No Aleksandar Tonev, but Shay Logan sees red

ABERDEEN defender Shay Logan found himself embroiled in fresh controversy involving Celtic when he was sent off after a tempestuous clash between the teams at Pittodrie yesterday.

ABERDEEN defender Shay Logan found himself embroiled in fresh controversy involving Celtic when he was sent off after a tempestuous clash between the teams at Pittodrie yesterday.

A late goal by Virgil van Dijk earned a 2-1 victory for Celtic which took them to the top of the Scottish Premiership table for the first time this season.

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The decisive moment enraged Aberdeen who were convinced the corner kick which led to Van Dijk’s goal should have been awarded as a goal kick to them instead. Logan continued the argument forcibly after the final whistle, prompting fourth official George Salmond to report him to referee Alan Muir for using foul and abusive language. The English right-back was summoned to the referee’s room and issued with a red card.

Much of the build-up to the match had focused on the fall-out from the previous meeting of the teams at Parkhead in September when Logan reported Celtic’s on-loan winger Aleksandar Tonev for racially abusing him.

An SFA Judicial Panel found Tonev guilty of the charge and imposed a seven-match suspension. Celtic have offered their unequivocal support to the Bulgarian international who has lodged an appeal against the ruling. Tonev was left out of the Celtic squad yesterday by manager Ronny Deila.

Logan played the full 90 minutes, even earning the match sponsors’ man-of-the-match award, but his afternoon turned sour once more. “I haven’t spoken to Shay about it yet,” said Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. “I went to see the referee after the game. There were a lot of disappointed players walking past the assistant referee and he has taken offence to something Shay has said to him.


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“They’ve red carded him in the referee’s room, which really is quite ironic after everything that boy’s gone through that there is sensitivity there from the officials. I know he hasn’t sworn at him, but he’s been red-carded for foul and abusive language.

“It wasn’t at a Celtic player. It was just the disappointment and frustration about a couple of decisions as he was walking past the official and he thought it serious enough to inform the referee.

“Shay was fine during the game. I’ve got to know him personally. When you sign players, you do it primarily on their ability but you get to know what kind of people they are.

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“We had the luxury of having Shay as a loan player first time out and he is a good kid. He’s gone through a lot and he is just disappointed we’ve lost the game.”

McInnes had been critical of Deila’s public backing of Tonev in the wake of the SFA finding the Aston Villa player guilty, insisting the Norwegian is wrong to say he knows his player is innocent.

Deila was exuberant in his celebrations after the final whistle yesterday but played down suggestions he took greater satisfaction from the win because of the circumstances surrounding Tonev. “I think we have to talk with our feet,” said Deila. “That’s the most important thing. There was too much talking before the game. I like to talk on the pitch and we did that today.”

Asked why he did not even name Tonev among his substitutes, Deila pointed to the return to action of Scotland winger James Forrest for the first time in three months.

“There were two reasons he wasn’t in the squad,” said Deila. “One was the situation [with Logan]. But it was down to football as well. There is hard competition to get into the team and today I had James back again.”

Logan was not the only player to see red yesterday, with Celtic captain Scott Brown sent off in the 82nd minute. Booked earlier for a foul on Peter Pawlett, he collected his second yellow card for a trip on Niall McGinn.

“Maybe it was right, maybe it wasn’t,” said Deila. “But in a season you will get decisions like that against you. It was a hard game to referee because there were so many challenges.”


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