The Irish striker was sent off for his reaction to an unseen elbow from Paul Paton.
Celtic won 4-0 in the latest instalment of the Dundee United saga. In what was the trilogy match up Celtic won the Scottish Cup replay with ease in their third meeting in a row against the Terrors.
Celtic now face Dundee United in the league at the weekend to complete the run of four consecutive fixtures against each other.
Of course over that short space of time tensions are going to mount between the two sets of players. Those tensions boiled over once again last night.
Celtic and Dundee United both had men sent off as Anthony Stokes and Ryan McGowan were both given their marching orders late on in the game.
Celtic boss Ronny Deila has now tentatively backed his striker. The Norwegian told the official Celtic website that the fact Stokes was bleeding is probably what caused the reaction that saw him sent off:
“I have spoken to Stokesy. He’s bleeding in his mouth after the challenge and he reacted on that I think and we’ll have to see it one more time to see if it’s a red card or not."
Stokes’ red card came after something of a shoving match between the two sets of players. However, he did appear to be bleeding as he left the field of play. On second viewing you can clearly see an elbow from United midfielder Paul Paton.
After the game Stokes was in no doubt about that and called out the midfielder on Twitter:
Great performance tonight! On another note I get a sly elbow in the face by someone that has nothing about them and get sent off, typical!— Anthony Stokes (@stoksey10) March 18, 2015
One thing you can guarantee is plenty of bite between the Celtic and Dundee United players when they meet again this weekend, even if the suspended crew won’t be present.