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Ki defiant after Old Firm setback

Ki Sung-yueng believes Rangers are not any better than Celtic despite the Hoops going down 3-1 to their Old Firm rivals in their first meeting of the season at Parkhead on Sunday.

Both teams went into the match with 100pc records in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League but it was the visitors who drew first blood to take them three points clear at the top.

However, the South Korea midfielder, one of seven Old Firm debutants in the Hoops side, believes Celtic were the architects of their own downfall and claims they can make up for the disappointment when they travel to Ibrox on January 2.

He said: "The atmosphere was amazing. I had never felt anything like it before, it was a very good experience.

"We scored the first goal and then for 15 minutes in the second half there was a lack of concentration.

"But I don't think that they are better than us. We just made some mistakes and it was unfortunate that we lost because of mistakes.

"It was the first Old Firm experience for some of our players and so maybe when we go to Ibrox the next time we will be stronger.

"If we play the way we played in the eight games before Sunday and we don't panic when we go there, I think we can win."

Rangers' win was overshadowed by the criticism referee Willie Collum received from Neil Lennon for awarding a penalty to the Light Blues when the score was still 2-1, and for not handing Ibrox midfielder Lee McCulloch a second yellow card earlier in the game.

Ki backed his manager up by claiming Collum should not have pointed to the spot when Kirk Broadfoot went down after a tackle by Daniel Majstorovic - and claimed the official should have dished out more yellow cards than the five he did.

"I have nothing to say about referees but I don't think it was a penalty," said Ki, who was one of the five cautioned.

"I have seen it many times and I don't think so.

"It was 2-1 and we could have got back to 2-2. But when he gave that decision it was 3-1 and it gets harder and harder and so it affects the result.

"The referee was nervous but hopefully next time he does his job well.

"It is very different in Scotland," he added.

"In Asia the referee gives yellow and red cards easily. Not here.

"When I saw the game (again) there were a lot of bad things but sometimes the referee just gave a warning rather than a yellow card, for both sides. I couldn't understand that."

PA Media