Why Scott Brown was a little fortunate in Alfredo Morelos elbow incident

The incident enraged Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha who confronted Scott Brown. Picture: SNS
The incident enraged Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha who confronted Scott Brown. Picture: SNS
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The latest edition of Ref Review looks at the incident involving Scott Brown and Alfredo Morelos, where the Celtic captain was accused of elbowing his opponent.

READ MORE - Scott Brown will not face any action over Alfredo Morelos clash

Picture One

Picture One

If the Brown challenge is deliberate, then it’s probably a red card for violent conduct. The contact knocks Morelos to the ground, so you couldn’t say the impact was “negligible”, which is the only instance where violent conduct fouls are not necessarily punished with a red.

Whether Brown deserves to be sent off in this regard comes down to your interpretation of what happened. If you believe the player is innocently throwing his arms up to block off the Rangers striker, then it’s not a red card offence - though it still should have been a foul.

Gun to my head, I think it’s intentional, but wouldn’t go beyond 70-30 in terms of how sure I am. Unless the referee is pretty sure himself, especially in such a high-profile fixture such as this one, the red card isn’t coming out, and quite rightly so.

Craig Thomson’s positioning doesn’t give him the best view. Brown and Morelos are slightly side-on to the official (Picture One), and it’s Brown’s left arm which makes contact, which is on the other side of their bodies’ from Thomson’s view.

Picture Two

Picture Two

If he does mean it, Brown is cute enough not to make it really obvious. There’s no big exaggerated swing, and he doesn’t look intently at Morelos’ positioning before the coming together. He does look to the side, where he would have been able to pick up Morelos in his peripheral vision (Picture Two), but it’s not immediately obvious.

He moves his left arm back quite rapidly and, whether he meant it or not, he was quite fortunate not to get a card of some description. It’s still a reckless loose arm and it still catches the Rangers player. A booking was at least merited.

• Craig Anderson is a former fully qualified referee. He is also the man behind SPL Stats on Twitter.

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