4 big Willie Collum calls as Aberdeen vs Celtic referee goes under the spotlight

There were thrills and spills aplenty at Pittodrie on Wednesday night.

Aberdeen and Celtic played out a five-goal thriller under the lights, with the Premiership leaders just shading it over two very contrasting halves.

Ange Postecoglou ‘s side seemed poised to pull clear by the interval as they did against Rangers and Motherwell via goals from Jota and Matt O’Riley, but the Dons roared back after the restart to level through Christian Ramirez and Lewis Ferguson.

Jota restored Celtic ‘s lead almost immediately with a disputed strike that proved to be the winner.

It was one of a number of incidents that put referee Wille Collum on the spot, with Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass insisting he felt hard done by at full-time.

here’s how Record Sport Online viewed each one.

Jack disallowed goal

With Celtic 2-0 up and cruising, a diagonal ball from Callum McGregor found Jota running off the shoulder of Calvin Ramsay.

Replays show the winger is just onside but the pivotal moment arrives when he pushes Ramsay in the back to allow himself to latch onto the ball.

Frustratingly for Jota and Celtic, he’s actually let Ramsay off the hook by fouling him – the Dons full-back looked second favorite in the race for the ball.

Jota’s lack of a protest could be telling here, too, as he simply accepts the decision with a half smile having an arm stuck out to knock Ramsay off balance.

Mind you, there’s not an awful lot in it.

Verdict:Foul by Jota

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Ramirez offside goal

There’s really no debate to be had with this one.

Ramirez latches on to a flick into the box from Scott Brown but the striker is in a clear offside position when the ball is played.

The Dons striker looked incredulous after the flag went up, but he had gone well beyond the Celtic backline.

An easy one for the officials.

Verdict:correct decision

Jack second goal

The most controversial moment of the evening and one which was, in fairness, perhaps the most difficult to spot in real time for the officials.

Aberdeen clear a cross from the left but Celtic keep it alive via Anthony Ralston and the ball finds its way through to Jota who fires home on the bounce.

The Dons immediately protest and replays show that Liel Abada had strayed just offside when the ball is headed back into the mix.

The winger doesn’t touch the ball, but he blocks the recovering David Bates who is unable to close down Jota before he finishes.

It’s an incident that recalls Manchester United’s first disallowed goal at Burnley on Tuesday, where Harry Maguire was adjudged to have blocked Jay Rodriguez from an offside position.

It took a VAR intervention to spot that one and but there was no such reprieve for the Dons, who very much had a case for the goal to be ruled out.

Verdict:Offside, Abada interfering with play

Aberdeen penalty claim

The Dons were further incensed when O’Riley challenged Ferguson for a high ball as time ticked away on the home side.

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O’Riley does get a bit lucky here – his eyes are on Ferguson the entire time instead of the incoming cross as he jumps to block his opponent.

Ferguson’s case gets stronger when you consider the IFAB rule on such an incident, it reads: “Careless is when a player shows a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or acts without precaution.”

But the midfielder’s reaction likely does not help his cause as he throws himself to the ground in theatrical fashion.

There was contact but Collum and his assistant on the near side did not feel there was enough to meet the “careless” threshold and they probably just about got it right.

Verdict:no penalty


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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