It didn’t attract much media attention but Ryan Christie was very lucky to avoid serious injury during Celtic’s 3-2 win over Livingston.
But not quite as lucky as Craig Sibbald who somehow avoided a red card for a challenge that looked bad in real time and horrendous when replayed at Slow-Motion.
A yellow card was the verdict of referee Gavin Duncan, earlier in the match he showed no hesitancy in awarding Livingston a penalty from a situation that rarely sees the ref point to the spot.
Was this one not a red card? Never saw the paper headlines or media hysteria over this tackle!! pic.twitter.com/LnaeKtTuXY
— Ian Scobie (@scoblerone10) September 20, 2020
The laws of the game may try to distinguish between a dangerous challenge and a reckless one, Sibbald’s was both. Running directly towards Christie as they challenged for the ball he took a full swing rather than try to nick the ball away and take possession.
He struck the Celtic midfielder around the knee, somehow injury was avoided but it was through luck rather than design.
With challenges like that punished by a yellow card it gives opponents licence to lash out, it is very rare to see a straight red card in matches against Celtic.
The relentless punishment took its toll on Kieran Tierney, if Christie joins him in England at some stage he won’t miss the sort of protection offered by Duncan and other referees supplied and trained by the SFA.