3 big VAR calls from Rangers vs Kilmarnock as Clement perplexed at penalty decision and McInnes bemoans 'harsh' red card

It was an eventful afternoon at Ibrox as Rangers came from behind to respond to Celtic's title question.

Brendan Rodgers' men opened up a six point gap at the Scottish Premiership summit after playing first this weekend and downing Hearts 3-0. Fast forward 24 hours and Philippe Clement's men did it the hard way, coming from behind to claim maximum points against ten-man Kilmarnock to bring the gap back down to three ahead of the derby next week. Fabio Silva, Ben Davies, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar all struck in a roaring response to James Tavernier's early own goal.

But of course, as things are these days in Scotland's top flight, VAR always has a major say and it was no different in this contest. There were THREE big calls in this game with all coming in the first period for man in the middle David Dickinson and his team of officials in charge of the Sunday lunchtime battle to make key decisions over. Record Sport picks out the main flashpoints from Ibrox.

Dujon Sterling handball claim

VAR was thrust into action with just two minutes on the clock at Ibrox after a handball appeal. James Tavernier's throw-in to Dujon Sterling popped up and struck an arm in the box with referee David Dickinson sent to the monitor. After a review from the man in the middle, he opted against a penalty and stuck with his original call with Steven Thompson praising the official. He told BBC Sportsound: "Fair play to [David Dickinson], it's strong refereeing." Kenny Miller added: "Good call. It is a really, really strong call. Normally when you see the referee come to the monitor sometimes they get swayed by their friend in the studio. But this is a good, good call by David Dickinson for me." But Philippe Clement said: "I don't know what was said from the VAR. If they call the referee to come and see it and they think it was a penalty, I think we decided it was not a penalty. That was strange for me, if you compare with the penalties we get against over the last couple of months, like Kilmarnock here at home. But it's part of the game we need to accept and focus on the things we can control."

Kilmarnock opening goal

Ten minutes later, the VAR officials were back in the spotlight as they checked a potential offside in the build-up to the opening goal. Matty Kennedy at the back post was played onside by James Tavernier before the ball struck the Rangers skipper and went in. Correct decision and the perfect start for Derek McInnes' men at Ibrox.

Joe Wright handball and red card

A busy first period of drama and yet another VAR check. Firstly for offside against Fabio Silva as he raced through after a floated ball over the top. The Wolves loanee was deemed ON after a check as he smashed a ball across goal with Dujon Sterling's goal-bound effort blocked by the hand of Joe Wright on the line.

With the first check passing, it meant all eyes were on the referee and what the outcome would be as he went to the monitor. This time he pointed to the penalty spot with the Kilmarnock defender also handed a red card in a double blow for the visitors. However, Will Dennis stood tall and dived to his right to deny Rangers skipper Tavernier and keep his side in front in a frantic opening 20 minutes.

Giving his immediate reaction on commentary alongside Ian Crocker, Kenny Miller said: "His hand naturally comes up. It stops a goal so it is a penalty for me but it would be a really, really harsh red card."

Reacting to the big decision, Derek McInnes said: "I think Joe Wright is extremely unlucky to concede a penalty and get a red card. If that's the rule that's the rule, but I thought it was extremely harsh on us."