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Neil Lennon blasts 'disgraceful' conduct after Celtic captain Brown floored by Rangers' Ryan Kent

 

Major flashpoint: Gers ace Ryan Kent lashes out at Celtic’s Scott Brown
Major flashpoint: Gers ace Ryan Kent lashes out at Celtic’s Scott Brown

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic boss Neil Lennon blasted Rangers' indiscipline after the Hoops secured a 2-1 victory over their Old Firm rivals at Parkhead.

Gers striker Alfredo Morelos was shown a straight red card by referee Bobby Madden for throwing an elbow at Hoops skipper Scott Brown.

Ryan Kent also shoved Brown to the ground as Celtic's captain tried to prevent him from retrieving the ball for kick-off after James Forrest's winner.

And after the final whistle, Brown was also involved in a melee which led to Rangers ace Andy Halliday being red carded by Madden.

"During the 94 or 95 minutes, my players were exemplary in their discipline - theirs weren't," blasted Lennon. "I'm not happy with the treatment of Scott Brown today.

"He's been elbowed (by Morelos) and then pushed or punched in the face by another player and really Rangers should have been down to nine men."

Lennon added: “Ryan Kent, after we scored the second goal, has either slapped or punched him in the face and it’s just unacceptable at this level of football.

“If there has been a bit of heat after the game then we will deal with it and if I have to discipline some players then so be it.”

Gers boss Steven Gerrard says Brown “deserved to be punished” after also being involved in Alfredo Morelos’ earlier dismissal.

Morelos reacted to Brown clipping his heels off the ball by striking the midfielder in the face. Former Northern Ireland international Lennon added: “There was lot of build-up to this game, a lot of emotion. These players have been full-on for the past two and a half years and they just won’t give up.

“You can see them dragging themselves over the line. They’re a credit to the club.

“With the experience we’ve got we should have handled moments a bit better. But we galvanised ourselves and scored a great goal.

“Brown got elbowed and he got punched in the face or pushed in the face. It was disgraceful.  You can’t put the two in the one basket. Our players kept their discipline very well and really Rangers should have been down to nine men rather than 10.”

Celtic remain on course for an eighth straight Scottish Premiership title after the derby win moved them 13 points clear of Rangers with seven games remaining.

Gerrard questioned Brown for going to the small band of Gers supporters at the final whistle.

However, former Celtic captain and manager Lennon said: “I didn’t see the celebration.

“I don’t know where he went. He takes a lot of flak, maybe he is giving a little bit back.

“But again, he is the bad boy. He is just giving a little bit back after the amount of abuse he takes throughout the years and I understand it because I have been there myself a few times.”

It was Lennon’s first Old Firm game in his second tenure in the dugout and he admitted an afternoon of “endurance” ended well. He said: “It has been a long time since I have been in the dugout in a Celtic versus Rangers game. “It was fraught but we scored two great goals. It was a fantastic result, a brilliant win.

“It was a cracking Glasgow derby and I am delighted we came out on the positive side of it.

“Overall I thought we deserved it but obviously when Rangers scored they gained a psychological edge but we came through and scored a great goal to win it.”

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