Celtic vs Rangers big calls get Ref Watch treatment as Dermot Gallagher delivers red card and penalty verdict

Ever since the introduction of VAR it feels like there hasn't been an Old Firm derby where that hasn't been major talking points.

Saturday was no different with Rangers midfielder John Lundstram getting himself sent off, with the help of the video assistant, and Celtic later getting a penalty despite the VAR asking whistler Willie Collum to reconsider his decision. Matt O'Riley went on to miss it anyway as the Hoops clung on to a 2-1 win over the ten men.

The Hoops had dominated up until the red card but there is no question it was still pivotal as Gers had only just managed to get themselves a lifeline through Cyriel Dessers' header. The general consensus has been that it was the correct call, although Kenny Miller was at odds with the rest of the pundits as he bemoaned VAR's intervention.

Former whistler Dermot Gallagher has now had his say on Sky Sports' Ref Watch and has backed up the officiating team. He also used it as a major shot in the arm for VAR as a whole after a season where it was much maligned.

He said: "We want VAR to intervene when there's a clear mistake. You look at the images and the speed Lundstram comes at. Look at the distance he's travelled.

"The ball has gone and he catches him on the ankle with his studs. I think that's a red card. It's hard to accept a yellow card when you've got VAR available to overturn it."

Pundits Stephen Warnock and Sue Smith agreed, the ex-Liverpool defender saying: "The speed of the challenge, that's why the referee needs help. I am fully behind VAR in this instance and it's why at times it's vitally important."

Smith added: "It's absolutely a red card and sometimes it's difficult for a referee to see it on the pitch, so that's why you need VAR."

Onto the penalty decision and Gallagher has backed Collum for his strength in sticking to his guns. He said: "He thinks he clips his right foot, doesn't he. It doesn't leap out as the most blatant penalty but the VAR gives him the chance to have a look. I think it's right he was sent to the monitor as it gives him the chance to have a look and he can always stick by his original decision."