Paul Heckingbottom slams Celtic's Olivier Ntcham after Hibernian draw

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Millwall and Barnsley at The Den on January 6, 2018 in London, England.

Celtic were restricted to a 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw at Easter Road on Saturday with Neil Lennon's side lucky to avoid an even worse result.

Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom tries to attract his players' attention during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road on March 08, 2019 in Edinburgh,...

Paul Heckingbottom could not believe Olivier Ntcham avoided a straight red card as Hibernian held Celtic to a 1-1 draw at Easter Road on Saturday, while speaking to the Scottish Sun.

Neil Lennon’s Hoops dropped points for the first time in this Scottish Premiership season as they failed to break down a resolute Hibs side who had endured a miserable start to season, piling pressure on the former Leeds and Barnsley boss Heckingbottom.

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So you would think the 42-year-old would be thrilled about securing a hard-fought draw against the champions, even if they dropped two points thanks to a brilliant Ryan Christie header which cancelled out a Kristoffer Ajer own goal.

 

But after Ntcham avoided an early bath despite lashing out at Josh Vela, Heckingbottom was left with a sour taste in the mouth.

“He should have been sent off three times. For the three punches,” said the Hibs boss, whose mood wasn’t helped when he was sent to the stands after a wild kick at an innocent water battle.

“That is the worst one and that is the biggest injustice. You tell me why it isn’t a sending off?

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic reacts during the Betfred Scottish League Cup quarter final match between Celtic and Partick Thistle at Celtic Park on September 25, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“There was something different about that. That wasn’t right, that.”

Lennon himself admitted that Ntcham could, and perhaps should, have been given his marching orders with the Celtic boss relieved that the league leaders returned to Edinburgh with a point to their name.

Rangers, meanwhile, provided a clear statement of intent as they battered Aberdeen 5-0 later in the day. There might be a title race after all this season.

Celtic's Northern Irish head coach Neil Lennon gestures at the end of the UEFA Europa League Group E football match between Rennes (stade Rennais FC)  and Celtic Glasgow (Celtic FC) at the...

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