RYAN CHRISTIE believes that the red-hot atmosphere inside Roazhon Park swayed referee Jose Maria Sanchez into denying him a penalty and sending off teammate Vakoun Issouf Bayo in the draw against Stade Rennais.

Christie couldn’t believe he wasn’t awarded a spot-kick when he was tripped by opponent Joris Gnagnon in the second half, although the Spanish referee did award the visitors a penalty for a trip on James Forrest soon afterwards.

Christie believes that the inconsistency shown by the official was caused by the baying Rennes crowd as well the antics of the home players.

“I think it was definitely a penalty,” Christie said. “At the time I looked back and I expected to see the referee giving it. I was shocked when he didn’t.

“I saw it again in the changing-room after the game and it’s a definite penalty. It was a relief when we got James’ one to even it up. It was maybe what it was going to take to break the deadlock for us and it was a relief to come away with a point.

“It was a strange one. If it’s not a penalty, then he had to book me, but he awarded a throw in.

“It didn’t make much sense. I was even questioning myself but when I saw it again in the dressing room it was a definite penalty.

“There was a sense of frustration. I don’t envy the referee’s job, especially in that atmosphere where the fans are shouting for every decision.

“The likes of Jonny Hayes’s tackle, there was nothing wrong with it, Broony got booked for a strong challenge in the first half.

“It felt like we were treading on eggshells going in to the last 10 minutes because any tackle he was going to reach for the red card.”

Christie felt that Celtic perhaps should have come away with the three points regardless of the referee’s decisions, with some poor decision-making in the final third proving the difference between a very decent draw and what would have been an outstanding victory.

“We had a lot to deal with out there,” he said. “It was a frustration at half time being behind as it wasn’t like we’d been dominated or cut open.

“We were dealing with them, but we were maybe not getting the final pass away. We still felt confident going in to the second half.

“It was nice to get the penalty after what happened and we showed a lot of character.

“The new boys like Chris Julien, Hatem (Elhamed) and Boli (Bolingoli) did really well.”