Celtic boss Neil Lennon left fuming at Dougie MacDonald's decision to rescind penalty against Dundee United

Hoops striker Hooper believes it was a 'bad decision'
Celtic manager Neil Lennon described referee Dougie MacDonald’s controversial move to overturn his initial penalty decision after an incident involving Gary Hooper and Dundee United goalkeeper Dusan Pernis as ‘unacceptable’’.

In a highly exciting match, it was 1-1 at Tannadice during the second half when the incident happened. Striker Gary Hooper, who had put his side in the lead was in the box, he touched the ball away from the Dusan Pernis in goal for Dundee United, who then took Hooper down, though there is argument that he took the ball before bringing down the former Scunthorpe United man.

Dougie MacDonald initially pointed to the spot, but after consultation with his linesman he instead decided to give a bounce ball.

Despite Hooper grabbing a second in dying seconds and rescuing the three points for his side, closing the gap on Rangers before next week’s clash, Lennon was still left fuming.

"He's given the penalty and for me he can't change his mind," Lennon said.

"I didn't get an explanation until the referee came over and spoke to me.

"His explanation was that his linesman had a better view of it and the keeper had played the ball.

"I find that unacceptable. He looked adamant to me when he gave the penalty. He got a good look at it.

"Looking at the replay Pernis has got a touch on the ball but he has taken Garry as well.

"There was a long, long delay between him awarding the penalty and him allowing the bounce ball.

"It was a very strange decision and we could have got a couple of other penalties as well."

With an element of sarcasm, he added: "But I suppose you have to put it down to another honest mistake by the referee."

Hooper felt that it was a ‘bad decision’ and believed that they had claims for a penalty before the incident as defender Gary Kenneth had pulled him back.

"I thought it was a penalty, the keeper got me first then the ball but the linesman said he just got the ball. It was a bad decision.

"There were two penalties. If I had gone down [after the challenge by Kenneth], it was a penalty and the second one was a penalty as well.

"It doesn't matter now, we got the three points and we are looking forward to the Rangers game."

It was a match where Celtic dominated and it was surprising when David Goodwullie had put the Tangerines on level terms but Lennon was delighted with the overall performance.

"It was one of the best performances I've seen since I've been in charge of the team in terms of attacking, quality football.

"I'm very proud of the team and despite a very controversial decision going against us, they never let their heads go down, we kept creating chances and we got what we deserved."

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