Rangers should only have themselves to blame for drawing 2-2 with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday night.
Unfortunately, referee John Beaton became the latest Scottish official to have a black mark against him this season – the fact he put it there himself is immaterial.
Lewis Ferguson fouled Alfredo Morelos late on in the game, but Beaten gave the foul outside the area, with James Tavernier not being able to find justice with a curling shot.
TV replays showed what it looked like in real-time, which was that the foul was inside the box and it should have been a penalty.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was furious and rightly so, and he wasn’t moved by the apology from Beaton afterwards.
As quoted in the Scottish Sun, Gerrard said, “It’s 100% a penalty. I’m surprised it’s not given as the referee is three yards away and looking right at it. He has seen it since and agrees it is a blatant penalty he has missed.
“I have to be very careful what I say, obviously. But I don’t think there will be a more disappointed person outside of Rangers tonight than John.
“He has just explained to me that he got it wrong, right in front of his eyes, and there is no excuse. There is nothing more I can say on it to be honest. Did he apologise? Yes. I went to see him after the game.”
The reaction from Gerrard is as honest as it is irritable.
We don’t want excuses anymore, just a level of officiating that is consistent with the level of football that is being played.
That decision could have huge ramifications in the title race. Celtic moved two points ahead of Rangers because of Beaton and it’s not good enough.
The Rangers players have to take their share of the blame. Their game management from 2-0 up was really poor and they completely switched off for the second goal and indeed most of the second half.
They’ll need to be so much better to win the League Cup on Sunday. But then so will the referee.