By Ben Wild

4th Jan, 2021 | 6:15pm

'Bordering on red' - Dermot Gallagher makes claim over Rangers v Celtic flashpoint

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has claimed that Shane Duffy’s wild lunge on Rangers ace Ryan Kent could have been a red card offence. 

Just minutes after Nir Bitton had seen red in Saturday’s Old Firm Clash, Duffy flew into a challenge with Kent and referee Bobby Madden issued the defender with a yellow card.

However, Gallagher takes a different view and claimed that on another day Duffy could have seen red for his rash and late challenge.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, Gallagher said, “This is as high a tariff yellow card as you get.

“It must be bordering on red, not so much for the first leg but the fact he follows through. The ref has seen that and he’s just sent off Bitton, he needs to be assured that it really is pushed over the boundary.

“As it was right on it, he gave Shane Duffy the benefit of the doubt. As I said earlier, another day another referee that could have been a red card.”

The challenge drew an angry response from many Gers players as Alfredo Morelos was booked in the following moments after a scuffle broke out between the two historic rivals.

There would’ve been no complaints if Duffy had seen red as it was a very late and reckless challenge that Kent was lucky to walk away from.

These kinds of tackles can be expected in a heated and historic game like the Old Firm but the referee has to punish players when they endanger a fellow professional.

Luckily Kent was able to continue and contribute to a 1-0 win that could have major repercussions for both Rangers and Celtic.

The Gers now have a 19 point lead that looks close to unassailable and Celtic now face a monstrous challenge to retain their Scottish Premiership crown.

Once again, the title is firmly within the grasp of Steven Gerrard and his players as the Gers faithful begin to think that their long wait for a top-flight title is nearly over.

In other Rangers news, Andy Gray remains coy about Rangers’ chances of winning the league.