VAKOUN ISSOUF BAYO should have been red-carded BEFORE he was sent off in the explosive climax to Celtic’s dramatic 1-1 Europa League opener against Rennes in Brittany on Thursday night.

That’s the verdict of the French club’s manager Julien Stephan following his disappointment at being held at home by the champions.

Ivorian powerhouse Bayo was introduced by Neil Lennon as an 84th-minute substitute for Odsonne Edouard.

He was involved in a mid-air collision with the opposition’s skipper Damien Da Silva that saw the centre-back stretchered off while ropey referee Jose Sanchez immediately reached for a yellow card for the Hoops frontman.

Bayo was then banished in stoppage-time after some ludicrous play-acting from Edouard Mendy following both players going for the ball after the keeper had fumbled a shot from Olivier Ntcham.

NEXT STOP HOLLYWOOD…the theatrical Edouard Mendy lies on the turf before Bayo’s red card.

The match official originally waved play on before deciding to inspect the prone shotstopper who lay on the turf holding his head. The whistler them amazingly flashed a second yellow at the stunned substitute.

No-one was surprised when Mendy leapt to his feet only moments later to take the free-kick.

Looking at the first incident, Stephan, in a report in the Scottish Sun, said: “Damien briefly lost consciousness.

“But the permissiveness of the referee was such that the player who gave him the elbow remained on the pitch.”

The Rennes coach clearly believed Bayo should have been dismissed there and then.

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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