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Celtic boss Ronnie Deila accuses Dundee United man of diving

Dundee United 1-1 Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Ronny Deila accused Aidan Connolly of diving in Celtic's controversial 1-1 William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final draw with Dundee United at Tannadice which saw three red cards and two penalties.

Referee Craig Thomson sent off Hoops defender Virgil van Dijk and United midfielder Paul Paton after only nine minutes, but it was a case of mistaken identity with regards to the home player, as it had been Calum Butcher who had tangled with the Dutchman.

United striker Nadir Ciftci, who might have been punished following his reaction to a bruising challenge by Hoops skipper Scott Brown which sparked the two dismissals, scored with a penalty in first-half stoppage time after Connolly appeared to go down easily under pressure from Anthony Stokes.

Three minutes after the break United defender Paul Dixon was sent off for blocking a goalbound drive by Leigh Griffiths, with Terrors keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak saving the consequent penalty by the Hoops striker, who made amends in the 71st minute when he headed in a Stefan Johansen cross.

Deila referred to his winger Derk Boerrigter who was retrospectively banned for two games after being found guilty of simulation against St Johnstone at the start of the season, although he appeared unaware that McDiarmid Park striker Brian Graham had also been suspended for the same offence this season, when asked about Connolly.

The Norwegian said: "It is a dive and hopefully it will be the same rules for everybody.

"We are the only team this season in the league to have a suspension for diving, Derk Boerrigter.

"I said at the time that it was no problem because that is the line that will be taken by everyone.

"I accept that people make mistakes. But if we have a rule where people look at things afterwards then it has to be the other way.

"I don't see anybody else getting suspensions. I can't understand that we are the worst at this in the league and nobody else is doing anything."

The replay will take place at Celtic Park on March 18.

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