Philippe Clement questions 'strange' Rangers VAR decision as Leon Balogun joins injury list

Rangers boss Philippe Clement
Rangers boss Philippe Clement -Credit:SNS Group

Philippe Clement has questioned ref David Dickinson's 'strange' decision to deny Rangers an early penalty against Kilmarnock.

It was a chaotic first 20 minutes at Ibrox as several flashpoints were put under scrutiny by VAR, causing various stoppages in play. Dickinson was first called over to the monitor to pour over a handball from Killie's Corrie Ndaba as he tussled Dujon Sterling in the box. It looked impossible for the defender to get his hand out of the way and after studying the incident, Dickinson decided to stick with his on-field decision.

Gers eventually did benefit from a penalty shortly afterwards after Joe Wright was sent off for clearing Sterling's goal-bound shot off the line with his hand, only for James Tavernier to miss. But the Light Blues made their extra man advantage count as Tavernier's first-half own goal was eventually cancelled out by Fabio Silva on the stroke of half-time before Ben Davies, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar sealed a 4-1 victory. Clement was thrilled with his side's comeback victory but was clearly unhappy with Dickinson's early VAR call.

He told BBC Scotland: "We started the game really well, fast and we should have had a penalty for a handball and then VAR decides not or decides yes - and the referee decides not. So that's a knockout moment. But we keep going and that's what I want to see. A fast start and a team that is hunger to score goals.

"I don't know what was said from the VAR. I think if they call the referee to come and see that, they think it was a penalty. It was the referee who I think decided it was not a penalty.

"So that's a strange thing for me if you compare the penalties we get against, for example the penalty against Kilmarnock at home the last couple of months. But that's part of the game we need to accept and focus on the things you can control, and that's our quality on the pitch."

Defender Leon Balogun was subbed off with a back issue at half-time and Clement confirmed the 35-year-old faces a race against time to be fit for next week's clash at Celtic Park.

He added: "Yeah, he was injured. It was not the idea to replace him, but we had to take him off. I have no clue for the moment. We will see tomorrow and the days after. What will be the situation, again like always in the last couple of months, everyone is ready to do the job and step in for the team."