Clement not happy with tackle that injured Lundstram in win over Saints

Rangers cut the gap at the top of the league to two points with a 2-0 win.

Raging Rangers boss Philippe Clement claimed John Lundstram was “kicked off the pitch” in the 2-0 Premiership win over St Johnstone at Ibrox.

The Belgian watched luckless striker Kemar Roofe go off after just 16 minutes with another injury but replacement Cyriel Dessers fired the Light Blues ahead in the 28th minute before Diallang Jaiyesimi was soon sent off for a hefty challenge on Lundstram after a VAR intervention saw referee Alan Muir upgrade a yellow to a red with the Rangers midfielder kept in at the break.

Rangers doubled their lead in the 84th minute with a penalty from skipper James Tavernier to go within two points of leaders Celtic with a game in hand.

But Clement was unhappy with the tackle on Lundstram who is a doubt for the fixtures before the January break, including the Old Firm game at Parkhead on December 30, while Roofe will also be “assessed” on Thursday.

Clement said: “It’s another player who is kicked off the pitch, so I am really frustrated with that. It’s his ankle so we will see in the next couple of days what will happen.

“This for me is my main concern after the game – again a player kicked off the pitch. I’m not sure we can get him back before the winter break so that’s not a good situation.

“I don’t want to go in on emotions after the game, I am a little boiling so it’s better to cool down and make opinions about leagues or whatever.

“But it clearly wasn’t a good challenge with your studs forward like that. We had an even worse one later in the game when the guy luckily hit the ball and not my player (Dan Phillips on Kieran Dowell), the intensity there was to break a leg.

“Those things are not good for football.”

Asked why he took off Tavernier in the closing stages, Clement said: “It was more to see I don’t lose any more important players for the next couple of weeks and not to take risks that another one was kicked off.”

On the game, Clement said: “We did a lot of things well. We had control of the game from the start until the end. It is not easy to play against 10 men when they are so deep, with no space.

“We kept our organisation, my defenders stayed focused. We could have had more goals, a few good saves also.

“We were waiting for that second goal, it came late. But we kept on pushing to get the goal and we had enough chances to do that.”

St Johnstone boss Craig Levein had no complaints about the red card.

He said: “I thought it was a red card. I thought the referee was right. In the modern day that’s a red – certainly if it had happened to one of our players I’d be calling for a red card so I am not going to sit here and say anything different.

“He has gone in with force and hasn’t got the ball. It is a red card.”

On the Dan Phillips challenge, however, he said: “I thought that was a good tackle.”

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