Sturgeon criticised by Leo Kearse for slamming Rangers fans
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A fearsome Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic was brought to a halt at Ibrox before the second half got underway. Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart complained to the referee as the former England international pointed out what appeared to be broken glass in his penalty box.
A tense day was quickly propelled into top gear in Glasgow when Aaron Ramsey fired in to give the hosts the lead within three minutes. Tom Rogic gave Celtic an instant response, however, and Cameron Carter-Vickers finished well before half time to spark bedlam in the away end.
The second half was delayed from getting underway, however, as Hart called the referee and brought attention to broken glass in his penalty area. The action was put on hold for several minutes while it was cleared as many respected figures commented with disgust on the incident, which threatens to tarnish the latest edition of Scottish football’s flagship fixture.
Former Hoops striker Chris Sutton ranted on social media: “Absolute scumbags throwing glass bottles on to the pitch. How low can some people go. This is how this game will be remembered now.”
On co-commentary duties for Sky Sports, former Celtic and Scotland striker Andy Walker added: “A broken bottle on the field of play? Absolutely outrageous. This is shameful.”
As the action got back underway it seemed as though the temporary stoppage did little to alter the hostile atmosphere at Ibrox. When Celtic youngster Jota trotted over to take a corner from the left side, more objects appeared to be hurled in his direction which prompted further calls to the referee.
Sunday’s encounter came with high stakes not just in terms of fan bragging rights, but serious ramifications for the league table too. Rangers and Celtic went into the clash split by three points as a home win promised to bring the ‘Gers level and an away victory would see the Hoops leave with a healthy six-point buffer.
It remains to be seen whether further action will be taken as the two sides are set to meet again in the Scottish Cup semi-final later this month. A third clash could also be on the cards in April as part of the Scottish Premiership’s post-split fixtures.
Rangers hero Ally McCoist was amongst those to denounce the broken glass incident on Sunday, describing it as an act of ‘gross stupidity’.
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