchman being booked for simulation by referee Willie Collum after falling under a challenge from Rangers' full back Borna Barisic in the box.

Celtic had taken the lead through Mohamed Elyounoussi's 23rd diving header, before the home side conceded to Alfredo Morelos for the first time in 15 derbies when the Rangers striker equalised seven minutes before the break.

The penalty decision frustrated the Celtic interim manager, who felt his side deserved to win the match.

"We were denied a penalty kick which would have had a massive say in the game," Kennedy said.

“I spoke to Odsonne. In terms of that contact, if you get any sort of contact in the box when a player comes flying at you at that speed. If you slow it down you can say: ‘Oh, I’m not really sure much was there’.

"If you play it full speed, the player comes recklessly in, knocks you off balance and just touches you enough to go over. That is what has happened there. He knocked him over. If he doesn’t go over, he has got the ball, he scores a goal. So there is no need for him to go down.

"He is a goalscorer, he wants to score as many goals as possible. He is not that type of player. We feel aggrieved we didn’t get a penalty kick, but we have got to accept that and look at the bigger picture of the performance, which was good.”

Celtic enjoyed the lions share of possession and chances as they avoided the prospect of a third straight home defeat to Rangers for the first time in 29 years, but they were unable to put a stop to the champions' unbeaten league campaign, which now stretches to 33 matches.

"It was a high level performance in terms of the way we controlled the game," Kennedy added. "I thought we were dominant for most of the game. It was a really great goal we scored, a terrific goal. It was an area we wanted to exploit and it came off. I was pleased in that aspect.

“Performance wise I think we showed our level, that we are more than capable of coming and competing and being the better team. But you have got to then do the other side which is get the results.”

Kennedy was frustrated by the concession of another set piece goal but refused to dwell on what has been an Achilles heel for the Parkhead side this season.

“It is something we have worked a lot on and will continue to work on,” he stressed. “We will never stop until we fix it. Even when we fix it we will continue with that. I don’t want the review of the game to be about Celtic conceding at another set play.

"I want people to look at the actual performance. We showed we were the better team, we created better chances and ultimately we should have won the game. It is something we will fix and continue trying to address. But overall the quality of performance was good.”

A message from the Editor:

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today