Controversial Cosgrove red comes after injuring Rangers' Steven Davis
Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

Controversial Cosgrove red comes after injuring Rangers' Steven Davis

Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove saw red for flying into a challenge against Celtic centre-half Kristoffer Ajer as Rangers’ Old Firm rivals defeated the Dons 2-1.

The big striker had levelled the score between Rangers’ two biggest Scottish Premiership opponents but had seen Odsonne Edouard put Celtic ahead before making the risky tackle.

Derek McInnes might refute the decision but there’s little doubting the tackle could’ve done some serious damage had he connected fully with the Norwegian defender.

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The challenge also comes after Cosgrove was inexplicably excused for a disgraceful ankle-high tackle on Steven Davis in the 2-2 Rangers draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie a few weeks ago.

The towering striker flew into a challenge on Davis which went unpunished and has since left the Northern Irish captain side-lined with the injury.

Whilst Cosgrove was eventually yellow-carded in the match, he was offered an unhealthy amount of protection by referee John Beaton.

Say what you want about the red here, but the striker’s luck appears to have run out in the match with Celtic.

Less than 24 hours after Hibs stopper Ryan Porteous saw red for a disgraceful attempt to injure Borna Barisic, it highlights the need for Scottish referees to protect players from this ugly and dangerous style of play.

Davis was injured, Ajer could’ve been.

For too long challenges such as those of Porteous and Cosgrove have been heralded by some fans and there’s an argument that this is part of the reason why elements of our game are in the doldrums.

Thankfully Steven Davis is set to return to the Rangers side to face Kilmarnock [Rangers]. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Both decisions were the right call and there needs to be much more protection from referees for players, Rangers or otherwise, from this kind of vicious behaviour.

Sam Cosgrove needs to know that while physicality has its place, setting out to deliberately hurt someone is unacceptable.