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Justice Is Done - Bill Leckie Tells It Straight Up


Stu1993

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NEIL LENNON bounced and fidgeted in the main stand, a simmering ginger bundle of energy and frustration.

He yelled. He cursed. He fed a non-stop stream of instructions to his sidekicks on the sidelines.

Nothing the Celtic boss could say made a difference in the end. No amount of tinkering or yelling or substitutions could turn the tide of a game that always seemed destined to end in defeat.

This time, when it was over, he couldn't even blame the ref.

Let's be honest here - Craig Thomson got off the hook yesterday - big time.

Had Rangers lost this titanic final, there would have been hell to pay for the two stonewall penalties he refused to give them.

Instead? Well, Old Firm fans have better memories than an elephant who's spent six hours a day playing the Brain Training game on its Nintendo DS, so neither decision will be forgotten soon.

At least history will boil them down to a side issue, a pub argument over what year it was that some diddy rubber-eared a kick in the knee and a blatant handball. Which, for the sake of a decent bloke, is a blessing.

I've watched both those incidents over and over and still can't for the life of me understand why they weren't no-brainers for a man of Thomson's experience.

Each time, he's in a perfect position. Each time, he could not have made the job easier for himself. Yet in the first half, when Thomas Rogne's boot clearly catches Nikica Jelavic, he gives the spot kick before changing his mind - presumably on the advice of linesman Graham Chambers 50 yards away. Then, when Mark Wilson sticks out his left arm to block Maurice Edu's flick on the hour mark, he has the best view in the stadium - yet waves appeals away.

Someone said to me later that, to be fair, the guy got nothing else wrong all afternoon.

What keeper ever got away with that excuse if he had a blinder only to throw one in ten seconds from time?

Fact is, when it mattered most in a national cup final, Thomson got it absolutely wrong.

Not once, but twice - three times if you count the call deep in extra-time when he only booked Charlie Mulgrew for hauling down Jelavic to prevent what would have been a clear goalscoring opportunity. These are the moments that can define careers.

Scotland's No 1 referee is very lucky they won't stain his forever.

As for Walter Smith? Well, he'll reckon - rightly - that justice was done in the end, because his team deserved this triumph, as he does himself as he heads towards the Ibrox exit door.

On Thursday, he'd watched them go out of the Europa League to PSV Eindhoven thanks to a performance that simply wasn't good enough, brave enough or attacking enough.

I wrote then that unless key men pulled their finger out at Hampden, they could kiss their chances of silverware goodbye for the season.

One of those who needed to produce more than most was Steven Davis, missing in action against the Dutch.

Well, he didn't half take a look at himself here.

His goal capped a Man of the Match display, robbing the dozy Joe Ledley before driving on and shooting low beyond Fraser Forster's left hand - albeit a trundler in off the post - but his contribution was excellent, full of power, drive and desire.

Davis was the catalyst for Rangers. Plenty others took the hint, none more so than Jelavic.

His winning goal was maybe even scruffier than the first, hitting the left-hand post before spinning along the line and in.

It's actually arguable whether any goals in an Old Firm final have taken so long to go in since Tam Forsyth - watching from the stands along with a cast of old-time stars - bobbled the winner in the 1973 Scottish Cup.

do Rangers care? Don't be silly. They NEEDED this triumph - for their gaffer, for their fans, for their own battered self-esteem and they more than earned it. Celtic never came close to hitting the heights of the last few derbies, never knocked it around with anything like the swagger they've shown in recent months.

In Beram Kayal, they had an outstanding midfielder, someone willing to scrap for everything and to constantly scope out the right pass.

He was to Lennon's side what Davis was to Smith's but unlike Davis, he found few takers when he looked around him for handers.

Georgios Samaras threatened to make an impact without ever delivering. Kris Commons and Gary Hooper had lost their spark.

The best Joe Ledley can say is that his headed equaliser made amends for his part in selling the shirts earlier on.

Forster never looked in command, Rogne and Mulgrew were suspect and - crucially - neither Wilson nor Emilio Izaguirre got to impose themselves going forward the way Rangers had let them in games gone by. By the time a limping Izaguirre saw a straight red for barging over substitute Vladimir Weiss, time was almost up and the game was too.

Though just for once, a sending off and half-a-dozen bookings shouldn't be allowed to reflect badly on a meeting between these two, because both sets of players reacted admirably to all the warnings about the responsibility they carried towards the fans.

No one over-reacted to tackles, they kissed and made up over tangles and, all in all, they produced a final that should be remembered for all the right reasons.

Though to be fair, I'm writing this before they add up the final score in Glasgow's hospitals.

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3479947/Justice-is-done.html#ixzz1HBjhoCnO

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A tim mate of mine tryed to claim izagurie's red card wasn't even a free kick because weiss was on he way down before the tackle ? I haven't seen it on telly but I couldn't in the life of me see how that one was a sending off and the mulgrew 1 wasn't, anyway who cares GLASGOW RANGERS CHAMPIONS !!!

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Being a bit harsh on the ref, it took courage to change his mind, correctly imo, over the Jelavic incident. Though aye the handball was probs a penalty but I wouldn't call it a stonewaller. If it happened at the other end of the park and a penalty was given I would probubly feel agrieved. Still I'm not given a shite about the ref, we won!!!

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What is annoying is that BBC have given considerable amounts of our license fee via an appearance fee to a Scotland manager whose tongue was so far up a former celtic player now Everton managers's arse that he lost all senses of duty or logic?

Levien is for me is the type of ass kissing incompetent who undermines the aspirations of not just Scotland supporters, but football supporters in general. HIs contributions today are as questionable as his team selections or tactics.

He obviously values celtic players more than our's. He is unfit to serve our country and I fell he should reconsider his position and wait for the republic or celtic job. All his deficiencies will then be masked under the auspices of national conspiracy.

The great thing about the Tartan Army is that they will always note a fake wanker. Levien will only then rue the day he fucked with Rangers

WATP

3in a row

The double is on!

In Walter we trust!

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I honestly don't think the Jelavic one was a penalty. The hand ball was though. And Mulgrew should've been sent off. I lost the plot when I seen a yellow.

I thought the opposite!

Fair enough there was minimal contact by Rogne on Jelavic, but there was contact.

The Wilson one i thought was not a penalty, looked like ball to hand to me.

I will agree with you that Mulgrew should have been sent off, both for the foul on Jelavic denying a goal scoring opportunity and for the foul near the end of Diouf.

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For me it's a clear cut penalty, there is definately contact and just because the player goes down 'easily' doesn't make it not a penalty. I've watched it over and over again, and its a pen every time. The handball I've seen given many times, whether its 'soft' or not is irrelevant. Also, the greasy greek cunt deliberately handled the ball at one point and wasnt even shown a card, Rogne should have been carded for persistant fouling. Its far better to point out such glaring errors after a win, because it doesnt smack of sour grapes, just the truth. Thompson is a pish poor referee, always has been and always will be.

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