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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Sunday, 24 October 2010 17:53 UK

Celtic boss Neil Lennon critical of Old Firm referee

Celtic manager Neil Lennon
Lennon was bitterly disappointed to see Celtic throw away a 1-0 lead

Celtic manager Neil Lennon thought referee Willie Collum made two bad mistakes during Rangers' 3-1 derby win.

Lennon was aggrieved at the penalty Rangers were awarded for their third goal and thought that Lee McCulloch deserved a first half red card.

"He has got a lot of questions to answer," said Lennon, when asked about the performance of Collum.

"I have problems with my team but you have to get the big decisions right. I'll be asking for an explanation."

Lennon thought that Ibrox midfielder McCulloch, booked early in the game, should have been sent off after impeding Georgios Samaras when the Celtic forward was charging forward, with the game at 0-0.

Rangers had recovered from Gary Hooper's opener on the stroke of half time to lead through a Glenn Loovens own goal and Kenny Miller volley when Collum awarded a penalty to the visitors.

Celtic defender Daniel Majstorovic (left) and Rangers' Kirk Broadfoot

Old Firm controversial penalty

Rangers substitute Kirk Broadfoot tumbled after the merest connection with Daniel Majstorovic and Miller converted the spot-kick.

"I want to know why McCulloch was still on the pitch, it was blatant obstruction when we were breaking," fumed Lennon.

"It was a second yellow and they should have been down to 10 men in the second half.

"And I feel let down on the penalty incident for sure. It's a big decision. I have seen a replay of the penalty and it looked soft.

"I'm not sure he saw it and I'm not sure why he has given it.

"There was a long way to go in the game and we were trying to regroup but Daniel pulled out of the tackle and Broadfoot went down very easily.

"At 2-1 we were still in the game, at 3-1 it is very difficult for us."

Lennon also had a few harsh words for his side, who have now slipped three points behind their fierce rivals in the title race.

"We've given the game away," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

"The manner of the goals we conceded is the most disappointing thing. Our mentality to see the game out was poor.

"And that's from experienced players who should know better. We wanted to keep moving the ball and play in their half. We didn't do any of that."

Lennon was forgiving of Loovens' unfortunate own goal but was critical of his side for falling further behind soon after.

"I thought it was pretty eachy-peachy in the first half and we were pleased to go in a goal in front," he added.

"You can lose a goal from a set-piece, as Rangers did in the first half. That happens in games.

"We knew Rangers would come at us and we said if we concede a goal, just stick to what you're doing and be strong mentally.

"The second goal was criminal from our point of view. We were comfortable in possession, we've invited pressure on and we've given our goalkeeper kicking practice, which we really didn't need to do.

"I thought Ki Sung-Yeung had a really strong game and one or two others but I'll analyse the game later and see who didn't really show up.

"The difference is only three points. It's disappointing to lose a home game, it's disappointing to lose an Old Firm game but there's a long way to go in the season and I hope the players learn from this.

"We've got to pick the players up and go on another run. We've got a League Cup game on Wednesday and I'll be looking for a big performance."

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see also
Celtic 1-3 Rangers
24 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic v Rangers as it happened
24 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photo gallery
24 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier

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