Celtic appear to have been robbed of a first half penalty in the club’s UEFA Champions League opener against Feyenoord in Rotterdam. The game ended 2-0 with fine margins costing the Scottish Champions in Europe once again. However, on the subject of fine margins, it looks as if the ropey officials missed another major incident – this time a penalty for a tackle from behind on Daizen Maeda.
Given all that went on in the second half, fans would have easily forgotten about the incident quite early on in the first half. However, one supporter has correctly identified the flashpoint and took to Twitter/X to remonstrate with the decision not to award a spot-kick.
— Gort (@Klaa2BaradaNik2) September 19, 2023
It really does beg the question as to why that is not a penalty as there is clear contact that impedes Maeda’s ability to strike the ball. The referee clearly missed it as in real time it looked as if the defender gets enough on the ball to cause it to bobble and send the Japanese attacker’s efforts behind for a goal kick. VAR did in fact check it, albeit briefly, before accepting that it was fine to play on.
The VAR refused to get involved and there is a feel that this may be political given the overbearing nature of the Premier League’s use of the VAR technology. All of the on-field decisions were confirmed by the VAR with the exception of the offsides, which are semi-automated. Of course, it is hard luck for Celtic but it reiterates the manager’s point about fine margins but it is frustrating that this has been missed by the officials. The team need to create more and take their chances moving forward as it is a steep learning curve that not every decision will be scrutinised in the same way that they do domestically.