By Doug Ward

5th Aug, 2022 | 7:27am

Michael Stewart cannot believe why Union Saint-Gilloise were awarded a penalty kick against Rangers earlier this week when Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side lost 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier.

Connor Goldson was booked for handball after a lengthy pitch-side VAR review by referee Irfan Peljto.

Dante Vanzeir scored the resulting spot-kick in the second half to put USG two goals ahead but it was an incredibly harsh decision and even Stewart doesn’t thnk it was a penalty.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand these decisions at times, how referees and officials can give handballs like that,” said Stewart, speaking at half-time of BBC Scotland’s coverage of Dundee United’s clash with AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night (4 August), as quoted by Football Scotland.

“I think if anybody understands the biomechanics of the human body you can see that quite clearly is a natural thing.

“That’s not a penalty kick.”

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If Stewart is speaking in favour of Rangers then you know how bad of a decision it was to award the penalty kick.

Goldson had absolutely no chance of getting out of the way of the ball.

It cannoned up onto his arm after a block was made by Ben Davies.

But Davies was so close to Goldson that he would have needed impossible reactions in order to move his arm out of the way.

Plus, he wasn’t even looking in that direction at that point.

It was a stupid penalty decision – handballs like that simply shouldn’t be given.

We feel as though the referee only gave the penalty because Goldson’s arm was raised.

It was – but come on. Have some common sense.

Rangers deserved to lose that match but they didn’t deserve to concede that penalty and that’s given them so much more to do when USG make their way to Ibrox next week for the second leg of the qualifying showdown.

Van Bronckhorst’s men need to play a lot better because that display in Belgium was one of the worst we’ve seen in the post-Pedro Caixinha era.

In other Rangers news, this Sky Sports pundit has also spoken out about an incident that wowed him in Rangers’ clash against USG.