Motherwell’s anger following Sunday’s Betfred Cup final defeat flared up again last night as Andy Rose claimed they were the victims of another contentious penalty decision against Celtic.
Rose was penalised by referee Willie Collum for a challenge on Callum McGregor after 86 minutes, with Motherwell 1-0 up at the time and eyeing a momentous victory over the champions.
But substitute Scott Sinclair, pictured, who faced accusations he dived to earn Celtic a penalty on Sunday at Hampden, stepped up to convert the award and preserve Celtic’s unbeaten domestic run. It now stands at 66 games following the last-gasp 1-1 draw at Fir Park. But Rose was adamant Motherwell had been robbed just four days after similar complaints following the clash between the same teams at Hampden. The sides meet again in the league at Celtic Park on Saturday.
“It wasn’t a penalty,” said Rose. “I’ve seen it back. I’ve planted my leg and he [McGregor] has ran into me and flopped over.
“Clearly he has played for it. He’s gone down, it’s really soft, and it’s happened to us twice in a week now.
Rose a half-time substitute, added: “When the ref blew his whistle I was shocked. I really was. He’s got a tough job but it wasn’t a penalty.
“With four minutes to go it’s a massive decision. People will have different views but there was no intent to bring him down. I planted my leg and he’s gone down. He runs into me and he could easily have stayed on his feet but didn’t and it’s cost us.
“These are the sort of decisions I doubt we’d get at the other end. It’s frustrating. We were tremendous. Trevor Carson gave one of the best goalkeeping displays I’ve ever seen live, so to only get a point is frustrating.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised his players’ resolve and again stressed the referee got it right by awarding the late penalty. “Motherwell have been angry with a lot since the weekend, they have been angry about everything,” he said.
“Their keeper makes a great save, it rebounds out and their player makes an attempt to get the ball.
“Callum steps in front, gets his body there and he knocks him over. If you look at the referee, he’s in a perfect position to see it.
“I thought it was a penalty but when you are the opposition, you probably think it’s not.
“You have to acknowledge Celtic do not give up. I am proud of my players.
“If there is a penalty to be taken in that situation, then Scott will take it.
“I have seen him do it in front of 90,000 people at Wembley for Swansea in a play-off final.
“That is a £100million game and he never budged – he was calm and composed.
“Whether it’s in front of 9000 or 90,000, I’d always back him to score.
“He was straight on to it and finished it very well.
“The record? What’s more important is that we are here to collect points.
“You see why the players have achieved what they have and why it is really special. You can lose a game of football for so many reasons.”
Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson, meanwhile, wanted to concentrate on the positives after Motherwell’s rousing performance on the back of their
“I’m not going to talk about the decision.I just want to talk about the game.
“Two good teams were both trying to win the game. Celtic had a lot of chances and so did we.
“Trevor Carson was
outstanding. Let’s talk about Allan Campbell’s performance, Chris Cadden’s performance, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown.
“There were some quality performances out there.
“Let’s not talk about the ref. I can’t control them. It
was a terrific game of football.”