By George Overhill

14th Aug, 2022 | 7:40am

Michael Stewart praises Antonio Colak for controversial Rangers sequence v St Johnstone

Michael Stewart gave credit to Rangers striker Antontio Colak for the way he took his goal despite saying it was offside in the win against St Johnstone.

The summer signing scored his third in three games to put the Gers two up in their 4-0 Scottish Premiership win on Saturday (13 August), but replays showed that he was offside when the last touch by Rabbi Matondo was made in the build up.

The Welsh winger showed fantastic industry to close down Drey Wright inside the visitors’ box, putting in a sliding tackle which sent the ball through to the Croatian international who came back from beyond the last man, but without VAR yet in Scotland it wasn’t picked up and he slammed it low into the net.

Stewart accepted that it was a difficult decision for the assistant to see with the striker moving back rather than forward, and applauded the 28-year-old’s play.

Speaking on BBC Sportscene [14min 30sec] about whether it should have been ruled out he said: “Technically yes, but these things are very difficult for linesmen and such like to call when they’re stepping back here. But you notice when the ball’s played he is the other side [of the last defender].

“But in a flash he’s back onside, and to give him credit it’s a good first touch, spin, and it’s under the keeper before he can really react.”

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It was a surprisingly fair assessment of a decision that went in Rangers’ favour, but it was probably the correct one.

No side will be pleased to see a goal go against them that should have been ruled out, but until the video assistant is brought into the league this sort of thing will continue to happen.

Matondo deserves more praise than Colak really for the goal, which he created out of nothing by challenging Wright.

Once the second had gone in the game was essentially won, with further strikes from Scott Arfield after another nice assist from Matondo, and Tom Lawrence’s first for the club, made it comfortable.

But while it was 1-0, with the gap between the sides only Malik Tillman’s second soaring header in as many Ibrox outings, there is always the possibility that the home side could be caught on the break and end up with frustrating dropped points.

Commitment from one new signing and a sharp finish from another, along with two more goals and an assist from the window’s arrivals, will have made Giovanni van Bronckhorst very satisfied ahead of the first leg against PSV in the crucial European qualifying tie.

In other Rangers news, one English club can’t afford the man they want to take from Ibrox.