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Sky Sports set the record straight over Alistair Johnston incident

In the closing minutes of the first half in the Glasgow Derby there were strong claims for a penalty against Alistair Johnston.

Celtic were on the ropes in the closing 10 minutes of the half after Paulo Bernardo had given them the lead in the 25th minute.

Johnston had been caught out earlier with a bad pass that presented Cyriel Dessers with a decent chance, in the 44th minute he seemed to have lost his bearings as a cross from the right flew deep into the Celtic penalty box.

With Abdallah Sima dangerously positioned Johnston turned around and fisted the ball out of the park.

From the Sky Sports camera angle behind the goal it was a clear handball but after a brief VAR check play resumed with a goal kick to Celtic.

Both Sky Sports and Radio Scotland gave interpretations of the hand ball rule which seemed to come from the VAR discussion which broadcasters have access to, it seemed a flimsy explanation and provided a half-time talking point.

A penalty and an equaliser on the brink of half-time would have changed the complex of the match and certainly the tone of the half-time team talk from each manager.

Within 90 seconds of the restart Kyogo Furuhashi had doubled Celtic’s lead with a brilliantly placed 20 yard shot, his seventh goal in this fixture during the course of 2023.

Early in the second half Sky Sports replayed the handball incident, highlighting that Sima was offside when the cross was made, later on VAR lines were produced to justify the decision but the timing seemed strange.

From somewhere two broadcasters were discussing the incident as a handball, almost half an hour later an offside call was being put forward as the reason for no penalty being given.

When Leon Balogun was deservedly sent off for fouling Leon Balogun in the 71st minute it seemed that Celtic were on course for a comfortable three points.

A triple substitution in the 83rd minute was expected to give Celtic new life in the forward positions but at that stage the home side started slipping further and further back, in the 88th minute James Tavernier pulled a goal back by scoring from a free kick.

With eight minutes of stoppage time turning into just over 10 it was a very nervous conclusion to the match but as 2023 comes to a close Celtic are sitting eight points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership.

CLICK HERE for McGowan warns Brendan Rodgers to earn his big bucks.

CLICK HERE for Sky Sports match report on Celtic’s victory.

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