FIZZING Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen has revealed that even the Celtic players were telling him his team were denied a stonewall penalty in the 2-0 win for Ange Postecoglou’s men at Fir Park.

Van Veen’s flick was handled in the area by Boli Bolingoli as Celtic looked to see the game out, and the Dutch forward said afterwards that Bolingoli admitted he had got away with one.

Referee Chris Fordyce - who had replaced the injured Willie Collum half an hour into the game – waved away the home side’s claims, and van Veen was furious that his team had been denied a possible route back into the game.

“He said it was a penalty during the game to a few of our players," said van Veen. "And I spoke to the centre-back (Cameron) Carter-Vickers too who said it was a penalty. I said ‘I know, I saw it with my own eyes’.

“It was 100 percent a penalty. Kayne Woolery threw the ball in, I took it on my chest, and he said it himself that it was a penalty. He reacted to the ball and just punched it away. It’s a 100 percent penalty.

“Unfortunately we never got it, and it would have been a good time to get the penalty too. There wasn’t many chances at both ends, so if we got it back to 2-1 we would probably pump the ball forward a lot more and then who knows what can happen?

“It’s a shame we never got it, but that’s football. I saw it right in front of my eyes. You can’t even deny it, it’s a penalty.”

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander said it was just the latest example of a trend he has noticed since coming to Scotland, claiming his side are being held to a different standard than the bigger clubs in the division.

“All I can say is we don't get them,” he said. “We should have had one a few weeks ago at Ibrox, we should have one here, blatant.

“Last year against Aberdeen there was a blatant one when the player has made the best save of the game. We don't get them, simple as.

“At a really critical part of the game it gives us a lifeline if we score the penalty. The atmosphere here, the way the crowd is, we give ourselves a chance of getting back into the game and getting something from it.

“I've only been up here nine months, I'm still learning but learning quickly that it's easy to give a penalty against us but very, very difficult to give a penalty to us. From my relatively new experience here that's what I've seen with my own eyes.

“I definitely think VAR would have helped us. It would have given us a win away to Rangers, would have given us a penalty here today. It would have helped us in quite a few games to be fair.

“It's not about the atmosphere or the pressure people are under, it's black and white. If it's seen, it's given. At the minute we are on the wrong end of those.”

Alexander was also upset about Celtic’s opening goal, feeling that Callum Slattery was fouled by Kyogo Furuhashi before Tom Rogic played Joao Jota in on goal. He cited a similar foul awarded to Liel Abada minutes before as evidence of the official’s inconsistency.

“The first few challenges/decisions set the bar for what is going to be for the rest of the game,” he said.

“I was taking that as that was the bar and if it that was it was a foul on Callum.

“There is a fair way to go from there until the goal but these things are important. We fight and scrap for every decision because they lead to something else.

“It might seem easy to let it go in the middle of the pitch but it results in attacking threat. It was a great finish from the lad, but going by previous challenges, I believe it should have been a free-kick.”