BBC pundits Derek McInnes and Richard Foster have slammed Alashkert forward James Santos over his “ridiculous” challenge catching keeper Robby McCrorie on the head.
Rangers are in Armenia for the second leg of their Europa League play-off with a number of key players at home due to a Covid outbreak at the club.
One player who came into the side for the Alashkert clash was McCrorie deputising for the missing Jon McLaughlin and Allan McGregor.
And on his Euro debut for Rangers McCrorie took a sore one as he was kicked in the head by Alashkert star Santos after half an hour.
Santos, already booked for dissent as he bounced the ball off the ground, caught McCrorie on the head as the keeper smothered the ball in the box.
Replays showed the home player could’ve pulled out of the challenge but left his foot in and connected with McCrorie’s head.
Discussing the incident at half-time, McInnes said it could’ve been a straight red for the horror challenge alone.
He said: “I think the referee has got both decisions spot on in terms of the sending off. The first is a booking for his petulance really and we all said it here, he’s caught McCrorie.
“I think McCrorie does really well, he’s bright and alert to come off his line to come and collect that. And he’s (Santos) not kidding the refereee there, the referee sees exactly what’s happened.
“Santos has done his team in but he could’ve done a serious injury there to young McCrorie and he deserves everything he got there. It could’ve been a red card, if the referee sees that time and time again as we have now it could be a red card in isolation.
Foster branded the challenge “ridiculous” as he warned it could’ve ended in a serious injury for the young keeper.
“It’s ridiculous”, he said.
“The first one if petulant and the second one he catches him in the nose or somewhere a bit softer on the top of the head and it could cause real damage and McCrorie might’ve had to go off the pitch.
“He can get his foot out the way no problem there, he knows what he is doing. Ridiculous to do that to another professional but also ridiculous to do it when you’ve already been booked.”