Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk suffered a red card as his team scrambled to a 1-1 draw against Dundee United yesterday in the Cup quarter-final.
Just why van Dijk was shown a straight red is difficult to understand. A clash between Celtic skipper Scott Brown and Dundee United star Calum Butcher saw one or two confrontations break out, with the big defender one of the players involved.
There was nothing unusual about the square ups, which followed with a very reasonable suggestion that van Dijk was hard done by via a very harsh official.
It will be interesting to see how the Bhoys react without van Dijk because he’s a very important defender for the side.
He’s a big and very imposing player who is capable of intimidating some attackers before a game has even started. He puts opponents on edge and has an air of authority about him.
It’s a second harsh red card following his two yellows in the game against Inter Milan in the Europa League and while the suggestion could be he’s got a problem in terms of discipline, he’s equally just as much a victim of some bad luck.
Ronny Deila has to use any feelings of disappointment or injustice which resulted yesterday to the side’s advantage.
He can create a victim type of mentality within his squad and use that as motivation ahead of important games to come.
The Bhoys are still in good shape looking ahead to the rest of the season and still have multiple chances of winning silverware.
Fortunately Celtic have a decent and big squad of players, which means they are well suited to coping without key players for short periods of time.
Here’s what Celtic fans on Twitter had to say about the incident.
@RoryWatson1 surely he'll be banned, hope we appeal Van Dijk's sending off it was harsh— Craig (@craigcfcnufc) March 8, 2015
@ScottishFA van dijk never a sending off , send the correct dundee United player off, nadir cifctis stamp, Aidan connollys dive sort it out— Dion Smith (@Dionsmith67) March 8, 2015
The officials are an absolute joke, sending Van Dijk off for nothing and giving Dundee United a penalty for diving. #Celtic— John McNeil (@JohnMcNeil15) March 8, 2015
Celtic getting cheated blatantly, what did van dijk do to merit a sending off? Cifcti can kick brown in the head and get away with it?— Darren Flynn (@_DarrenFlynn) March 8, 2015
@celticfc celtic has to appeal that to the SFA that is never ever a sending off Im sorry seen it again van Dijk tried to get away from him— john_NUFC42 (@john_nufc42) March 8, 2015
Referee & Linesman have got to be looked at here. Never a sending of for Van Dijk and wrong United player off. Shocking— Stephen McGill (@Steviebhoy55) March 8, 2015
Outrageous decision sending van dijk and Payton off !!— Garret Giblin (@GarretGiblin) March 8, 2015
Referee doesn't even see the challenge yet takes it from his linesman to send them off! Never a sending off for Van Dijk! #celtic— Leann Kelly (@Leann_27) March 8, 2015
How did Van Dijk deserve a sending off what is going on— Daniel King (@danielking95_) March 8, 2015