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Levein blasts '12th man' referee after defeat to Rangers

The Hearts boss lambasted Bobby Madden for what he believed were numerous mistakes.

Flashpoint: Levein and MacPhee appeal to the fourth official.
Flashpoint: Levein and MacPhee appeal to the fourth official. SNS Group

Hearts boss Craig Levein has criticised referee Bobby Madden, saying the handling of his side's 2-1 home defeat to Rangers was "abysmal".

Levein saw his side take the lead at Tynecastle when Gareth McAuley diverted the ball into his own net. Rangers hit back with a goal from Connor Goldson and a finish from Alfredo Morelos, though the Colombian forward looked to be offside.

The Hearts manager said that Morelos shuold have been sent off during the game and bemoaned the officials' failure to award offside for Rangers' second goal. 

Levein said: "I read a quote from Neil Lennon a few weeks ago when they went to Celtic Park and he said that 'we were playing against 12 men'. That's how I feel today. 

"How Morelos stays on the park and gets through that without a booking I'll never know. Some of the decisions today were abysmal. 

"Austin (MacPhee) phoned (Scottish Football Association head of referees) John Fleming a while ago after we had three goals against us that were offside because the linesman made mistakes. 

"John Fleming suggested that we held the line on the 18-yard line to make it easier for his officials. So we did that today and they still f*****g got it wrong! 

"Actually, it's 13 we are playing against. And the good thing is that Neil Lennon didn't get any punishment - that's good to know. It's really good news that there won't be any punishment."

Levein was asked if he had attempted to discuss his concerns with Madden and said he didn't think it would have been productive. 

"What's the point, unless he's got a time machine and go back to fix his mistakes?" he asked.

"Morelos had loads of fouls where he doesn't even watch the ball. He just jumps into the centre-backs. There was one where he has smashed Christophe and Bobby said to one of our players: 'It's alright, that's just Morelos - he's a bit silly sometimes'. Well maybe I'll tell our players to be silly because you don't get booked for it! 

"It was an abysmal performance."

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