Celtic boss Neil Lennon publicly bemoaned referee Bobby Madden for sending off Nir Bitton in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Rangers – and the Ibrox faithful are having none of it.

Lennon watched his side largely dominate the first half of the game but they failed to breach the Rangers defence courtesy of a top performance by keeper Allan McGregor.

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Celtic boss Neil Lennon railed against referee Bobby Madden in the aftermath of his side’s defeat to Rangers. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The game would turn in an instant when Israeli international Bitton hauled down Alfredo Morelos after the Colombian turned him, with Bitton seemingly believing centre-back Kris Ajer was closer.

But replays showed that Morelos was tearing down on goal and the cynical foul undoubtedly prevented a clear 1v1 opportunity.

From there the Gers would control the game – and score from a set-piece – but Lennon instead chose to focus on the referee and not himself.

“I’m bitterly disappointed,” said Lennon [Daily Record].

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“The referee has made the wrong decision and it’s changed the course of the game.

“It’s not a sending off, it’s a foul, we’ve got Ajer coming in on the cover and Morelos is in a wide position.

“It’s not a clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity – he might get a shot off but he’s certainly not clear through on goal.

“I think he (Madden) was too quick to get the red card out. I’m bitterly disappointed and really proud of the performance.

“I thought we were outstanding before the red card that changed the course of a game we controlled, dominating the play.

“We’ve been done by a pretty poor refereeing decision, I don’t think he was great all day.

“He’s made the decision straight away, Nir’s not done done great, he’s got himself in the wrong body position but he’s not clean through.

“Ajer was on the cover so we had to jig things up and we were really unfortunate with the goal.”

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Celtic star Nir Bitton is sent packing by referee Bobby Madden in Rangers’ 1-0 win over their Parkhead rivals. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

No, Ajer was not on the cover, it was a red card, Neil.

And if we’re being honest, the Celtic boss has got to shoulder some of the blame for playing a central midfielder at centre back against one of the country’s best forwards.

Not only that, but Celtic were lucky they never ended up with only nine men on the field after Shane Duffy recklessly scythed Ryan Kent down in the second half.

Rangers fans saw right through the crocodile tears at full-time and criticised the Celtic manager for his ungracious response in defeat:

 

Lennon isn’t the only one who’s been getting it tight from the Ibrox faithful in the aftermath of Rangers’ 1-0 win over Celtic.

The Parkhead club’s captain Scott Brown has also come in for some criticism for attempting to dive and get Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos sent off in the game.

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