The penalty awarded to Rangers is criticized as ’embarrassing,’ accompanied by a contentious accusation of ‘cheating’ following the VAR decision against Celtic.

Chris Sutton has criticized referee John Beaton as ’embarrassing’ following his choice to grant a penalty to Rangers during Sunday’s intense Old Firm derby against Celtic.

The current Premiership champions seemed poised to make significant progress towards defending their title after leading by two goals at halftime, courtesy of an early goal from Daizen Maeda and a penalty converted by Danish international Matt O’Riley.

However, Rangers were given an opportunity to claw back into the game when Beaton awarded a penalty ten minutes into the second half, initially cautioning Fabio Silva for simulation.

Upon VAR review of the decision, Beaton, who was summoned to the pitchside monitor, chose to award a penalty after determining that Alistair Johnston had indeed made contact with the Portuguese forward, overturning his initial decision. Sutton reacted furiously to the decision, also accusing loaned Wolverhampton Wanderers player Silva of dishonesty.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of the match, the outspoken former Celtic player remarked, “It would be embarrassing if they awarded a penalty. He is already going down, and you shouldn’t be rewarded for cheating. There must be sufficient contact, a clear and obvious error, which clearly isn’t the case.”

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