Commons: Ref didn't do job

Joe McHugh

KRIS COMMONS hit out at referee Alberto Mallenco as Celtic's Champions League dream lay in tatters after a 3-0 loss to Juventus.

The decision to play Efe Ambrose just two days after the final of the African Nations Cup backfired badly but the Hoops were left seething by the display of Spanish referee Mallenco.

From a first-minute corner Gary Hooper found himself bundled into the net with the visitors body-checking and obstructing Celtic players at every set-piece.

Celtic had much more possession than they enjoyed in the wins over Barcelona or Spartak Moscow but were unable to engineer a genuine chance from 10 corners.

"It's not just the ref," Commons explained. "There is the linesman and assistant behind the goal there too. They are all within the radius of 20 yards seeing these sorts of incidents.

"Perhaps in an SPL game we'd get the penalty but tonight it happened too many times. I think the referee was aware that it was happening.

"He did say to them a couple of times, 'If you do that again there will be a penalty', but it never came.

"I was usually taking the corners so I didn't have the best view of what was happening but from the reaction of Gary, Broony (Scott Brown) and a few of the boys they thought they were being man-handled too much.

"The referee gets paid to do a job and if he sees players being man-handled he should give a penalty."

The selection of Ambrose was a surprise with Charlie Mulgrew, Mikael Lustig and Thomas Rogne all filling in for the Nigerian over the last month. He was caught flat-footed for Juve's opener and dispossessed by Alessandro Matri who set up Mirko Vucinic for the third goal, while he also sent a free header straight at Gigi Buffon from eight yards.