By Doug Ward

17th Apr, 2022 | 6:10pm

Michael Stewart and John Hartson clash over Kemar Roofe live on-air in Rangers v Celtic

Michael Stewart told John Hartson to give some credit to Kemar Roofe in the first half of Rangers’ 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic at Hampden Park on Sunday.

Roofe, 29, almost opened the scoring before the break with a sweetly-hit left-footed drive from outside of the penalty area.

Ex-Celtic striker Hartson refused to credit Roofe and bemoaned the Hoops’ defence but Stewart was quick to tell his fellow Premier Sports pundit that Roofe did exceptionally well to create space for himself and have an effort.

“He shouldn’t really be able to hit that,” Hartson said at half-time on Premier Sports’ live coverage of the semi-final on Sunday [17 April, 02:51pm].

“I think there are several Celtic players in front of him who shouldn’t allow [Roofe] to get the shot away. They’ve got to get tighter. When Roofe is lining up for the shot, block it.”

Stewart then interrupted Hartson and said: “I think you’ve got to give credit to Roofe, honestly.

“As Alan [Hutton] said there, he’s done everything asked of him.

“Okay, from a Celtic perspective, perhaps you could have had somebody else in to close him up as well as it was only Callum McGregor.

“But as soon as he chops back on his left foot there, you’ve got to take your hat off and say that’s good play and it’s very, very close.”

Hartson then chipped back in to say: “What I’m trying to say is the centre-forward shouldn’t be allowed to turn six or seven yards out [from the penalty area].

“You should be on that to try and block it.”

Michael Stewart, take a bow

Well, we didn’t expect to hear Stewart fighting the corner of a Rangers player during his punditry duty this weekend.

However, Hartson’s biased reaction to absolutely anything and everything to do with Celtic and Rangers needs to be called out.

Yes, from a Celtic perspective, you’d have wanted your defenders to stop the shot from even happening.

But, sometimes, you have to credit the attacker for being able to make room for himself and fire a shot at goal.

Stewart needed to remind Hartson of that but even when he did, the former Wales striker continued to moan about his old club’s defensive performance.

Roofe has been in great form lately and when a player is doing that well, they can perform above and beyond and have that extra spring in their step to be able to react quicker than defenders.

Roofe is good when he drops back and he was unfortunate to see his shot just go wide of Joe Hart’s goal.

In other Rangers news, a German newspaper disrespected the Light Blues after they drew RB Leipzig in the Europa League semi-finals.