Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has called for more help for Scottish officials after his side were defeated in the League Cup final by Old Firm rivals Celtic thanks to a controversial Christopher Jullien goal.
Gerrard’s side dominated possession throughout the game at Hamden Park and were arguably the better of the two sides, but failed to convert their chances as Celtic took home a 10th consecutive domestic trophy.
Striker Alfredo Morelos missed a penalty in an incident which saw Jeremie Frimpong receive a straight red card but it was Celtic’s goal which in the end caused the most controversy.
Jullien scored it, latching on to Jonny Hayes’ free-kick, but television replays suggested that the French defender, along with two other Celtic players, were narrowly offside when the ball was played in.
There is no VAR in Scottish football and the goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, with Gerrard calling for more help for officials following the game.
“There were three Celtic players standing in offside positions but unfortunately we play in a country where there is no VAR. It has taken something away from the game, so I’d be a liar if I said I’m 100 per cent in favour of it.
“But one thing I do know is the officials up here need some help. There are too many things, not just for our club but across the board, they maybe miss and need a bit of support on.
“I’m not the type of person who blames or look for excuses, the big moments have gone against us today, we are all responsible for that. But the reality is, at the top end of football, you expect the linesman to get one of them right from the three who were in an offside position.”
Gerrard also addressed the concerns surrounding the Rangers penalty as Alfredo Morelos appeared to take the ball off James Tavernier who had initially looked like he would take the spot kick.
“Alfredo was the nominated penalty taker. It was nothing to do with James passing the buck or anything like that. I decided we needed to change that up.
“Unfortunately we haven’t taken our chance. People will look back at that moment as the chance to swing the momentum in our favour, although we were much the stronger team throughout the 90 minutes anyway.
“I’ve got a big job to pick them all up because as you can imagine it’s a tough one. It’s raw right now but this is football at the top. We’ll suffer and then we’ll bounce back.”