Tommy Wright furious over ref’s performance in Celtic loss

Referee Craig Thomson awards a penalty to Celtic for an apparent handball. Picture: SNS
Referee Craig Thomson awards a penalty to Celtic for an apparent handball. Picture: SNS
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St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright was highly critical of referee Craig Thomson after seeing a number of decisions go against his side in their 5-2 loss at home to Celtic.

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The hosts were leading 2-1 thanks to a Keith Watson header and own goal from Dedryck Boyata, which turned the tables after Celtic opened the scoring through Liam Henderson.

A hat-trick from substitute Moussa Dembele and a goal from Scott Sinclair ensured an emphatic comeback for the league leaders who retained their near perfect league season, but it might have been different had a couple of decisions not gone in their favour.

The home side were incensed when Thomson pointed to the spot after Kieran Tierney’s cross ricocheted off the elbow of Watson, enabling Dembele to score from the spot and tie the game at 2-2.

This came after St Johnstone felt they should have had a penalty of their own after Danny Swanson went down in the box under the attentions of Scott Brown. Wright also felt Thomson incorrectly handled an instance of grappling from Boyata at a St Johnstone set-piece.

He said: “I’m extremely disappointed for the players. I thought they were magnificent. They deserved better. They deserved a better performance from the referee.

“They are wrong decisions. At Danny Swanson’s [claim] you can see his left-knee where there’s contact and no contact with the ball, so that’s a penalty. And we have a corner kick which is in flight, and the referee blows his whistle because the Celtic player is pulling shirts and dragging Joe Shaughnessy to the ground, so that should be a penalty as well. We had one the week before [against Celtic] which we didn’t get, so we haven’t had much luck.

Regarding Celtic’s penalty, Wright added: “I was able to shout on to Craig and he put his hands up as to say he caught the ball. It’s barely touched his elbow and it’s come off his hip. You’ve got to be 100 per cent. Those moments change games.

“I’m not going into see the officials because it’s a waste of time.”