The incident 

Referee John Beaton pointed to the spot in the last ten-minutes of the match at Ibrox last night.

Aberdeen defender David Bates was adjudged to have fouled Rangers striker Fashion Sakala inside the box.

James Tavernier stepped up to the mark - as he so often does - and slotted home to ensure the game finished 2-2.

What was said

Steven Gerrard insisted it didn't matter what he thought of the decision, it was only the referee's call that mattered.

He did hint though that he felt Bates was penalised for a subtle pull on Sakala's shirt. 

He said: "Whether that's soft or not enough to be a penalty is not my decision. That's the referee's decision.

"He's given it and we've managed to get a point off the back of that."

Dons boss Stephen Glass was unhappy with Beaton though. 

He claimed the referee's calls for BOTH Gers goals cost his side all three points.

He said: "I am happy, but I think we could have walked away with more.

“There was obviously an incident with a penalty kick which doesn't look like a penalty kick to me.

"Other than that I thought we were brilliant defensively and carried a threat as well. I am happy to come away with a point. I would have taken it if you had given me that at the start of the day.

“But I am pretty disappointed with the way it has ended. It is not a penalty kick. It is a little bit of coming together, it isn't a penalty kick.

"I don't get involve with criticising referees. I get involved a bit at the side because you get emotional. But I was interested in Robbie's (Hearts manager Neilson) comments last week and I am disappointed.

"They are a really good team with really good players so to get undone by a free-kick that doesn’t look like a free-kick and a penalty that doesn’t look like a penalty? I think that’s good for us."

The rule

Denying a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity

Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.

The following must be considered:

  • distance between the offence and the goal.
  • general direction of the play.
  • likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball.
  • location and number of defenders.

The verdict

Sakala was wide of Joe Lewis' six-yard box. As well as Bates, Scott Brown and Ross McCrorie were back covering for Aberdeen and so to say it was a clear goal-scoring would be a bit of a stretch.

The striker also appears to throw his body into Bates' left leg as he attempted to win a header, with James Tavernier's ball slightly behind his direction of travel.

This incident is one that VAR would spend minutes looking at down south.

On this occasion, it looks like John Beaton made the wrong call.